My flight via Dubai from Birmingham airport to Bangkok, Thailand was something I really never expected after sleeping for most of the journey after transferring at Dubai airport I slept most the journey, amazing when you consider the French lady next to me had a little baby which I thought would have kept me awake with crying but not a sound. In fact, the only thing that woke me up was the altitude change on landing at Bangkok airport.
I was so excited at this point I had to calm myself down as to where I would go from here as I hadn’t booked a room or made any so-called plans, this was something I wanted from the start as I needed to find a direction through not knowing too much and learning as I go on. However, Koasan Road, Banglampoo district in Bangkok was the direction everyone was talking about and although I was reluctant on reading most backpackers arrive here at some point and my thoughts of going the opposite way, I really needed to have a beer and meet new people to get the ball rolling.
After my nerves and excitement had settled a touch the heat and humidity began to hit home and I needed some water and quick so I made my first decision to jump on a bus to Koasan Road which was cheap but long-winded and extremely cramped but I was on my way so no worries apart from the lack of water for almost an hour or more. Goodness, me I had been in Thailand less than 30 minutes and I was moaning about the heat but isn’t that what newbies do? No, I had to motivate myself to enjoy the new experiences and get a grip on my new life here. Here’s a tip for the newbies that are just starting out, become part of what you are trying to achieve and adapt to change and become enlightened and curious about your new environment and your new life will adapt with you.
I had plenty of money in my British account and Thai Baht with me and all my visa cards so was at this point feeling secure but a little nervous, of course, these days it’s different as money can be exchanged easier with as little as an app or via an ATM and other services such as the Western Union service but back then it was mostly travellers cheques.
I was dropped off just up the road and walked a couple of Soi’s (streets) towards Koasan Road and then walked past the local police station and there it was Koasan Road, the mecca for backpackers, selling anything traveller based, fake University Degree’s and street vendor food for as a little as 20 Baht a meal. First thing that came to mind was the smells and the noise of tuk-tuks (three-wheeled motorbike taxi’s) moving up and down the street taking backpackers to their destinations and that smell of the drainage system or sewerage which was at most overpowering but I moved on and checked into a guest house called Sawasdee Smile at the back of the temple at the bottom of Koasan Road, somewhere I stayed a lot over the years during key travel plans until I rented a nice apartment later on in this blog.
Remember readers, members, and entrepreneurs, I did this all alone and it’s what I have done most of my life so if you’re looking for likeminded, interesting and motivated entrepreneurs just like you think about building a structure for your travel life, it will honour your business plans in the future. Write in your notebook these titles (People, Places, and Reasons) so that all conversations and ideas during your travels with those amazing experiences, breathtaking destinations and incredible stories make sense to you.
I did this from day one and it’s the best method of memorizing a particular place, with a chosen person and an idea and don’t forget that a photograph can express so much more when the time is perfect. The most amazing people often come back into your life without any form of communication, such as emails, phone numbers and letters after your first initial meeting but why does this happen? I will mention this later in this the reason for this.
Travelling alone was inspirational for me, I learned from my own thoughts and experiences and although I met lots of people it was my spiritual side later that helped me put all this into perspective. I would never have been able to continue without my own perspective of why things happen.
My first night was the most important in Thailand, I was motivated to achieve my goal from the first night and I did that by that meeting a bunch of lads from Manchester from the United Kingdom and most of them went on to be with me for at least the whole five weeks. We travelled, had the craziest of times and we later moved onto the living and working in Sydney, Australia. once again this will be covered later on on the blog and it’s one of the main reasons I began in marketing.
Bangkok is one of the places that can take you in and spit you out with nothing but a flight home and no more than a headache of questions from friends back home about the ladies of the night and a few drunken photographs and for many a new girlfriend for a few weeks but let’s not forget couples travel, ladies from the west travel alone and as your aware I’m sure the single guys that look for a wife or lady to take care of their desires for a week or two. A lot of my friends have a happy family life with kids and nice houses in Thailand and believe me they are wiser than the rest and can tell you a story too but they don’t know mine in full because I went my own direction to write it for everyone now. I hope your reading guys 🙂
Moving on, the first night was so fantastic and I was a little drunk but more overwhelmed I had made it. The Manchester lads and I and couple girls we met from the UK travelled with us to Koa Samui in southern Thailand, mission full-moon party in Koa Phangnan. We travelled on the sleeper train the whole journey and had such a laugh and got up to lot’s of mischief as lads do but it was all good honest fun and we learned a lot about each other as documented in my diary. Remember! People, Places, and Reason.
We spent three weeks in the southern islands of Thailand and the full moon party was amazing we didn’t sleep for three days at least and it showed as we slept for a whole day on the beach after we had returned to reality. I blame the bucket’s and the mushrooms but that’s another story. BTW! try not to mix too much Samson Whiskey with Redbull in a bucket it sends you mad. But it’s fun!
