I can’t believe I’ve been away for a month already. It’s weird because when I think about saying bye to people it feels like only a week ago, but when I think about bathing elephants in Chiang Mai it feels like months ago. Time has become a warped concept and I neither know nor care what day or date it is.
I’m having an absolutely incredible time away and would never take back my decision to make this once in a lifetime trip. That doesn’t mean it’s been fun or easy all the time though and I want to be honest about the fact that sometimes it is difficult. Here, one month in is my round-up of the highs and lows of the first 1/3 of my trip. Starting with the lows so I can end on the highs!
– The week *cough two weeks* when I was horribly horribly hormonal and burst in to tears roughly three times every day for completely stupid reasons. Being unable to have my own space or time only served to make this harder to deal with.
– When Steph got ill and stayed in bed for a few days, I felt completely trapped by the fact that I didn’t think I could go out by myself and like a burden to her. This is the only point so far where I wondered if I could cope with the trip
– The constant fear that I’m asking too much of Steph and hindering her enjoyment.
– Taking way more painkillers than I would like to be taking.
– Constantly feeling like I’m going to shit myself every time I eat or not pooing at all for a week (yes I’m gross.)
– Feeling my body slowly deteriorating despite regular chill out days and running out of tape to hold it together.
– Worrying that I’m receiving so much assistance that I’m losing my wheelchair skills, or at the very least my confidence in them.
– Having to drag Steph out of bed every single morning!
– The actual backpacking bit. Loading ourselves up then trying to get from A to B like immobile packhorses.
And now the highs!
– Seeing and doing things I never, ever in a million years thought I would get to. I’ve bum shuffled up a waterfall and
swam in another, kayaked to dolphins, spent two days travelling down the Mekong on a slowboat and then slept in a hut overlooking it, rode a motorbike, RODE A MOTORBIKE, saw the sunrise over Angkor Wat… the list goes on.
– Showing myself that I can do this, I can cope with things I never thought I could and I can find some strength to keep going.
– Watching people’s reactions to my wheelchair, scars and motorbike with a side car riding.
– Finding the funny side of every situation and even the uncomfortable bits becoming part of the epic journey.
– Learning about the history and culture of so many different places.
– Touching all the dogs and playing with all the children.
– No longer knowing the difference between clothes and pajamas, clean or dirty.
– Meeting cool people from all over the world, many of whom have been infinitely helpful.
– Getting to do this whole thing with one of my best friends, who I continue to grow closer to every day, to the point
that her dancing semi naked to a chorus of ‘sausage feet, sausage feet, chipolata’ about my swollen feet, in my face, as I write this isn’t even a weird consideration.
And my highlight places:
– Luang Prabang for it’s chilled out city vibe and Mekong boat friend hangouts.
– Don Khong for the joy of riding the motorbike with a side car round the island to the waves, smiles and laughs of the
– Don Det for lazing the day away by the Mekong.
– Angkor Wat because… you know.