I am back, a year later. Much has changed in me, but nothing much has changed in Bangkok. A few political demonstrations later, a few needless deaths, nothing has changed.
A year earlier I was embarking on my first ever solo travel, nervous and untried. Everything was new, and I wondered how I would do in facing these new challenges. I had learned the basics, from friends who had gone before, and from other travelers on the internet. Where a year earlier I had ventured out timidly, now it seems easy. I know where and how to change money, where to eat, know my old neighborhood, and even find at the guesthouse I’ve return to, old friends. I know that I can sort out transport routes, find a place to sleep, cope with language barriers, deal with a constant onslaught of the unknown.
The trip a year earlier had been all that I could have imagined. What I wonder now is whether being so ‘seasoned’ will remove the amazement, the newness, the marvel of it all. Ah but no. Far from it, this new adventure is better even than the first. This time I have no fixed plan, only an arrival date and a departure date. The rest is a tabula rasa, the proverbial ‘blank slate’ upon which the adventure will be written. Curiosity will shape the next two months, and only that.