Travelling alone can be fun and exciting. Or lonely, sad and purely boring – depending on where you are. But that’s exactly why travelling is so cool, memorable and addictive. The good times feel absolutely amazing when you have just had the worst day of your life, anything from freaking out and thinking you lost your passport to turning out looking like a lobster after a day of snorkeling… Damn, the white skin of mine peels quite nicely.
I’m normally a nice, calm and more or less lovely person (I’d like to think so anyway) but at times the travel fatigue turns this little angel into a devil with steam bursting out like of a pressure cooker. Hunger mixed with the drenching humidity and having been awake for a good day or two caused me to regress to a toddler and throw a nice little tantrum in Little India, Singapore. Throwing my 30kg backpack down, kicking it and swearing in Finnish felt somehow deeply satisfying. I must have looked nuts. I cannot emphasis enough on how sad it was to come to the realization that a) i’m alone and no one is gonna help me b) it’s getting late and I have no money to pay for a taxi and most importantly c) why the hell did I ever imagine I’d be able to carry that much?! After a deep breath I lifted my backpack, pretty much crawled to the hostel 3km away and oh, slept like a baby that night.
The feeling when you first walk out of a plane, smell the air, get through the customs and head off to the new exciting place is exhilarating – it’s time for another adventure! But sometimes travelling alone can be a little scary as well, especially for a tiny blond girl like me.
I don’t usually get lost. But when I do, I lose the track of time exploring and rather worry about finding a nice meal than think on how to get to the hostel eventually. Got my priorities right huh? Well Bangkok was a bit of an adventure for me.
Second night in Bangkok, woops, I’ve missed the last train and surprise surprise, don’t have enough money for taxi. I couldn’t catch the bus either because the hostel was situated in the middle of the protest areas and thus filled with roadblocks (this was back in Feb 2014). I figured a 1,5km walk to the hostel wasn’t too bad. I was wrong.
After the first 300m I started getting a bit nervous, there were small groups of men hanging nearby and I could’ve sworn some people had walked right behind me the whole way. I was probably worrying over nothing but by this stage I had sussed out if I remembered any karate moves, how fast I could potentially run, and if jumping onto the road and yelling would make some nice motorist to give me a ride. No cars around.
I was freaking out and then an angel in the shape of a 60-year-old local man pulled up in his scooter and asked if I needed a ride. Oh yes please! I jumped behind him onto the scooter and off we went.
I have never felt that free in my life than in that evening, sitting behind the small old man, driving 60 something kmh with my hair flying in the wind. The cool evening air was caressing me, the first stars looking down, I smiled. I was happy, right there in that moment, I felt fully alive.
We did a bit of a detour and managed to squeeze through the roadblock. He took me straight in front of the hostel and I couldn’t thank him enough. I gave him all the money I had on me, maybe three times the normal fare (still not enough for a taxi), said goodbye and watched him drive off.
From then on, I caught the tuk tuk. And made sure I’d had enough money to pay for it, though as it turned out the next day, cash wasn’t what the driver wanted… Will tell you more about it later.