I needed at this point a few days away from all the madness and decided to go to Koh Phi Phi a small island in the south of Thailand where I met two lads from London called Luke and Phil Bell, two brothers. We chilled the days away and had a relaxed time with the odd night of partying but at most it was quiet and something I needed. I made lot’s of friends here as it was more adapted to a slow life with lots of traveller conversations. Mathew from Uk, later joined me as he travelled from Bangkok with a new passport and to be honest I never really found out how he managed that. I know lots of Thai people on Koh Pangnan who are still my close friends today. Phil and Luke later joined me in Brisbane, Australia, and this blog will cover a really important realization and the episode in my life that covers the Tsunami on boxing day, 2014 which flattened the lower hotels and beach bungalows and killed many tourists including a Thai friend called Som, I was really upset.
This sounds a bit crazy but I did mention I wanted to create my own route of adventure which I think I didn’t at this point I was on the traveller’s route of madness but it paid off with an invite from the Manchester lads who wanted me to join them to Australia for a year. I had spent a lot of money but made the decision to have my BMW in the UK sold by a friend and the money paid for my setup for Australia.
I had an idea to travel to Vietnam with Mathew, a good friend from the UK and met him in Koasan Road. Mathew said yes to join me to Vietnam so after applying for my Australian work visa and getting my passport returned Mathew and I went out to Patpong, a district in Bangkok to watch a live Filipino band and the Tuk Tuk ride was great fun as we raced down streets with other Tuk Tuks and made jokes on the way.
Mathew and I were a good team and we partied hard at times but we had great fun and what happened next was one of the funniest things in my memories. We had great fun and asked the Tuk Tuk driver to join us at the bar from where we purchased a bottle of whiskey and a few Redbulls and the night had begun. The Tuk Tuk driver really shouldn’t have been drinking but we poured him a few drinks and he smiled and said ‘Sanook Mak mak’ which means great fun in Thai. It was time to say goodbye to him so off he went. He came back ten minutes later and said that he couldn’t find his Tuk Tuk and BIG BOSS would be angry so we went with him to find it which we succeeded in doing so and off he went again. I and Matthew were in tears about this with laughter.
We moved onto a nightclub called Lucifers and partied on and later that night Mathew came back towards me with a look of panic and told me he had lost his passport which he had in his pocket, stamped with a Vietnam visa for the next day’s journey I was shocked. We searched the floor to no avail. He had to apply for new passport and I was to journey through Vietnam on my own.
I was in Vietnam for a month and 1 day in total and had overstayed by one day. The trip was excellent mostly on my own I travelled from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi resting mostly in Nha Trang near the beach for a chilled week or two. I had a great time and met a lady there who was a good friend and she worked at a sailors bar. The owner, Simon from Australia became a good friend and often brought me meals and had a few beers with me and told me what to expect and where to go when I arrived in Australia. One night, however, I was walking with another friend to another bar on the beach and these Vietnamese lads stopped us and although fun related they had somehow swiped my friend’s wallet. I kicked up a fuss and then told them to return it and as my anger started to rise, the wallet was thrown over our heads onto the sand and it was empty of $40 but all my friend’s visa cards were still in there. He looked at me and said what shall we do and I just pulled him to one side and said leave it’s not worth it and off we went $40 less.
We got to the bar and I went to purchase the drinks and couldn’t find my wallet and thought OMG, I’ve also been robbed. I walked back up the beach and nothing was found and then back to sailors bar. I couldn’t find it so went back to the hotel and went to cancel all my cards but the lines were down AGAIN. I was in panic mode with just notes in my pocket, a passport in the room and my backpack. I went to the toilet and on doing so I pulled out my wallet which I forgot I had stuffed down the front of my boxer shorts under my belt at the Sailors bar earlier in the evening when Simon had told me to be careful walking this late down the beach. I shouted out to myself and went back to the bar to laugh the night away, I was saved by Simon’s words to hide my wallet. How stupid or drunk I was to forget. Again one of my close shaves when travelling but my advice here is always to make small money transactions and carry little cash on evenings and leave your visa cards or at least one of them at the hotel.
I had done almost a month and Hanoi which was my last destination before moving back to Bangkok, Thailand and the last night I met a new friend called Ben, he was a nice lad and we had a meal and a few drinks and planned to meet in Singapore later that year which we did as mentioned later in this blog. We spent some time with some ladies and drank some cocktails and departed. One thought that always stayed with me was that Ben was going blind and this was his last adventure alone and he would lose his eyesight within a year, Isn’t it amazing how life turns out bus as mentioned we did meet again to create a few days of adventure. Bangkok bound it was then after managing to spend another two days in Vietnam, Hanoi and overstaying by one day. I was paranoid at the airport but the lady at passport check counter just smiled at me and asked me did I had a good time and off I went much more relaxed. Not sure how I managed to get away with that but the guys in front of me had to pay their overstay at another counter. Rule number one when travelling, always smile at the passport counter and look slightly dumb too.
I had to travel to Bangkok on my own to collect my thoughts on this huge decision not to return home on my five-week plan which was at this point about two months into my trip. My Australian working visa took a couple of days to finalize so I took a temple tour and went to the floating market and danced the night away on the evenings and my next journey was ceiled and awaiting me, Australia it was and I was so ecstatic with nerves and excitement again. You’ll now learn about how we became marketers in Sydney and where this took us as a group of now well-maintained travellers with great stories and new lives abroad to tell others about, the friend’s list grows and grows with travelling.