After six months of travelling, I headed back to Thailand to spend a week with one of my best friends who had come out to celebrate her thirtieth birthday. She brought her new man with her, and along with a pair of honeymooners that I had met on the boat back from Malaysia we all indulged in a week of excessive eating and drinking.
It was great in many respects, but I felt deflated when we parted ways, and was more than ready for a new adventure. The two day trip to Bangkok afterwards was supposed to be for chilling, but didn’t end up being as uneventful as I had planned.
I met up with some different friends from London, who were on their way to the Southern islands. It got rather debauched, and we had a drunken all-nighter. High on sex, Thai whiskey and goodness knows what else, fun was once again being taken to the extreme.
Early the next morning I was faced with an emotional dilemma: stay with them and go to the Southern Thai islands, or stick to my plan and catch my bus to Cambodia. Plan A was certainly a lot riskier than Plan B would have been, but something propelled me to take that bus.
Life changing decisions
So I bid them farewell, headed to the Khao San Road and lined up for my bus. Whilst in the queue I got chatting to a small group of people who seemed to know each other. It turned out they didn’t, but in the handful of minutes it took us to exchange pleasantries and walk to the back seat a bond was formed, and our little posse stuck to one another like glue for several weeks and had a whale of a time. I’m still in touch with three of these five people, twelve years later.
I heard such mixed stories about people travelling Cambodia around the same time and having horrible experiences. It reinforces what I’ve always believed, which is life is all about the people we meet along the way. After spending a fabulous month in Cambodia, I made plans to head out of the country and go to Laos. Life rarely goes to plan in my experience, and on what was supposed to be my last night there I met my husband, and the rest as they say is history (click here to read the full story).
I have often wondered how differently things would have panned out had I gone to the southern Thai islands instead. I know one thing for sure though, if I had my time again, I would definitely still catch that bus.
Do you have a distinct ‘sliding doors’ moment, where life changed forever? I’d love to hear from you if you do 🙂