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Her Diary Entries Help Other Travellers


December 26 -- Ko Lanta Yai, Thailand
What a Christmas. Today is a lazy day. I tanned on the beach and swam in the warm ocean. Tonight, we will sit around the fire on the beach and learn Thai songs and marvel at our glorious luck.

January 1 -- Ko Lanta Yai, Thailand
Wonderful party last night to ring in the new year. I was having such a good time at the party on the beach. It was only at midnight, when it became painfully clear how alone I actually am here, that I felt homesick. Feel better today after calling home. Costs the moon, but it was worth it to hear my dad's voice.

January 3 -- 2000 Krabi, Thailand
Said my farewells today to Mama, Oy, Bang, Bao, and the rest on Ko Lanta. Sort of hard because I feel like I've become part of the family. They've been so kind, open, generous, and fun. Mama sent me off with pineapple, watermelon, bananas, and a couple of yards of beautiful green Thai silk. I'll miss them.

January 5 -- East Railae, Thailand
I'm thoroughly enjoying myself in this idyllic place, surrounded by limestone karsts and blue, blue ocean. And as I suspected it might, home is looking better and better all the time. Like HOME, somehow, something I've never felt about Toronto and my life there.

January 9 -- East Railae, Thailand
I realize why I'm so lonely here in Railae. Aside from the fact I haven't had a conversation in 4 days, the fact is that I formed attachments on Ko Lanta. I fell in love with the children there, bonded with the grown-ups. It was hard to leave. And easy, because I was itching to see new places.

January 15 -- Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi is a remarkably beautiful city, filled with bicycles and street markets and little lakes and lovely temples. Vietnam's not been easy, but there've been way more ups than downs. I'm feeling the loneliness more here than in Thailand...

January 17 -- Sa Pa, Vietnam
This place is more beautiful than any where I've ever been. This is what I was thinking as we wound our way up into the tiered, misted mountains. And then I misted up myself thinking about what's even more beautiful: my best friend's voice, my nieces' laughter, my mother's face... Despite the new, glorious, fantastical sounds, the best is my name on the lips of my people, a cry of welcome, friend, I missed you. I'm so glad you're home. I guess I'm a little emotional. But who wouldn't be? I feel so alive, open to everything, hurt and joy alike.

January 19 -- Bacha, Vietnam
If possible, Bacha is even more gorgeous than Sa Pa, even in winter. But my heart is heavy. These people are so poor. They don't really have enough to eat in winter. They are shy but generous. I find it difficult to reconcile their poverty and living conditions with their sweet souls. I'm having a case of privilege-itis.

January 23 -- Catba Island, Vietnam
This is a wonderful place, a world apart, a floating town filled with lovely, bright children. But I'm tired. Sometimes I feel I'm in exile. I'm homesick and scared. I'm fed up and hungry. I feel like I'll never be totally clean again. One of the things I miss most is my language, its subtleties. Also miss cheese. And red meat. And mashed potatoes with gravy. And really good wine. I'm soon going home. I can't wait.

February 5 -- Karachi, Pakistan
I'm in a very strange airport waiting for my connecting flight to England. Getting on and off planes is such a breeze now. I'm an old pro. It feels weird to have left Southeast Asia. I haven't organized all the information in my mind. I'm looking forward now, not back. I can't wait to see my friends in London. But what I do think is that this trip may have been one of the most important things I've ever done for myself. Time will tell. I'm tired, but I feel terrific. At peace. Very strong. And happy.

Women's words on caution and courage...

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
(Eleanor Roosevelt)

There are two ways of meeting difficulties. You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself to meet them.
(Phyllis Bottome)

Chance is the first step you take. Luck is what comes afterward.
(Amy Tan)

Look twice before you leap.
(Charlotte Bronte)

When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before.
(Mae West)

More solo travel motivation...

If you need further motivation to try solo travel, here are a few more links you might like to follow...


Keeping yourself safe and happy...

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