What you can experience in just a night in Bangkok! Before you read any further I had a very “PG” experience with the exception that we accidentally booked our hotel in what turned out to be one of the red light districts. That is as Hangover 2 as it gets folks.
I was blessed to meet up with a dear friend, Trin, in Bangkok who could show us a more local and cultural side to his hometown, the sin city of Asia. I was surprised with all the entertainment and food Bangkok had to offer. After sticking to a very strict rice regimen and an overall “consumer beware” mentality in Cambodia, I could put my guard down a little in Bangkok with some fresh sushi and fine deserts that included french toast on steroids, an adaptation from a Japanese desert. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that the owner of the fine desert establishment, After You, was a young Thai female. My friend then enlightened me on how woman are treated fairly in Thailand and are highly regarded as business women. This I like to hear!
I also learned about the fine art of late night spa treatments as our friend took us to get a reflexology foot massage at 11 at night and for only around $15. Needless to say Bangkok got my vote as one of the liveliest cities. After all this decadence I took a much needed trip to the gym in the next morning and in true Bangkok flare this was the biggest and grandest gym I have ever seen but still just what the doctor ordered.
After only a night in Bangkok it was time to make our way to Chiang Mai to settle for a while and speaking of what the doctor ordered, this was what my body needed….to be in one place for a while. Ironically, 2 years later, to the week, I found myself with the same hotel manager that so kindly helped me in Bali when I got e-coli. This time I got sick with a cold/flu combination. I am not surprised as Garnett got sick in Cambodia along with all the kids we were working with. Now it was my turn and my body was saying “I have had enough Kathy, time for a rest.” My body had been telling me this since Siem Reap but I put up a good fight until I no longer could. I have noticed that when you get sick in countries where the food and water are questionable, as well as illnesses being transferred by Mosquitos, which I had my fair share of bites, you monitor things closely.
In the end I had to stop for a day or so and fully rest and took more medicine than I had in ages. I was forced to listen to my body, something I had not been doing very well. For a trip that was supposed to be about listening, I missed that one as I pushed to experience all I could. So I let go of the guilt and the anger I felt towards my body for not being at 100% and I rested.
It is funny how I battled more with my mind than my body the day I rested. I almost couldn’t relax to let my body heal because my mind was racing thinking what I could be missing out on in Chang Mai or thinking I should be doing this or that. I laugh because when my body isn’t at 100% I fight these thoughts, abroad or in my own home. It just goes to show that truly wherever you go, there you are. It is all a matter of perspective, your attitude, and not letting these thoughts get the best of you.
As I am learning to be a better traveler, and person, I surrender to the change in plans, listen to my body, and trust fully in the bigger picture. Illness or not, I am exactly where I need to be and experiencing exactly what I need to. I surrender to the pause and the process of healing.