On Leaving Southeast Asia…Again

From the minute I stepped off the plane not one single thing went as planned…

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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.

Author: Natasha Nikole

Natasha, affectionately called Tasha Tuesday by people who don't really like her, left a promising career as an adult video store clerk to travel the world with no money. After her dog Richard, her three biggest weaknesses are every single other dog, expensive coffee, and men with long hair. She's currently work-exchanging in Southeast Asia and has recently developed a habit of proposing to strangers on Instagram.

7 thoughts on “On Leaving Southeast Asia…Again”

  1. Absolutely 100% on everything you wrote here. You captured travel perfectly. So many people who have never done a big solo adventure think it’s all Instaworthy beaches and sunsets and 24/7 fun. It’s so much more than that! Though there are plenty of Instaworthy moments as well 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “3 months in Thailand & Laos on less than $1000”. Just goes to show travelling doesn’t have to be expensive if you try hard enough! I’m seriously impressed though 😊

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    1. It’s true! I will say that I do a lot of work-exchange & stay almost exclusively in hostels and eat street food. But that’s what I LIKE, so I would do it even if I wasn’t a hapless hobo. Hostels are just such an awesome way to meet new people and connect with the backpacking community. Just tonight the hostel I’m staying at had a big “family BBQ” w/the Thai family who lives here/runs the place cooked and we all sat around drinking and eating- with the exception of the family, everyone at the table was from a different country & spoke different languages. Just awesome. You don’t get that kind of easy interaction when you stay at hotels.

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