Thailand: Expectations vs Reality

3 week ago I travelled to Thailand on a one-way ticket to assist an amazing charity, Lanta Animal Welfare, with their communications.

You’ve already read the title, so I’ll just get on with it!

Flying from Bangkok to Krabi. Padi fields for DAYS.

The journey will be scary on your own

All in all, I realised that I love traveling alone. I’m quite a lonely person anyway and have spent a large part of this last year like that. I can’t say I miss it but I think it is always useful to be happy and capable with just yourself. In fact, I think I would have been worse with someone; there was only me, myself and I to take care of and worry about, and after that was all addressed it was pretty plain sailing. I was fully immersed.

A few goodbye tears out the way, the journey was pretty stress free. The only major downside was the not great feeling of rapidly changing air pressure over 2 days, and breathing in almost nothing but airport/airplane air for more than 24 hours. Getting into the warm, heavy Thailand air was like walking into a Sauna when you’re out of breath. Fabulous.

You’ll get a huge culture shock!

I won’t lie, when I walked into my first Thai toilet in Krabi airport after hours of travel, I was absolutely not happy with the no toilet roll situation. I was seriously happy that someone had given me a pack of tissues before leaving the UK. Thank you Grandma!!!

Past this, and learning how on earth to communicate with TukTuk drivers, I eased into things pretty quickly. In fact I was quite shocked that I wouldn’t be using a squat toilet in my accommodation! The no flushing paper rule and “Bum Gun” were of course, still in place.

Culture immersion was more what I felt. I think this was largely due to a visit to Borneo 2 years ago. This “trip” was a 10 day expedition into a remote rainforest. We passed through cities rarely frequented by “Farangs” and lived a crazy few days under the trees. When you are used to washing yourself, your clothes and anything else you can think of in a river, adapting to anywhere with an actual warm shower becomes pretty simple.

cats on bed
Maya and Juju on my bed… Who’s house is it now?

But you’re allergic to cats?!?!

Okay, very very specific one here. SO I’m working in an animal shelter, and I’m allergic to cats. Funny thing is, in this climate I hardly sneeze – unheard of when I’m in the UK – and the cats that live in our house can jump all over me and my bed and bar a few sniffs I’m completely fine.

I’ve never really had pets, but have always enjoyed being around those belonging to my friends and family – except for cats! In my first week a cat slept on my bed with me, something I’ve never experienced before. Very recently a cat started doing some very strange things on my bed, and I ended up crying huge tears of laughter. It was one of my favourite moments from the whole trip so far! Looking after these animals can be really tough, but they seriously make it so worthwhile. Everyday.

You’re going to get an amazing tan!

Okay so yes, I have tanned a bit. My one afternoon on a beach gave me some lovely bronze shoulders and made my belly a slightly darker shade of white. It’s nice to tan a bit, and it really goes well with my scratches, bruises, mozzi bites and, usually, some very questionable looking dirt…

Well that’s all I have time for in this blog.

Coming soon: The Wildlife of Ko Lanta, lots of dog photos, and other stories from this side of the earth.

Sand and Shadow
Tilley hat, bikini and factor 50 – very in this summer!

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