Friday, February 20, 2009

winding down

in retrospect, i made a wise decision to end the backpacking portion of my travel in the thai islands. i started off the thai portion with an adventurous stop in northern thailand, where i rode elephants, went white water rafting and learned how to make pad thai, but then i ventured southward to the famed thai beaches... and now that i'm here, my brain has sort of switched into beach mode and i can't really imagine strapping on my backpack, putting on sneakers and heading off in search of adventure.

instead, my days are filled with simpler questions. am i wearing enough sunscreen? should i have a pineapple shake, or a mango shake? do i want a thai massage or a regular massage? how did i get this many mosquito bites? do i want noodles or rice? should i buy yet another $8 sundress? eh, why not? i'm still somewhat active (i've gone rock climbing, snorkeling and kayaking), but i've also gotten a heavenly beachfront massage, watched the sunset over the sea, spent an entire afternoon floating in a pool on an inflatable raft, lost in my own thoughts, ordered a pineapple daiquiri at a swim-up bar and drank bottles and bottles of cold grape gatorade from the 7-eleven.

suffice it to say that my brain is slowly winding down from the non-stop adventures of the past month. i'm trying to prepare my mind to switch gears as i look ahead to the final leg of my trip, a quick pit stop in beijing and then a few weeks in wintry korea with my relatives. the solo backpacker part of my trip is almost over, and while i'm looking forward to not having to live out of a backpack, i'm also a little sad to see the adventure come to an end. the down time here in ko phi phi has helped me start to process the many profound ways in which this trip has influenced me, humbled me, inspired me, changed me. my mind is starting to wander ahead to what lies ahead, what decisions i'll need to make, what questions i'll need to answer. i don't have many answers yet, but i'm having fun trying.

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