Let me share the beginning of my travel journey with you! It’s long, but completely worth the read….I know I have been traveling with my family since birth, but I never thought about the day where I would literally go out the country without them. I met a random chick through one of my friends and she was a gate agent for Delta. I knew nothing about her besides the fact that I always saw her with my friend on campus. Well one day a simple “hi” turned into a mini conversation about how she was going to Bangkok at the end of the semester. That’s when it clicked! Well, actually nothing really clicked, but I knew I wanted to go! At the time my dad worked for ExpressJet, so I knew my flight would be cheap. I followed her on IG and saw she really traveled a lot and at that moment I said, “I wanna be about that life”. I was so stressed about how I was going to explain this to my parents because I never thought they would go for it. My mom was so skeptical about it but my dad was all for it. This is when the madness started! I agreed to go.
I didn’t want to seem like such a rookie to traveling without mommy & daddy so I didn’t ask many questions, and the questions I did ask were unanswered soooo that was a waste. I completely overpacked because I just didn’t know what we were doing. I tried inviting other friends but everyone had negative things to say; “you’ll get kidnapped over there” “you don’t even know the people you are traveling with” “they don’t like black people” etc etc etc. I probably should have thought all of that through a little more, but I’m glad I didn’t. I arrived at the airport and there were 3 of us ready to go. Here’s the sweaty palm part, we had to SPLIT up in order for me to make the flight because we were flying standby and there was only 1 seat left. WHAT!?! Yup, the other two had to fly to a different airport, then we were supposed to meet in Tokyo for our connecting flight to Bangkok. You can imagine the fear I had “should I go through with this” “are they going to ditch me the whole trip” “what if we don’t meet up in Tokyo, do I still take that second flight”?
Well 9 hours later, I get to Tokyo only to find out the others flight got delayed and they probably wouldn’t make the connecting flight. Now I’m stuck overseas and I had no phone service so I couldn’t just pick up the phone to call anyone for advice. I finally found someone that spoke a little English to tell me where their flight was landing, and I sat at that gate biting my nails! We never discussed what happens if the flight is delayed (nor if they didn’t make that flight to Tokyo). Deep breath– I see two girls running off the plane, and there was no time to talk, we had to jet to the other side of the airport to make our second flight. I was finally able to relax just a little. We arrive in Bangkok to find out 3 guys joining us (nobody knew who they guys were). There was one guy who didn’t make his flight but his friends did. Now we’re stuck in a hotel with three random guys ha ha it was crazy.
We spent 4 days in Thailand and had a blast. I was so glad I didn’t let anyone stop me from making that trip. I only had $300 in my bank account (college life) and to my surprise that actually lasted the entire trip. This trip unlocked a new part of me I never knew existed. “I’m a traveler” “I’m really on the other side of the world” “YOLO”- that was the motto. The trip was everything plus more…….until it was time to fly standby back home. We got to the airport to find out our flight was completely over sold and they only had flights to America every other day. WHAT!?! We sat in the airport trying to find every possible way to get home, even if that took flying to different airports just so we would have somewhere to sleep. Well three of the people were fortunate to make it out of Bangkok but the rest of us were stuck 2 more days. We had to get another hotel (at this point I spent my last few dollars on souvenirs) so that hotel turned into sleeping in the airport because that’s where the free Wi-Fi was. Two days later, I finally made it back home and my new motto was ‘what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger’. I figured that was the worse that can happen (knock on wood), and I have been non stop ever since.
If you’re still reading this far, thank you! I hope my story has inspired you and proves that you should never let anything stop your journey. You’ll always find a way!
Tips on visiting Bangkok:
I wish I could go into details from our trip but it was so long ago, I don’t have exact info.
- The US dollar is stronger than the baht. Currently, 1 US dollar is equal to 33.30 bahts. That is why Bangkok is raved about for millennials to visit. If you tell them you are American, they call you “rich rich” lol.
- You will need an international charger! I remember begging the front desk for a charger. Turns out they had a whole drawer full and they only requested I return it at the end of my stay. So don’t forget to always check the front desk for any items you may have forgot (chargers, hair supplies, toothbrush etc.). You can also ask your Airbnb host as well.
- What souvenier to buy? Thailand is known for making suits. Most travelers visit Thailand for a customized handmade suit.
Spend a few days in Pattaya!
Take a quick cab to Pattaya. It’s an hour away but the ride was super cheap. Pattaya walking street is a huge strip with a ton of bars, restaurants, clubs & shopping. You can find all the
baddest women lady boys there. Remember the hilarious Asian guy from the movie ‘The Hangover’? It’s an entire strip of them! I just loved it. If you are fortunate, you would get our cab driver Mr. Bunsung. He provided the best cab experience I’ve ever had (apparently I remember him years later). He kept us rolling on our drive. But anyway, if you visit Pattaya, please make sure you stop by a strip club; it was the highlight of our trip & probably one of my top unforgettable moments of my travel life.
There is also a
not so clean beach on the strip & this is where we went parasailing for a great price. Good luck with this! Just know I survived lol.