Saturday, July 9, 2022
Friday, July 8, 2022
River Life in Bangkok
Before being connected by phones and laptops, connections took place mostly in the physical realm. The town square, the market, roads, and of course, rivers are an ancient way to connect with others. In Bangkok, the river still carries this function. Today we loaded up in a long tail boat and explored some lesser known estuaries of the Chao Phraya river.
Thursday, July 7, 2022
The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
A long journey elevates the destination in a way that can make any hotel room feel like a special sanctuary. Arriving at a destination and having a respite from planes and airports and jet lag gives the arrival location a home-like quality that is hard to explain.
I remember every room I have stayed in after a long trip with fondness. They have ranged from desperate backpacker hostels in Vietnam to grand hotels in Europe. Lately, I make a special effort to nail the the arrival and arrival room.
Last night we landed, bleary eyed and bloated like gila monsters, at Suvarnabhumi Airport. It was around midnight and it felt much much later. The airport buzzed a light tired hum and armed members of the military shifted around in drab olive military fatigues watching passengers shuffle through customs. More than yesterday, less than 2019.
Much of Asia has been shut down since Spring 2020, with holdouts like China and Japan still erecting plenty of barriers for travelers, many too high to pass. Thailand recently opened up its borders completely and as a piece d’resistance, legalized marijuana. It was sudden and a rare move for an Asian country. That’s where we are at.
I love travel days. You arrive as a different person than when you left. They are painful and filled with introspection and opportunities to think. It is an opportunity to center yourself, take stock, read, write, and plan. Since our first long trip from SF to Hong Kong in 2009, I have revered the long journey with a sort of spiritual relevance that doesn’t exist in our day to day lives. I have visited Asia again and again, and again and again, the trip centers me in an amazing way.
Six of us traveled from Louisville to Bangkok. Kristin and I along with our three children and nanny Chelsea. We had no material delays, and aside from our daughter Harper throwing up a few times on the long flight - it was uneventful. We rested and ate and considered the manifestation of the trip - which required the energy of all trips and conquests that have come before it. When I first started traveling, I felt lucky. Now I am grateful.