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Thailand epiphanies

Author: D. Rockett
Date of Trip: April 2013

I’m a traveler whose astrological sign is that of a rabbit and whose timidity was reflected in the fact that I didn’t want to touch a monkey in a monkey sanctuary, knowing all that I know about monkey attacks and films that don’t show the little guys in a positive light (“Outbreak,” “Planet of the Apes”).

I’m a traveler who prefers bread and water over porridge with seaweed strips.

I am a traveler who much like Charlie in “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory,” was agog during the variety of tours that took us by floral arrangements that looked edible and smells and colors that had you turning your head out of avid curiosity.

I’m a traveler who can power shop in a night market like no other.

I’m a traveler who likes the idea of bidets, but not manual ones.

I’m also a traveler who likes the idea of toilet paper. Never thought about it before, until its absence became a factor.

As a traveler I revel in the beauty of architecture of yesteryear and the guides that make it come alive for us.

As a traveler, I am freaked out over the idea of communal flip-flops used for bathroom purposes.

As a traveler, I relish the magic of a thai massage shared with like-minded friends and doled out by a kick-ass transgender.

And as a traveler who likes a bout or two of kickboxing, can also squeal with glee over the appearance of a Haggen-Daz ice cream location in a foreign land.

I am a traveler who judges the greatness of a trip not by the ache in her joints or the swag she has acquired, but by the degree of discombobulation one needs to get over once on America terra firma. 18 hours one way on a plane. Almost 4 days to get back to some semblance of sleeping normalcy. ‘Nuff said.

I am a traveler who goes while the getting is good. For those who wait…tsunamis, hurricanes, and other natural disasters could factor in your plans, making you miss out on scenes that can’t be replicated. I may have been a nomad in a previous life, but I’m keeping the dream alive in this one. When I travel, everything makes sense. I am at peace. If Zen can be achieved it is through this and only this. Just ask my airport chauffeur (aka Dad). Before Trip: “See ya dad, I’ll call when I land.” After trip (with beaming smile spreading ear to ear) “HI DAD!” I wish this feeling to the world, to the next generation. It’s a feeling that recently manifested in my mother, who left the country for the first time this year to head to Mexico. I dragged her kicking and screaming: “Don’t spend money on me! You go, enjoy yourself!” That was pre-trip Moms. Post-trip Moms: “I have my bags packed for the 2014 trip!”

I am a traveler. Not necessarily of Anthony Bourdain status or even that of the Samantha Brown/Rick Steves variety. No, I am a traveler who regards the act of traveling as a watershed moment in which I have finally become the person I will be for the rest of my life – an inquisitive onlooker who will spend her last ducats to see how the other half lives.

I am a traveler. She’s a traveler, he’s a traveler…wouldn’t you like to be a traveler too…be a traveler, be, be a traveler…(channeling the old Dr. Pepper theme song).

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