Opinion

The Reality of Travelling: One epic journey

Reality of travelling

So you want to travel do you?

Well, before you set off on your once in a life time adventure, let me fill you in about the reality of travelling. I’m not referring to the holiday aspect of being away, where you eat amazing foods, visit beautiful temples and meet native folk who will accept you like one of their own.

No, what I speak of is the actual travelling part.

Waiting around at bus stops for four hours in the middle of the day, being on a sleeper train for 12 hours, too scared to go for a pee in case anyone takes your rucksack, or boarding an over packed, smelly and dirty boat.

One of my particularly painful journeys, from Saigon in Vietnam to Koh Samui in Thailand took over forty hours and consisted of three taxis, one plane, a train, two buses and a ferry.

I had been in Saigon (Ho Chi Ming City) for about four days. Being one of the best cities I had ever visited, I was sad to leave. Saying farewell to the bright lights I got in a taxi to the airport at 8pm. My flight to Bangkok was due to leave at 11.35pm and was only to take an hour. I had looked up train times going south online, and there was one leaving at 8am the next morning. I accepted that there was going to be a few hours waiting around, but this comes with the territory, and I just thought I could mosey around Hua-Lamphang Station for a few hours.

I arrived at the airport early, but it was so busy that I couldn’t even get into the building. Instead I waited outside on the pavement sitting on my rucksack reading until my flight was called and I was finally allowed into the airport.

Considering the flight was only an hour long, I was impressed to find a private TV on each seat, and the offer of a chicken sandwich (alas I’m a vegetarian) and a chocolate biscuit half way through. Stelious, please take note.

After landing with a bump, going through immigration and collecting my luggage I got a taxi outside Bangkok airport at about half one in the morning to take me to Hua-Lamphang Station in the city centre.

The first ‘shock moment’ came when I realised the station was closed. Yes, it was 2am, but for some odd reason it just never occurred to me that it wouldn’t be open 24/7. What was even more shocking is that there were about 100 people or more sleeping or lying on the ground outside and surrounding the station.

I could handle a few hours sleeping on the pavement, surely?

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2 Comments
  • http://twitter.com/RickyCarbis/status/246345848517177344/ @RickyCarbis

    The Reality of Travelling: One epic journey http://t.co/dQjwip7A

  • http://www.living-my-life-in-reverse.com Andrea

    Ah, this post made me reflect on my own trials and tribulations with the TRAVELING aspect of, well, TRAVEL! The waiting, the worrying, the wondering. All part of the package. This is where the expression “it’s either a good time or a good story” comes in. Great article!

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