The joy of travel in Asia

I feel like I’m on a rock. Only this rock is in the middle of Bangkok, on Samsen road. I’ve taken out one of those inflatable thin mattresses. You know, the ones where at first you feel alright, but later you don’t know what position to sleep in, so you basically don’t sleep. And my rock happens to be in a fridge. A blanket is provided, but it’s too thick. So I’m sweating in a fridge. In the morning I woke up with a cold.

When you start travelling, you give up certain comforts. You leave all that is familiar and trade it for a world of surprises and the unexpected. You pack a few things into a bag, a few things that you´ll be wearing over and over again every week. A few things that will gradually get redder or browner from dirt, get more and more holes or shrink from the many times you give it to a mysterious laundromat.

You give up good nights of sleep in a comfortable bed and trade it for a smelly room full of people in bunk beds. You get a rock hard bed with stained sheets and a pillow that is made for a giant in return. You fall asleep and get woken up by every idiot that walks in a bit too noisily and turns on the main lights. In the middle of the night you either wake up sweating, or shivering because the airconditioning is too high. In the morning all your muscles are sore and you try to drown your sleepiness with a cup of tasteless coffee.

It´s time for breakfast. If you´re lucky the hostel will supply some complimentary pieces of white toast, the kind they think Westerners love. There will be two big jars, one with butter, one with jam. They are filled with crumbs and the jam and butter slowly start to mix. If there´s nothing at the hostel, you can always visit a plastic-chair restaurant or food stall that serves rice. Get used to it. It’s what you’ll be eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. And every now and then you’ll invest in an ‘expensive’ hamburger, and shamelessly devour it, licking your fingers afterwards, completely satisfied.

When you start travelling, you give up certain comforts. When you start travelling you give up everything you know and trade it for the most beautiful scenery, interesting encounters, endless conversations, new challenges, strange cultures and a life that will never bore you. When you start travelling you`ll get a new appreciation for all that you have, you open your mind to other opinions and ways of living, and you learn what is really important to you. Start travelling.

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