Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag This is it!
25 mei 2015
This is it!
First let me take you back to my final week in Thailand. The past few days in Chiang Mai and BKK were good fun! When I arrived at my hostel in Chiang Mai I ran into my good old travel mate Jasmin whom I've met in Java and again Siem Reap. Great to see her again! We spend two days together, went out for one last crazy night and the next day we went to the cinema as it was poring rain. Quite funny as over here you have to stand up for the king and show your respect by watching this promo video of him just before he film starts. Can you imagine if we would have to do the same thing in the Netherlands for King Willem Alexander!? No one would do it while over here even the foreigners stood up.
Saturday morning I met another lovely Dutchy named Lisa, she arrived at the hostel the night before and we spend the day together chatting at the pool. It's a shame I had to leave but we will def meet up again in the Netherlands. That evening I took the sleeper overnight train (14 hours) back to BKK, the city where it all started. When I arrived at my hostel I checked my fb messages and got two messages from two different friends to let me know that they would arrive that day in BKK as well! Yeah good fun! One friend is Dean from England, I met him in Vientiane in Lao and the other mate is Danny aka Scotty as he's from Scotland, whom I've met six years ago in Australia on an outback tour to Ayers Rock. It's a small world right!
Sunday me and Dean went to the weekend market buying some souvenirs as we thought we prob wouldn't have enough by now. Later on during the day we went out for some street food and after that it was time for some beers at Koh San Rd. Good fun I can tell!
Today was my final day so Dean and I had a relaxed day, went to the shopping mall for some more crazy souvenirs and Dean needed to fix his phone. Tonight is my last night so we might go out for a massage and a final beer.
So as this will be the final blog of my trip, I can write on and on about all the things I have seen and have experienced but to be honest I can't really explain or put down on paper what traveling will do to you as a person. The only way to find out what traveling actually is and how it can change you as a person is to experience it for yourself, even if it's only for a month. However, I would like to give it a go and try to explain it. For example, a lot of people think I'm on a five month long holiday and the only thing they see on my Facebook are photos of me at a beach, me doing activities, me having fun with strangers or me going out and sipping from a bucket or a glass of beer with a huge smile on my face. That's true, I've done all these things but to get there is the thing people don't see.
The first step is to actually have the guts and make the decision to go, to pick a date and to book a plane ticket and then actually go on that plane. Even though I love to travel and it wasn't my first time being away from home for such a long period of time, it was also very exciting and sometimes slightly frightening as I was planning to go to countries I've had never been before.
The second and following steps. Imagine this:
You're on a plane for 15+ hrs by yourself, arriving at a strange country by yourself, have to arrange a taxi or some other form of transport to a hostel by yourself having no clue where you are, what the rules are of this particularly country and you have to trust the people around you. When arriving at your hostel and checking into the dorm you booked, you go into the room trying not to disturb or wake up any of your roommates as this won't be a great first impression. You unpack, take a shower and change and then what!? Haha exactly, everything you do, you are by yourself unless you make friends with whom you can hang out with and do fun activities with otherwise you will be alone. No one wants to be alone right!?
These are the first steps you don't see on my Facebook but it's a huge part of the trip as this routine continues for the entire journey as you will keep on traveling to new destinations. The thing is, being all by yourself while traveling from A to B is actually very good for you. I have to admit it's not always fun, but relying on no one else but yourself is actually a good thing for loads of people. You can see how capable you are, what you can do and achieve while being on your own. You have to make the right decisions, have to think wisely, have to communicate verbally but in many countries also non verbally as for English is not the first language for the locals here in Asia, you have to use your instinct and sometimes you have to take some risks. You have to bargain, bribe to avoid being scammed, and always think one step ahead. To be fare, traveling alone as a woman is even more challenging than being a man, it's sad to say but it's true. Asia in general is a very safe area to travel solo as a woman but like I said before you have to think wise and use your instinct a bit more than men. You have to be aware of how you dress yourself, what area you're in, never walk back home to the hostel by yourself at night and there is always a chance a drunk roommate thinks he can get it on with you. To be fair, white women are all very loved by the locals but having blond hair and a slightly larger bust than average women is not always in my advantages I have to say. (Although sometimes it is haha)
What I'm trying to say is, for having such a good time as what you can see on my fb, a few steps prior to that have to be taken, these steps aren't always good fun, comfortable or easy. The trick is to see everything as an experience or a challenge and you have to bare in mind that there's a cold drink, pool or beach waiting for you at the end of the trip. I absolutely love every bit of traveling. The night trains and busses are a pain in the ass, especially if you have to spoon with a random stranger in a too small "bed" on the bus, but it's part of the trip and all very worth it! I love meeting new people from many different countries, being a stranger in the morning and great friends in the evening. I've met people for a few hrs and people with whom I've traveled with for a few days or weeks, they all are good friends! What makes it so easy to make new friends? Be brave and be kind ;) Start a conversation with a stranger at the hostel, ask if they want to join you to a market or if they want to grab some street food with you later on. Play beer pong in hostels and bars, but make sure you win though! Go on tours, don't lock yourself up in your dorm, go out and about. Traveling alone does not mean you're lonely. Just smile! It's not that hard as long as you give it a go!
In the past 4,5 months I've spend 138 days in 5 different countries, took 8 flights, 22 bus rides of which 6 sleeper busses, 15 boat rides of which 1 sleeper boat, 3 train rides of which 1 sleeper train, hundreds of tuk tuk's and taxi rides, I've slept in 37 hostels/guesthouse and 1 night on the floor of KL airport.
