Sorry all you travel enthusiasts who are just looking to escape with me to all these foreign places but today is another one of those “what the hell am I doing” introspection blogs.
Obviously with that whimsical opening you know I’m feeling better now at it approaches midnight but that wasn’t the case earlier.
Anyway, where was I when I last left off?
Oh yes, I had just arrived here in Luang Prabang after a grueling 14 hour bus ride from Huay Xai up north.
It was 8am and a half dozen of us from the bus hired a tuk tuk together into the center of town for 20,000 kip ($2.25) each.
The town is so small that simply going to the center of town brings you within a few minutes’ walking distance to pretty much all the accommodations here in Luang Prabang.
I hopped off the tuk tuk and walked a couple of blocks to where my hostel was and checked in.
I had earlier emailed the hostel to let them know I’d be coming early and to see if they could possibly check me earlier that their usual 1:30pm checkin time.
Thankfully they were able to. In fact I even got a free breakfast of a tomato and cheese omelette with toast even though I hadn’t stayed the night.
I surveyed the people staying here and while they all seemed nice, they also seemed young and basically not the kind of crowd I connect with.
It didn’t help that I was tired and spent the next hour trying in vain to get the wifi to work on my netbook and my sim card to work on my phone.
By 10am, I hadn’t solved either problem but I was tired I just went to bed for a nap.
Around 2pm I found out the hard way the hostel turns off their air conditioning between 10am and 9pm every day as I awoke in a hotbox.
I walked out to explore a little in the afternoon but aside from getting a sandwich I didn’t really do anything.
Back at the hostel as I sat alone and watched the others click I started to think about things. I had similar feelings during my Euro Trip last year and ended up coming home early.
It’s not really so much that I’m not connecting with people as it is me not wanting to put out the effort to go through the whole where are you from, how long are you travelling for, did you see this, did you see that conversation I’ve had so many times.
This is where you really feel the sting of travelling alone. Sometimes it’s nice to have someone with you.
Who knows – maybe it’s self sabotage. Maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to bail out on this trip.
In fact, in the evening I was actually online looking up different flights. Everything from leaving Laos back to Thailand to flying back home to Vancouver.
Yes, alot of stuff was swirling in my head.
I went out for a walk and sat on a bench overlooking the Mekong River and thought things through. The bottom line is I’m not ready to go back to real life but I’m also not really enjoying my trip right now either.
So, something has to give. The question is: what?
At 9pm I headed out to get another sandwich and then when I returned I watched a movie on my laptop. That seemed to break me out of my rut – maybe it was just an escape from everything for a bit.
As I go to bed just before midnight I’m going to chalk this day of doubt and sadness to a lack of sleep and, let’s face it, a pretty unpleasant start to my time in Laos.
Tomorrow I’ll either go out and see something that Luang Prabang has to offer or maybe I’ll just take another day to get back into the groove.
Either way, should be a pretty telling day…