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This book proves everyone should go travelling at least once.
Everything I am writing about is completely true and actually happened to me over my travels across Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Greece.
But the MAIN reason you should read this, is because of what you get from travelling and no, I'm not just talking about STD's (to clarify I never did, but it's fair to say they do get around.) Instead, I'm actually talking about the personal skills you build; Confidence, yes after traveling you will walk into a room of people and feel like you can go and talk to anyone. Communication, after traveling with Europeans, Asians, South Americans, Canadians, God forbid them lot in between; don't worry I'm joking, not all people from the US are bad, (just the one running the country), you understand verbal and non-verbal communication so much better! Probably one of the most important skills is Problem Solving but most importantly I Learnt to stop giving a sh*t cause I realised no one gave a sh*t if you looked like a bag of cr*p after a night out and if they do, you'll probably never see those ball bags again ever anyone, so really who gives a sh*t what they think.
And you know the best ways of gaining these skills are by firstly; JUST GO TRAVELLING, it's that simple. Second, LITERALLY HAVE AS MUCH FUN AS POSSIBLE.
Here's a story of my first f*ck up in Thailand, I had been traveling for less than a week and I really f*cked up. This is a story about sorting problems out and realising actually sh*t does go wrong but you have to stay optimistic because it will work out for you, maybe just not in the way you expected. But anyways, I went to Thailand for about three weeks and after a few days in Bangkok, I met a few friends and we went to Chiang Mai, in the North; and from there we ventured further North to Pai. This is where I realised I had messed up. The most important bag to me, this small bag that had my passport and wallet, as well as pretty much every important thing in terms of papers, visa etc minus my phone a few 100 baht was left in Chiang Mai, and somewhere that was three hours car journey away, and I couldn't just nip back for it because Thailand doesn't work like that and also I booked to stay in Pai for four days so I'm not wasting those nights! Seriously, five days in and I already messed up big time! As you can imagine, I was the massively stressed as I've arrived at this hostel, in the middle of nowhere, to make matters worse, the hostel receptionist is telling me to calm down. I was pretty much hyperventilating at this point and thought that wasn't the best thing to be saying at that moment. But the guy there was annoyingly chill about it and helped me ring the hostel I stayed at back in Chiang Mai, over three hours away, Hug Hostel, Chiang Mai. Eventually I got through to them and they said they had it and they were keeping it safe for me when I came back to collect it. Well that was a bit of an anti-climax but it quickly gave a me a seemingly well needed wake up call but also I learnt problems can be solved, so don't stress about it, take action and do something about it.
Well what a palava and what a way to start to my travels; you wonder if it was the beginning of many a f*uck up... you wouldn't be wrong. The reason I mention it, is because of what happened next.
The evening after, we had just watched people throw and spit fire; pretty impressive to be fair to them and after getting a few beers I found myself talking to some Europeans who had arrived that afternoon.
They were laughing about some guy; apparently it was some guy who left his passport in Chiang Mai the day before. I got a little anxious so delve deeper trying to work out if it was me they meant by asking which hostel they had previously stayed at, they said Hug Hostel, again becoming increasingly nervous so asked what the name was and they said they remembered the surname was Cooper. Well oh sh*t, yes they were talking about me. Humiliating and laughing about me in front of me. But I definitely wasn't going to let them know I was that guy! So I did what I think everyone else would do, I joined in humiliating that guy (me) and went along with it! The last thing I was going to do was give them any reason to think it was me they were talking about. So when they said they thought it would be funnier if this guy didn’t get back his passport, I laughed and agreed with them but inside I'm thinking he is a massive douche. I mean who wanted to be humiliated when trying to meet new people? So I thought we can't let them keep talking about it or they might realise I was the person in question, so quickly but not so subtly moved the conversation onto the easiest conversations for anyone from any country can talk about; football, and I quickly became a lot more comfortable, but subtly wasn't needed because they were high as a bloody kite and so luckily they must have forgotten the conversation by the morning!
After knowing the hostel had all my important possessions, I went on to have the best time in Pai, having the most fun, riding a moped, waking up for a ride to a peak to watch the sunrise, getting really drunk and riding home; no it's not recommended, ahh well, sh*t happens; a phrase that quickly became overused. But Pai though, if you ask anyone that has been there, will say it was the best place in Thailand by a mile, but I'm going to let you go there and work out if that is the case. I disagree though because I think there was a better location in Thailand that less people have been to but I'll tell you about that later. After a week in Pai, I went back to Chiang Mai, got my stuff, thanked them to which they said to me, "you are so lucky"; but don't worry I realised that, partly because my dad also kept telling me, albeit, quite sometime later because I worked out it is easier to tell them something that went wrong but is fixed at the time of speaking as opposed to telling the problem before it is fixed because then I can add... "but don't worry, it's fine, I've sorted it" and again quickly became an overused phrase with my family.