12 days on the ground. 38 hours of travel time. So many amazing photos. Thailand was a trip (pun intended). It shouldn’t have taken me this long to process this trip honestly, but shortly after getting back from this trip, I decided to go to Ghana. I was all over the place, yes. If you follow me on Instagram, then you were able to track my trip and join in on what went down on basically a daily basis. If you don’t follow me, why the heck not? After you finish reading this, go back and relive the shenanigans in full color (look for Thailand highlights in the profile).
I wanted to share a few of my thoughts and lessons learned while on my trip that I feel would do us all some good as we continue on our own personal journeys. If you read my last newsletter (so very long ago), you know how I even ended up on Thailand (I turned it into a blog post, so here it is if you need a refresher or are a new subscriber). When I got to Thailand, mainly the retreat, it was clear I was supposed to be there. The villas were PHENOMENAL. With a private chef for breakfast and if we wanted dinner, housekeeping services and a manager to arrange transportation and such for us, it was something I had never experienced and now feel like I should always have (spoilt!). But this isn’t about the views or the spa treatment that had me questioning what day it was. This is about being seen. This is about being accepted and validated without actively seeking those things.
I stated in that I knew I would be met on that trip with everything I needed and didn’t know I needed. I was received with open arms. The retreat was set up so I could freely be myself without judgement (and if they were, I was so oblivious to them, I didn’t even notice. Too busy looking at the blue water outside my bedroom window- but I digress). I went in with the mindset that I was going to maximize this trip and have the best time for myself, no one else. This is a once in a lifetime moment and I was going to leave nothing on the table. Let me tell you what happened when I showed up for myself to ensure I had a great time- opportunities and budding friendships/business partnerships. So what would be my first lesson?
Be your true, authentic self and show up in every situation.
This can be hard when we are going into a new place with people we don’t know. You may think you don’t want to be too much or come off too strong at first, lest you turn someone off. Let me tell you something sis. You will always be too much for some people. Those aren’t your people. I was my exuberant self because I was in frickin Thailand and people vibed with my vibe. After the retreat, someone actually told me that as soon as I started to show up in the room on the first night, she knew she loved me instantaneously. That’s the type of energy you should receive back when you are in the right spaces. Allow yourself to be seen fully and watch what happens.
After the retreat, I went out on my own for an additional week. My next mini lesson is to maximize on your opportunities to the best of your abilities and finances. I could have come home after the retreat, but after traveling almost an entire day to get there, I thought it best to see a little bit more of what Thailand had to offer. My next hotel WAS NOT as luxurious as the villa we stayed in for the retreat. That’s OK. When I was booking my accommodations, I was trying to be budget friendly. But that doesn’t always turn out the best when you are in a not so developed country. There has only been one other time I was so unhappy with my accommodations, I stayed up half the night, left super early in the morning without showering and sat in the airport disgusted and disgusting, aching to go home. This time around, it wasn’t that bad. I just didn’t like it. So after one night, I found a different place- which happened to be a hostel I wanted to stay at in the first place. I was so much happier with my second place, I almost wish I was staying longer. Lesson #2?
Be honest with what you expect and what you want when you travel.
I was trying to be budget friendly and showcase my thriftiness while traveling. While doing so, I neglected the items and standard that makes me comfortable. I almost stayed there to prove a point- to my followers about traveling on a budget and to myself that I could handle this mild discomfort. It wasn’t that bad and I could handle it. But when it came down to it, I was unhappy and could change my situation to make it better. So I did. I had a better experience because I was willing to admit that sometimes thriftiness doesn’t work with every situation.
My last lesson is to:
Honor your desires
Whether you travel alone or with a group, ensure you are having a good time. If that means you have to stop midway through an excursion to take a break or break off on your own (which I did. No one was going to stop me from enjoying the nightlife of Patong Beach), do so. You know what makes you happy on vacation, so make sure those items make the itinerary. There were nights where I wanted to go out, but my body told me to lay down. I allowed myself the space to be OK with lying in bed slightly earlier than I expected. I allowed myself the space to know what there were ways to get back to my hotel late at night if I chose to go out at night (normally on the back of a scooter!). In staying an extra week, seeing the nightlife, being open to hanging out and talking to strangers and listening to my gut and body when it said go AND stop, I honored myself on this trip like never before. And it felt great!
So, if you haven’t done so already, go check out my Thailand Part 1 and 2 highlights on Instagram. There are so many pictures to share from the trip so make sure you follow me to get a taste of what it was like out there. I pray that you have found my lessons valuable and will apply them on your next trip- big or small. Happy travels!