Oct 16, 2016
By Ryan Regier
Erin and I took a giant leap of adventure when we sold all our belongings in the USA and booked a one way ticket to Bangkok, Thailand. No itinerary. No plans. It was time to shake life up and discover more of ourselves. We were all too familiar with the 9-5 grind and were ready for something completely different. It does not take long on the backpacking trail to learn a few things about self and about life.
It is difficult to make and keep travel plans out in this world experiencing pure freedom. Where the wind blows and you follow along with the stranger met last night. A few buckets and a few beers and next thing you know we were on our way from Bangkok to Surat Thani with a brand new friend Dave, who happened to be approaching 60 years old, but knew a thing or two about travel.
We sat on the floor near the KFC in the brightly lit open air train station. Where the locals chipper away with their Thai accents and the smell of all sorts of food fill the air. Quite a strange aroma of fried chicken and Pad Thai, especially for the just arrived tourists we were. After two hours on the very hard train station floor I thought to myself, “I haven’t heard an announcement for our train and it is past departure time.” I walk up to the ticket window with Dave and learn the train was gone. We missed it!
Now that was a hard pill to swallow at that time. Missed the train, “Oh no,” we thought, “what are we going to do now!?” At the ticket counter, the lady next to me says, “That’s traveling. Just let it go. You’ll get there fine.” My worrying mind was wound so tight from the life I left behind that I could not comprehend the ease with which she said let it go. No other choice but to buy another ticket and sit next to the ladies chomping on their bags of rice and hang out longer.
We caught the next train and arrived at our destination just fine. The first step in unwinding that anxious little brain was to acknowledge that while on travel things do not always go as planned. Take a deep breath and carry on.
Dave learned that lesson as well when he stepped in the ocean off balance and messed up his knee in Koh Samui three days later. It ended his trip completely and he had to fly back to San Francisco. Bummer to lose Dave but another sign that you must go with flow, appreciate the opportunity at hand, and do not take for granted the wonder of the wide open world.
Erin and I ended up on the island of Koh Phangan a few days after losing Dave and we arrived the same day as the Half Moon jungle party. Let’s see what this party island is all about!
A buzz of energy was in the air as we arrived to the hostel. “Free shots!” proclaimed the staff. Body paint, alcohol, and good times got us started. We caught a tuk-tuk and hung on tight up the winding jungle road to our destination. Twelve of us on one ride had me hanging teetering on the side as the driver moved seamlessly through town and up toward a night to remember.
Dropped off in the jungle I begin to see the bright lights and hear the sound of the electronic music. Now here is a scene we were familiar with back home. Witnessing the grand stage production with a DJ booth and the amazing colors streaming out from the LED visual panel above the booth we found our place for the evening. Wandering around near the brightly lit tree in the middle of the dance floor it was possible to sit, reflect on the journey thus far, and smile from within. This is why we came across the world, to find our true freedom away from the hustle and grind back home and meet all these amazing souls from many different walks of life. Take the journey in stride and realize that there is no schedule here, only great memories to be made and life to be lived.
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About the Author
Ryan Regier is chasing the dream at hand, which is to write about his experiences around the world. This is just the beginning in his journey towards the goal. Currently he lives in Denver, Colorado USA with his girlfriend Erin and their dog Penelope. Live music and travel, what more could be necessary!