I tried to sit down over the holiday break and reflect upon the year past. Between visits home to Portland, a soccer-packed summer of Timbers, Thorns, and MLS All-star matches, forays into the wilds of the Olympic Peninsula, and multiple hops to Alaska, it’s been a surprisingly busy travel year. I probably have some favorite new cafes and bookstores, hiking trails and waterfalls to share. But I am sitting here at a blank. My mind is focused forward, not back.
Right now, I am anticipating the journeys to come.
In a very short month I will once again board a plane to Bangkok. The ultimate goal is a friend’s wedding in Omkoi, for which I have already packed my Karen outfit for the ceremony, the intricate hand-woven shirt made by the bride, the skirt made by my students; treasures that have sadly been tucked away in my dusty closet. To have an occasion to wear them again is thrilling, for it means soon I will be reuniting with a far-flung community, friends of the heart and spirit.
I decided to take advantage of the 30 day visa granted at the Bangkok airport, so I will also hop around central and northern Thailand on the way to and from the wedding. It will be the height of Thailand’s tourist season, which for this vagabonder means avoided the ultra-tourist spots in favor of out-of-the-way, everyday working towns and sleepy villages (okay, sleepy by Thai standards….). From Chiang Mai I can strike out towards Phrae, Nan, Lampang, Lamphun – all worthy of tourist attention, but not overcrowded by farangs.
So forget the nostalgic look back to 2014. My 2015 journey already dances like sugarplums in my dreams, one foot out the door and time hurtling ever forward.