I spent 4 weeks in this beautiful country that I had never been to before.
To be honest, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, so I entered with an open mind and endless possibilities.
Lets start at the beginning.
Leaving my home is a blurry memory.
I recall stressful nights, long days, and endless waiting.
I was excited beyond words.
But above all of that, it was quite normal. Normal in a way that I could just hang out with friends without feeling overwhelmingly sad, or just packing like it was second nature.
It was only when I said goodbye to my parents and Fifi early that Friday morning that I acknowledged that I was really leaving.
It was so bizarre and cliche and everything you would expect from saying goodbye to people you knew you wouldn't see for a long time. To spare you the details, all I can say is that it was reeeeal emotional when I got on the plane.
Los Angeles was my next stop. But it wasn't like any old stop over, it was better. My sister, being the amazing sibling she is, picked me up and took my to eat my favorite Vietnamese noodles and basically hung out with me for a couple of hours. I'm usually bad at showing people how much I appreciate them but I really appreciated this. 3 hours later, I was on my next flight to Narita, Japan.
I stopped over in Japan for 24 hours, slept in a sweet hotel bed (mostly just laid there realizing how much I hated jet lag) and shivered because Japan actually has a winter. After many bus rides and meals from the convenient store, I was back at the airport. This time I spent 6 hours there waiting...
As I recall writing in my journal: "Red Eye flights are the reason I dislike the world"
I of course shared my happiness on twitter stating, "I am going through 4 different time zones and I want to melt into a puddle"
That American dollar wasn't even mine, and I was the only American at the table.
Midnight came around and by then my mind had made everything extremely trippy. All I remember is walking up into my plane like one of those romantic black and white movies you never watch and feeling a great deal of confusion over why my seat was bright pink. (Thai Airways is pretty nice to fly into Thailand with, I feel.)
7 hours later I was in the city of Bangkok! The airport I landed into looked like what an Utopian society would look like, extremely futuristic but in a very uncomfortable way. It was probably my lack of sleep and complete culture shock that triggered these emotions of mine. For the first time I couldn't read what anything said on signs and I felt helpless in some ways.
And finally after days of traveling (literally), I made it to Chiang Rai on Monday morning. Once I got there, I didn't even feel tired anymore. I just felt overjoyed.