End of Backpacking

Aug 2013 — Deep skies are ceiling Paris, merry tourists from around the world are discovering the Europe’s top holiday destination. Looking people sunbathing at the parks of Louvre and river banks of Seine, its hard to remember to the chilling and muddy weathers of my previous visit in Dec 2011. Back then I was stopping while on transit to India, little knowing what was still ahead. Now am having similar stopover here, for a second journey to Thailand.

My three year long university of life is over now, and backpack will be used as a storage in the basement instead lugging stuff around. In a few weeks am beginning to work in Chiangmai, North Thailand, and live with girl am very fond of. The journey has teach me a lot about world, people, myself. It has given time to reflect past occurrences of life. Things that seemed to be so important before the journey, does so little today. Resignation from egoistic aspirations and material things, over simple (and cheesy) 🙂 things in life that are the best. Love, friendship, spontaneous smile on strangers face, health, funny joke, Tom Yam soup, good book… Am humble of having had the opportunity: 10 month round the world trip, winter in India and then another in Southeast Asia + many places in between. It hasn’t been continuous fireworks and “a blast”, but often rough road as well. Moments of loneliness. Desperation of arriving late to some mega city without any idea where to head next. Helplessness of watching relatives getting older and weaker. Nagging feeling how my savings will outlast the travel. I was never so seriously ill or had accident that would have required visit to doctor. Never threatened with violence anywhere, but was robbed once while sleeping (lost old travel computer and phone). My credit card was duplicated once and was used to steal little money. All in all, with these dues I paid, many things could have gone much worse so have to be thankful.

Notre Dame.

Am not resigning my little blog though, there are still plenty of unedited photos and stories to be added. And who knows, perhaps journey can continue in some form, some day. One thing that hasn’t changed (read: still haven’t learned anything). Just like last time, am lugging hefty SLR + lenses in the long boulevards of Paris. Pain in my shoulders has been a true French deja vu! @ Paris

Aug 2013 — Rain season is washing over Thailand, and many Thai’s are worried if rivers stay inside their normal channels. Massive floods two years ago halted factories in Bangkok, and are still in good memory. My travel bags are unpacked and things sorted out now. Its hard to comprehend not having to wake up anymore in the middle of the night, and lug all my worldly possessions on my back to some train station or bus terminal… looking after bullying stray dogs or drunks on the way. But with all its hurdles, backpacking can be so addictive experience that some fell for it rest of their lives. My trip has had permanent effect on me. Even if not going on road anymore, will be a backpacker by heart forever. @ Chiangmai