I have found that travelling you always meet some interesting people. If not interesting certainly different from the average person.
I guess that by exploring the world one collects a greater number of unusual stories than when staying put or at least that’s what I have been pondering about today and what has always enthralled me about travelling and living overseas.
The downside is that it becomes a bit of a bug.
Mostly it is the people and the interesting lives that I am after. That vibe that you sense when you talk to those who have had the courage to leave everything behind to follow a dream of their own; be it to try an adventure – like cycling around the world – or to start a new life. I always light up when the opportunity to peek into an adventurous life arises.
It is not always glamorous or pretty. I have more than once caught myself wondering about the glossy façades; it is always good not to stop at the superficial first impression, for I have found that at times scratching even just a little bit under the surface uncovers a very different reality that is not necessarily a pretty one.
But in many occasions I have met truly interesting people and it has been right out inspiring.
In any case, whether it is positive or not, it is always something to learn from; and a person, an idea or a story can really stick in my head for ever.
This afternoon we wandered aimlessly on our scooter around the streets of Nai Yang.
We like doing that. There are always interesting surprises behind seemingly uninviting or anonymous streets.
When you set to do this you also notice what you might have missed.
For example today we found a small alleyway that we’ve must have passed hundreds of times since we’ve been here. It’s beyond me how we missed it.
The small road lead us down a pretty opening with a nice outdoor bar with a decent pool table owned by an American who claims to have lived in 49 states and travelled to over 70 countries around the world. He never settled and he chose not to have a wife or kids in life because of his love for travel and freedom to do what he wants. He certainly sounded like he’d been everywhere in life before coming to live to in Thailand 6 years ago and opening this cute wooden bar 11 months ago.
He said he has been on the move overseas since the late sixties. I wondered about his age but I didn’t ask. In my opinion he didn’t look as ancient as one may expect someone with his many stories to be.
Unfortunately we were interrupted by one of his friends joining him at the bar so the conversation ended earlier than I would have liked.
We left him to his life and continued to sip our cold cokes entertained by the two nice Thai ladies behind the bar who also seemed to enjoy a little bit of our game by enquiring about our lives. I am always entertained by the surprised expression and excited giggle the announcement of the length of our holiday triggers on the Thais.
We finished our drinks at a leisurely pace and jumped back on our scooter to explore a few more roads. It was a revelation.
It felt like diving into the real fabric of this place.
Narrow lanes dotted with Thai houses with clothes hanging outside, ladies preparing food on the side of the road and even some sort of fish smoking factory that one would have never guessed of being there from the main street.
I felt a bit like an intruder as S. dove into what felt their backyards scattering the chickens about. I am ashamed to admit that I don’t know enough about Thai culture to know whether this is OK. I should document myself!
I am always conscious of this so I didn’t take photos of the intimate street life.
Nonetheless we were always greeted by friendly children and people who looked at us with a bit of curiosity (probably wondering what we were doing there).
Inevitably and despite my worries, behind each corner there always seemed to be a friendly smile awaiting us.
I am liking the Thai people.
They seem really beautiful and genuine.