On Leaving Southeast Asia…Again

3 months in Thailand & Laos on less than $1000 USD.
Don’t ask, because even I still don’t even know how I did it.

From the minute I stepped off the plane not one single thing went as planned, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. But that’s the best thing about exploring, isn’t it? The possibility of being surprised.

Wanderlust. Adventure. Passion. Beauty. Freedom.

These are things you see and feel while traveling, especially when you’re on the road alone. But it isn’t all always Instagram pictures and ticking to dos off the Bucket List.
Travel can shock you. Travel can hurt you. Travel can wreck you completely and break your heart in ways you never thought possible. Sometimes you never recover from it. Sometimes you sit down in the middle of a street and you cry because the world is so beautiful and so ugly all at the same time.
But when something shocks you, it challenges you. It makes you stronger, wiser.
When it hurts you, it humbles you. It makes you kinder, softer.
When a place consumes you and spits you back out wrecked and heartbroken, it changes you. It pulls you apart and puts the pieces back together over and over again until you become someone else. Someone new. Someone more like yourself.
So maybe it’s misleading, a little, to say things like “oh it breaks my heart to leave”…because you’ve gone to all these amazing places and shared all these extraordinary experiences with all these beautiful people… and YOU broke own heart…maybe even a bit on purpose, quietly and generously, and left little pieces of it crumbled up in the earth behind like a hundred buried treasures.

Or homing beacons.

Until next time, Asia.