What I will miss the most about Traveling is first of all the intense freedom, the honesty of the people as no one will judge you by the way you look, what you do or where you are from. Everyone looks like shit, sweaty and smelly, messy hair, dirty nails, unshaved legs, no make up but nobody cares! Haha. What I will miss the most about Asia are the lovely friendly people, the many different cultures, traditions, local festivals where everyone is dancing on the street like there is no tomorrow. I will miss the food!! Asian food is amazing, especially street food from the stalls, super cheap and tasty! Thai and Indonesian food in particular are great! I will miss the many stray dogs who are either super cute or very frightening! The cheap massages, I think I've had about ten massages in total! Maybe even more!nI will miss the tuk tuk's who can and will take you everywhere you want to go. The climate, the beaches, nature in general really. I actually will miss sleeping in a dorm so when you wake up there is always a friend to talk to and another great thing about sleeping in a dorm, especially a mixed dorm, is waking up and being surprised by a fine looking man walking out of the shower with nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist. (Cheeky I know) I will miss the crazy things like a bun gun in the bathroom, walking barefoot all the time as over here you have to take of your shoes everywhere you go, buckets, friends with buckets, the smell of fresh laundry after days of sweating, fresh fruit shakes for less than a euro, the smell of scent sticks on the streets and peaceful monks walking on the streets. There are plenty of more things which I will miss loads, but my blog would be super long if I have to write them all down.
What I will look forward to going back home are of course my family and all my friends!! Can't wait to give them all a big hug!! My lovely dog, can't wait to see her again! Dutch food like zuurkool, drop, wholewheat bread with proper Dutch cheese, bitterballen, summer and a new phase in my life. I also will appreciate things more like proper pavements, hot water showers, no snoring people in my bedroom, no 20+ hr bus rides, no sewage smell on the streets, no shit load of rubbish everywhere, my bike, moms home cooked meals, lipstick and perfume, a comfy mattress, sleeping under a duvet, being able to drink water straight from the tap, receiving food at the same time as your friends in a restaurant, a closet full of clothes so I have more than five options of things to wear and not running out of clean underwear, being able to flush toilet paper and sitting toilets instead of squatting ones.
I can not conclude the past 4,5 months in one blog. But what I do love the most about traveling and this trip in general, are the people I have met along the way. These people made my journey in every single way. I laughed with them, cried with them, shared many stories with them, danced, drank local liquor with them, sang songs with them at camp fires on beaches, made friends with the lovely Asian locals. I let them introduce me into new food habits, from the local dishes to the seven eleven ham and cheese toasties. All we needed was good company, a deck of cards, a guitar or some piece of paper and a few pens for fun games and we were all satisfied and had a great night. This trip would have never been the same without every single person I have met along the way, and for that I am forever grateful.
Unfortunately I go back home without my iPhone, Ray Ban sunglasses, torch and a few clothes. However I do go home with a shit load of stories, experience, new friends from all over the world, photos, a nice tan, super blond hair, dirty laundry, a forever lasting hangover and a few souvenirs including a bamboo tattoo but best of all... I go back home with a mind full of fantastic memories which will be mine for ever!
Thank you all who made this trip such a memorable one! Will never forget it! Until we meet again!
Netherlands, get ready! I'm coming back home!
25 mei 2015 12:40 | Door: mam
Zo ongelooflijk trots op je Renee!! Welkom thuis. Ik heb je gemist, en kijk uit naar die baal wasgoed en alle mooie verhalen en foto's.
Veilige vlucht. liefs mam.
25 mei 2015 13:05 | Door: Simone
wat een mooie laatste blog, ik ben super trots op jou! Dit neemt niemand meer van jou af!
en ik zou de squatting toilet moments gewoon blijven doen haha goed voor de ronde billen ;)
We hebben heel veel zin in om je weer lekker te knuffelen! Cause we missed "that slightly larger bust than average women" haha goede reis topper! xxx
25 mei 2015 15:41 | Door: Ruth
Renneeke: wat heb je dat mooi verwoord. Het leest als een boek, je moet iets doen met deze gave. Wens je een goede, veilige reis terug naar huis en kijk er naar uit je weer te zien. X
25 mei 2015 16:45 | Door: Debby
You have managed to convey the joy and reality of your travels!
Superb log, you have a way with words that brings everything to life
They say travel broadens the mind and I think you have expressed the way this trip has brought you many great experience from which you have learnt and will take back to Holland and the next chapter in your life
The only problem many people say is that when you catch the travel bug it's very hard to settle!!
I have enjoyed reading your stories and seeing your beautiful photos
Thank you for sharing xx
26 mei 2015 07:11 | Door: Jasja
Wauw Runeetje! Wat mooi geschreven! Wat heb je het geweldig gehad! Kan niet wachten om je weer te zien! Veel liefs
2 juni 2015 08:36 | Door: Nico en Corry
Een late reactie, maar we zijn op vakantie. Vandaar. Renée bedankt voor al je mooie verhalen waarvan wij mochten mee genieten. Wat moet het heerlijk zijn om op deze reus terug te kunnen kijken. Een rijke ervaring. Hopelijk mag je thuis nog even na genieten voordat het leven van alledag weer voor je begint. Succes en alle goeds voor je voor de toekomst. Nogmaals dank en veel lieve groetjes, Nico en Corry. Je bent een fantastische vertelster!!