I was going to Thailand, ALONE, and I was scared out of my MIND.
In the hours leading up to my departure, I was finding reasons not to go on this trip:
– I left my brand new hoodie that I wanted to wear on the plane at my mom’s house
– I was scared
– I left my retainers at my mom’s house (Did I mention my mom lives 4 hours away?)
UGH. I was frustrated and taking it as a sign maybe, just maybe I wasn’t supposed to go on this trip.
But, God is my homie and be looking out:
– A couple from my grandmother’s church that lives in Orlando delivered all my left behind items from my mom’s house including my retainers (THANK GOD. Because I can’t go without those for 2 weeks)
But: I WAS STILL SCARED
Anyways, I got all my last-minute things and errands done on Christmas Eve and packed later that night. (Yes, I’m a last-minute packer and I suck, but check out my packing list for Thailand here)
Anyways, my boyfriend (wow, haven’t said that word in 4 years! We made it official 🙂 ) Kameron, came by Christmas morning to take me to the airport. While I was excited to finally go off on this adventure I booked on a whim nine months ago, I was relieved when he made a few wrong turns on the way to the airport. “Maybe he’ll make so many wrong turns I’ll miss my flight and won’t have to go.” But, I only live like 25 minutes from the airport anyway so he quickly found his way. Kam dropped me off at the departure gate with a long hug, some sweet kisses, and some encouraging words because he knew how scared I was.
I went to check in with Delta and fumbled with my passport to check-in my bags and into my flight. The lady at the counter asked if I was traveling all the way to Thailand alone, with a hint of excitement and nervousness in her voice. She hooked me up on my seats, making sure I had aisle seats on all legs of my journey and told me if I ever see her again, let her know how my trip was. “I don’t know you, but I’m proud of you for doing this….please, have fun, be safe, and enjoy your flights!”
And I was off! From MCO -> JFK ->PVG ->BKK. Took me a total of 36 hours traveling time and somewhere between my 15 hour flight from JFK to Shanghai , I crossed the International Date Line and lost a whole day.
I finally landed in Bangkok and just had a rush of emotions. I was on the other side of the world, alone, and not as nervous anymore. Look at me being a big girl, paying for this trip, catching all these flights alone, and had even booked a private car to take me to my hotel alone. I got this.
And although I keep saying I went on this trip alone, I was not completely alone. I booked this trip with EF Ultimate Break, so I would be with 25 other young travelers ages 18 – 28, but I was a solo traveler with the group. So I knew NO ONE, and felt like I was about to go on a 2 week episode of the Real World; especially when I arrived at the hotel HOURS before my roommate (who I didn’t know or had no idea would be).
By now, jet-lag was winning, I took a quick nap. I woke up and wrote on our group’s Facebook page that I was here, even though the rest of the group wasn’t slated to arrive until midnight – 1 a.m. One of the guys in the group, Beau, said he was in the lobby and invited me to grab a bite to eat with him at Khao San Road.
KHAO SAN ROAD
Also known as Backpackers Road. Y’all, this night market is CRAZY. Here, you can find everything from elephant pants, to henna, to fresh fruits and Pad Thai, to $4 USD buckets of liquor, to ‘laughing gas’, to bars and clubs, to a ‘Ping Pong Show’ <— (Google 🙂 )
When Beau said a bite, I didn’t know that a bite would be eating a freaking scorpion. And in case you didn’t know….scorpions do NOT taste like chicken. Don’t let the man selling it to you lie to you. It has this hard, chewy, bitter taste that would NOT leave my mouth even after chugging a huge bottle of water. It took me drinking a beer and eating a plate of Pad Thai to get that taste out of my mouth. It was super fun flossing the shell out my teeth later…NOT 😐 . Just look at the video below…you see the exact moment when my body was like, “NOPE! THIS ISN’T GOOD”
(And sorry! This video is uploaded from my Snapchat and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to rotate this video *facepalm*)
After checking out a few clubs and getting a few beers, we headed back via Tuk Tuk to our hotel to call it a night. We had an early day at the Grand Palace the next day and also would finally meet the entire group!
Hotel: Narai Hotel . Decent place. Super good breakfast that is included. Close to markets, a few Starbucks, and within walking distance of SkyBar!
Here’s a video of our view (it was raining in Bangkok) and our room.
So first night in Bangkok – so far, so good.
Super excited to share the rest of this trip with you!
Grand Palace, Temple Hopping, and me feeling fake famous in next post!