Sunday, May 11, 2008
Taking it to the Limit
My husband and I just spent the last 10 days traveling to and through Thailand with my daughter. We call it our sampler platter. We had the chance to sample a little of several different places and many different foods.
The whirlwind tour was worth it! However, I was intensely dizzy with exhaustion. Travel there-2 hours early in Spokane, 1 hour flight, 3 hour layover in Seattle (then delayed almost 2 hours), 10 and 1/2 hour flight to Tokyo, race to the next plane so as not to miss it. The next leg was 7 and 1/2 hours to Bangkok, an 8 hour layover, then the final one hour flight to Chiang Mai. All in all, 35 hours of travel.
We arrived in the early morning. So to avoid jet lag to the best of our ability, we stayed up. (It helps you acclimate faster.)
Then we toured and toured with short cat naps in the car (driven by Thai Rotary members) or the rented van (often hired by the Rotary.) We saw Chiang Mai, Kamp Phaeng Phet, Cha'am, and much of Bangkok. We climbed to visit Karen Hill Tribes, rode elephants, and shopped in a floating market.
Then we traveled home. We stayed up again because we had to be at the Bangkok airport at 3 a.m. Our flight took less time because we had tail winds to Tokyo, only 6 and 1/2 hours. Then the 2 hour layover and another 10 hour flight to Spokane. A three hour layover there until the last flight-just one more hour. And then the 3 hour drive home. Ufta! (That means something like Oh My Goodness in Swedish.)
I actually fell from side to side on the last leg of the journey in our car. Dizzy with fatigue, sick to my stomach, and completely disoriented.
But it was worth it. I had the opportunity to experience just a sampler platter of my daughter's exchange in Thailand. I had the opportunity to fall in love with a people in another country. I had the joy of understanding the Thai Rotary's theme: Bringing peace to the world one exchange student at a time.
We stayed up with almost no sleep throughout the week. No cell phone. No Lila (my laptop for writing.) A forced vacation from my regular technology. Tough on me. Sometimes my fingers itched to type. Some ideas that flitted through never to be recalled.
But it was worth it.
I saw and ate things I loved. I went places and met people I never foresaw. And learned through finding crabs on mountains that things are not always as I think they are. Sometimes, they are very different. Sometimes I reaffirm what I've already learned.
I love adventure, new things, new foods, and my nap today...it was so satisfying!
I'd charge you to explore to the point of exhaustion, push past it, maintain your graciousness (not so easy when you are over tired) and then sleep in satisfied peace.
PS For more on adventures in Thailand, keep up with me this week over at my personal blog:
God Uses Broken Vessels