To Thailand and Back

Happy Thursday dears! I am in a whirlwind of happiness and jet lag today seeing as I just returned home from Thailand late last night.  It was 15 days filled with hikes, waterfalls, elephants, ocean activities, island hopping, and loads of delicious and sometimes questionable street food. On surface level one of my favorite activities we did was the Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuary. We only had 4 people in our group and 5 elephants so the interaction time was at an all time high. 

I also enjoyed the many difficult & sweaty hikes in the 95 degree weather surprisingly enough. All of them had killer views and a giant sense of accomplishment once reaching the top. We took many boat rides to various islands, kayaked in the ocean, and floated until becoming prunes.

But during my time of reflection on the very long trip home, I realized some of my favorite memories were the bonds I created with new friends in our hostels. It is the same reason we all have such strong ties to what we call home, Kansas City. Yes there is tons of delicious food and swanky bars but it is the people that create the memories and the sense of community. While staying in the hostels, I have never met so many welcoming and friendly faces from just first glance. There is such a strong sense of community and want to know more about one another and where we all come from. It is a beautiful thing to sit in a bar with people from 10 different countries represented and all still have something in common, the urge to travel and experience new cultures and diversity.

The other intriguing thing to me was learning what many of these people did for work, because many travelers were gone for 6-8 weeks and some had even been traveling for a few months. Many of the ones with the longer stays had found jobs in hostels and did not want to return home to reality. I soon became very thankful for the jobs I do hold here at Landlocked because of my freedom. Freedom to travel and work for Landlocked who values culture and diversity so strongly. Freedoms to be able to work from anywhere in the world if I choose. Freedoms to work alongside such like minded people that make it easy for them to be supportive of these dreams to experience new places and make it doable in life. This is what I am most thankful for returning from my trip. I am thankful for new friends that I have met all around the world and will continue to keep in contact with. I am grateful for new experiences that I will treasure forever, but that also make me appreciate home more than I ever thought I would.

If there is anything you can takeaway from this read, let it be this; You won’t know if an experience will be terrible or amazing until you bite the bullet and do it. Do not let fear stand in the way of what you wish to immerse yourself in. Travel to new countries and cities and learn about their diverse cultures so you can better understand your own. Try everything; experiences, food, new drinks, and do not let your emotions hold you back from growth. So IF you are in doubt, book the flight. Plan the trip. There was not a moment I did not enjoy about the past two weeks (except lack of leg room on the plane). Daily life should more often be for enjoying moments rather than not, and travel for me really nails that. It makes us appreciate home and the coolest part is we get to share where we come from with others and how it truly has shaped us to get where we are right now in the world.

Until next week,