Pack Light, the Journey is Heavy

It took all of my energy not to burst into tears on the Bangkok subway yesterday. Wherever I am, but especially when I'm navigating through a big city, in a subway car surrounded by strangers is usually where I feel most lonely. Scenes kept playing through my head, way too many things left unsaid and way too much love lost. Where does it go when it's gone?

The only distraction so far has been chatting with traveling Australians, finding random art galleries in the middle of Bangkok (there really is some lovely art here) and remembering that my best friend from Korea took a 20-hour bus ride from Indiana to Manhattan to spend an entire Monday and Tuesday morning with me, before I made my way to yet another Asian excursion. We drank makgolli in Central park, met up with other great friends, talked about everything from Buddha to Baskin Robbins over frozen mojitos and $1 tacos in the Lower East Side. All made sense again.

Also, I packed heavy, which hasn't helped. No set plans meant bringing whatever I could without being charged too much for baggage at the airport. I have a lot of things with me, just in case. I've lost a few items already and scrambling through my backpack for an important piece of paper or an iPod charger only adds to silly bits of extra stress that no traveller needs, and what all wanderers aim to escape when they hop planes and buy one-way tickets. But I sense things will get lighter every step of the way. I hope.

In a few hours I'll be flying to the north of Thailand, to Chiang Rai. I'll be in a remote area a stones throw from Burma, a short bus ride to Laos, and I'll be able to smell the mighty Mekong river that quenches most of South East Asia. It'll be my first time teaching English in Asia after almost two years. I have new kids to meet, a new language to struggle with, and more spicy food to try. I can't wait.

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