Honestly, before travelling to Asia, my only exposure to Asians relates to tourists I’d see in other places across the world and Las Vegas. This sounds odd and silly but it’s true. Asia and its culture were always completely foreign to me. Perhaps it was discomfort for the unknown that kept me away for so long and unsure when I arrived.
My uncertainty about travelling to a place is remarkably stunning given the fact I typically have no problem jumping into a foreign culture with eyes closed and arms wide open. Immediately after arriving, however, I knew I arrived home.
Tokyo is nice though there is a barrier simply due to the language. Words and feelings don’t translate easily in Japan. Once I reached Bangkok, everything changed. The Thai people are some of the best in the world. Their smiles are infectious and their humour melts any apprehension away. Bangkok itself is a bit chaotic but her people make up the difference.
I’ve written extensively about Bhutan on this blog and expect to see more soon. Bhutan is a land that touched deep within my soul. Even today when I view photos or think back to my experience, tears of happiness come to my eyes. When a place touches so deeply like Bhutan has done for me, you know it is not only special but a place worth a re-visit.
And then Bali. I visited Bali on a whim and without a thought of what I’d do once I arrived. In my quest to find an authentic experience in Bali, I met Wish. Wish took me to his home, biking through rice terraces and motorbiking through the countryside. Had I not met Wish, my interest in the Island of Gods wouldn’t have been strong enough to draw me back.
I’ve mentioned time and time before to travel with an open mind and an open heart. Asia is part of me now and its philosophy of life is one I will explore more in the days ahead.