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Me Love You Loooong Time!!!

From not happy to very happy

LAOS | Monday, 11 July 2011 | Views [922]

So having not had an awesome time since Railey (although SOME good times), I went down to Cambodia and after Siem Reap and Phenom Penh I ended up in Kompong Cham and I was NOT a happy bunny. There were no backpackers there and I was basically getting very lonely and DYING to speak to some British people!

I pushed on to Laos (I really had to push myself) and met some people on the bus on the last part of the journey to the 4000 islands. So I now have a little gang, at least temporarily. This place is amazing. So so peaceful and relaxing it's insane. It really is a little slice of paradise (but it's not on the coast - it's a couple of islands in the middle of the Mekong River). A short while ago I was experiencing one of the best natural highs ever, just so incredibly relaxed and happy.

So a big contrast from only 1 or 2 days ago. That's part of the adventure I suppose. Sometimes the perseverance pays off.

I have a little bungalow (like a shed) next to the river with a hammock on the patio, for about 40p a night(!). My gang had a few beers last night and today we went for a ride on some bicycles to look at the mighty rapids nearby. I came back a little earlier because I was convinced it would rain hard and didn't want my camera to get wet. On getting back I watched a couple of films in one of the bars with a french girl who was knocking around, within spitting distance of the water. When the films finished, they put on Coldplay's 'Fix You' and I was in heaven.

The last time I got a high like this was on Railey when I arrived with Marcel and was laid in my hammock looking at big limestone cliffs.

I felt so incredibly happy it felt like I was literally going to burst.

So this is a very good thing, I wasn't happy a couple of days ago but it just doesn't seem to matter anymore!


EDIT (13/06/2013): This story really doesn't convery just HOW fucking miserable I was in Kompong Cham. I was so miserable it really did feel like I had slipped into a minor depression. I was lost as to what to do. I was DYING for some company, but not just any company, not the kind that fucks off after a couple of days leaving me to fend for myself again. No! Fuck it man, I was NEEDY! I NEEDED some proper companionship!

So there I was, in my miserable bland hotel in the middle of a really fucking boring town, feeling incredibly along. I remember the sensation of 'zooming out' and remembering exactly where I was i.e. in the middle of fucking nowehere, a LONG way from home. In the middle of Cambodia?! I mean, WTF?!

At that moment I realised I had to do something, but what? What followed from that point, I think probably built some character in me. After all, as they say, 'adversity builds character'. So true!

I realised that, quite obviously, I was completely alone in a far-flung corner of the world, feeling completely miserable. And because I was completely alone in a far-flung foreign country, I only had 2 options: 1. Travel directly to Bangkok and take the next flight home to Mummy and Daddy. No! 2. Leave this town and find some travel buddies. I quickly realised that option no.2 was the correct choice. And because I HAD to do it, I MADE it happen.

The hardest part was deciding on the next step and forcing myself into it. I forced myself to book a bus to Laos, yet another country and go to the 4000 islands. This was was really quite scarey and difficult. I was so miserable I didn't think I would be able to have a decent conversation with anyone I might meet, and even if I could do that, how could I forge a strong relationship in that state, in order to carry on backpacking with them?

Well, what followed was partly luck, but definitely also down to my social engineering. When I got talking to Micah and Mari and Sander on the bus, instead of 'going with the flow' all backpacker-stylee, I actively (yet subtly) engineered the chain of events to make sure we ended up at the same guesthouse and got huts next to each other. In fact, subtly though I've made it sound, primarily all it took was to have the balls to say, "hey let's get the same guesthouse together". The reply? "Yeah sure!". And later, "hey, we should get huts next to each other, that would be cool!". The response? "Yeah sure!".

It really was as simple as that. Luckily, it seemed the others were quite keen to meet other people too, but if it wasn't for my proactiveness, I wouldn't have got to know these people and forged a genuine friendship with them. What followed was a really blissful 6 weeks of backpacking with them through Laos and back into Thailand, finishing in Chiang Mai. It was AWESOME.

What I took from this experience? It meant the highs I experienced were higher than if I'd gone travelling with friends. Sometimes we'd all be laying in our hammocks watching the sunset over the hills in the distance, beer in hand, watching the river glide past and listening to Pink Floyd. I'd be so ecstatically happy and then the thought would pop into my head, 'I did this. I rocked up in a foreign country COMPLETELY alone and this is now'. That thought would tip my incredibly happy state into one of the highest highs I'd ever known. This happened on 2 or 3 occasions. (And no, I wasn't under the influence of anything!).

A philosophy of my own that was borne out of this experience is: "If you REALLY desire something. Truly, deeply, fiercely desire something, it will happen." I'm generally of the opinion that people get what they want. Sometimes, it could be something negative and they think it's been thrust upon them, but it could have been due to a negative desire or belief lurking in their subconscious. Conversely, when you STRONGLY desire something, your actions naturally follow without you really having to consciously think about what to do. You will make decisions and take actions that engineer your desire into reality. Your body language and the 'energy' you give off will be picked up on by other people and they will (often without knowing it) forge your desire into a reality also.

Tags: 4000 islands, backpacking, cambodia, don det, laos, loneliness



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