Dear Diary…

When I was twenty years old, the summer after my sophomore year of college, I decided to use the money I had been saving from working for the past three summers to travel to Thailand for two weeks, alone. I have always loved to travel and Thailand was the place in the world I had wanted to go the most and I could not wait any longer, I knew it was the perfect time. When I asked my parents for their permission they immediately thought I was crazy for asking to travel to the other side of the world completely by myself at such a young age. They said Thailand had potential to be a dangerous place and that it was unsafe for me to go there without anyone, especially without them. But it was too late, my heart was set on it and there was nothing they could say that would change my mind. I was not asking for their money, just for their permission.

After many long fights and an eventual stalemate, I bought my flight to Thailand. I planned to stay with a European volunteer group in a beautiful southern part of the country called Krabi. My parents continued to fight with me until it was time for my departure and even after I left still continued to fight even with each other because they knew it was not safe for me to be traveling so far to such a foreign land alone with no real set plans. But it was my money and I was headstrong and at the time there was really nothing they could do. I still feel that going to Thailand was one of the best choices I have ever made and made me more mature as a person but as it turns out, my parents were right.

When transferring planes in Beijing to get to Krabi, my luggage was lost in translation and I arrived to Thailand with no clothing except for what was in my backpack. It only took about eight hours of me being there for my phone to be stolen and I was left with no way to contact my parents. I managed to buy clothes day to day and still have a great experience but I was in great danger at one point when I was robbed by a taxi driver and I also missed my flight back to America because I was stuck back in Beijing in China customs. I came back alive and had an amazing authentic experience and would never trade it for the world, but I think if my child were to propose the same thing, knowing what i now know, I would have the same reaction as my parents did to me.

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