guest post by Lydia Lee of Screw the Cubicle
Lessons from Laos
Laos was a dream. And it was a dream that came true.
It's one of those places that has always intrigued me. So imagine how happy I was when I found an excuse to finally see it: the Thai embassy in the Laos capital could give me the longest visa extension in Thailand while looking for a job in Bangkok. So I packed my bags and took the night bus trip to Vientiane with my new travel buddy.
I grew up in the Philippines which is just 3 hours away by plane from this country but everything about Laos felt so exotic to me. Maybe because I couldn't really speak with the locals and relied on my Thai friend to communicate with them. Or maybe the sight of monks strolling along the Mekong river on a dreary day seemed like a dream to me. Or maybe it was the melancholy I experienced while wandering the streets on my own and staying in the temples..
Whatever it was, I left Laos having satisfied my wanderlust but this time it came with an indescribable longing for home and the familiar.I felt a much deeper attachment to everyone and everything I left behind..
Then I started asking myself: Have I been away from home for too long? Is it time to go back and establish roots again?
I know there will be many more train rides and road trips for me...more adventures to come that will leave me in awe and will enrich me. But I also know that this time, my feet are more grounded and my heart more anchored on the beauty and wonders of home.
monks strolling everywhere
the Mekong river
local kids enjoying despite the afternoon drizzle
strikingly bright flowers for the garlands
bus station back to Bangkok where I got to chat with many backpackers
heading back to Bangkok, goodbye Laos!
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