I had a four day weekend and I desperately needed to get out of the city. I picked an island about 300 km from Bangkok, which is about a 5 hour drive. Traveling in Thailand is so complex that some American's might not even understand the concept of it, it is not like home where you just jump in your car (oh, how I miss having a car!) and go. Ha. Oh, no, no, no.
This is what the journey in Thailand looks like:
First we took a taxi to the place that we can catch the bus. About an hour with traffic. Then waiting for the next minibus, about an hour. It is about 5 hours in the bus, but only because it stops twice to fill up the tank and drops people off intermittently along the way. Once in the town, a random car takes us to the boat ferry dock, another half hour ride back in the direction we came from. We wait about 30 minutes for the 45 minute ferry over to the island. Once on the island its a 30 minute song taew ride to our beach town and hotel. Phew. Get all that? Taxi, bus, car, boat, songtaew and all together about 10 hours from my house to my hotel room. All to go about 200 miles. Seriously, how is this possible?
It's almost like childbirth (or so I hear) every time I travel like that in Thailand; It's painful while it's happening but the reward is so wonderful that you mentally block out how you got there and do it all over again, enduring the self afflicted torture for countless hours. I get so annoyed at the overall slowness and am quite miserable on the cramped, built for Asian sized people, buses. I move around a lot, I complain, I try to bug my poor husband to keep me entertained. Then as soon as I arrive at my stop I can finally smile again, knowing its over! I am loving life while on my mini-adventure, not a care in the world! Somehow I forget I have to do it again to get home. Then again with the uncomfortable aggravation. Finally, a few weeks later, my feet start to get itchy and I plan another weekend getaway only to become frustrated when faced with the bus trek yet again. It is a vicious cycle I am having a hard time getting out of (thankfully, my next weekend escape will be by plane!)
For me, this weekend, it was about the destination. I am so tired from working so much I couldn't wait to be sitting on the beach, relaxing, not worrying about deadlines and phonics. The journey killed me this weekend. Two full days (or HALF) of my holiday wasted in a bus, bored and unable to sleep. I did not enjoy the journey, not even a little bit but maybe I need to. It doesn't help the situation to be in a sour mood and I am not going to stop traveling, that's for sure. I need to find this balance instead of letting what I can't change make me angry. Easier said than done.
Are there any other travelers that become frustrated, annoyed or angry when your in the actual process of 'traveling' aka sitting on a shitty bus for hours on end? I can't be the only one... Would love your advice and opinions on the matter, please leave a comment below!
A few of my favorite snaps from the weekend, more about this beautiful island to come!