Goodbye everything i know to be familiar. My first time in Thailand was in 2013. I remember a shop lady teaching me how to pronounce thank you. I remember breathtakingly cute and cheap earrings in Chinatown, Bangkok. I remember taking a night train down to the south and waking up to sweet coffee. I remember the first deep breath of ocean air and the first time i was on a longtail boat. The first time seeing a pineapple grow on the ground. Or a banana tree. Or a coconut falling down.
It’s so funny how we lose our sense of wonder. And get used to things so quickly. Or get distracted and focused on other stuff so we just don’t notice things the same way anymore. I have been in Thailand about eight months of my life if i count it all together. So, already, when i wake up on a Wednesday morning to see a coconut palm and a green jungle river from my window, it feels so normal it’s almost scary.
Helen from Journal With Purpose told how she and her partner spent a weekend acting to be tourists in their own hometown. I love the idea. To mindfully open your senses to the familiar and suddenly you can see so much more. All the little things you haven’t noticed before and all the big things you thought to be so normal, familiar, even boring by now. So i told myself this: when i wake up to find myself bored of yet another place, i will open up my eyes and look at it with a childlike wonder. With a mind of a tourist who has just arrived.
Tomorrow i will be gone
Anyway… With Thailand, i do not need to do this right now. I have a relationship with Thailand that feels easy, safe, comfortable, familiar, homely and sometimes even a little bit annoying. So when i think about flying out tomorrow, it feels like leaving home all over again. Because i am leaving the surroundings i am so comfortable with, the culture i’ve became familiar with, the language in which i can order myself vegan food anywhere i go, the people i have gotten to know, the knowledge of how much a kilo of mangosteens should cost. I’m leaving behind the knowledge of public transport, the knowledge of cultural etiquette, the prices, even my boyfriend. Everything.
And right now it’s setting my soul on fire. Everything feels so alive. I am sitting in my comfortable hotel bed, surrounded by white sheets, and i feel like i hear everything. The local men sitting outside having breakfast soup. The motorbikes going by. Birds singing on the rooftop across the street. Thai music from a local eatery nearby. I feel like i see everything. I feel like.. I feel everything.
It kind of feels like waking up from a deep sleep. Being born again. Starting fresh. This is the beginning of something entirely new. And i am not terrified anymore. I am welcoming whatever comes from the unknown. Allowing the unfamiliarity to come. Allowing it to change to something familiar one day. A routine, a safe space awaits me in Rishikesh. I am ready to go.