The Journey of the Cat

“… there we understood that our vocation, was to move for eternity along the roads and seas of the world. Always curious, looking into everything that came before our eyes, sniffing out each corner but only faintly – not setting down roots in any land or staying long enough to see the substratum of things; the outer limits would suffice.”

Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries

That one time, we decided to do backpacking together to Myanmar. She’s always curious in what I love to do: to go to the road less traveled. To lost in thought and to literally lost in a strange place, to rely on luck and gut feeling to survive. To count on the kindness of stranger, to see the other side of the world.
Continue reading “The Journey of the Cat”

A Stranger’s Kindness

“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things can not be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime”

-Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad

There are 196 countries, roughly 4200 religions, more than 5000 cultures… and around 7 billion people in the world, each with a different character and personality. Yet somehow I think all of them have something in common… Something that can’t be easily described through words and pictures and diagrams. I have two stories that hopefully can represent my thought…

I was in Rennes, France, in the metro station wanting to go to a bus station, I was in a hurry to catch the bus to go to another city, and I thought that all ticket machine in that metro station accepts card but that time, it only accept coins and I don’t have any coins left. It was a very early morning… The office station was still closed, no store was opened yet, and there are hardly any people in that station. I could get back to my hostel but I would miss the bus, which only run once in Monday. When I was hopelessly searching through all my pockets, suddenly I felt someone tapped my shoulder. Turned out it was a young man, and he was giving me a ticket while say nothing. I was confused but accepting it anyway, expecting he would ask some money or something. But no, after he gave me the ticket, he just walked away, still not saying anything. I tried the ticket to the automatic gate and it worked!

It was after a day trip at Phuket when I asked the driver to dropped me off at a shooting range at Patak rd. I had no idea how far it was to my hostel in Patong because I was sleeping when I left for the day trip in the morning, I only estimate it was around 10 minutes drive, so I thought, it was pretty close, right? Then after hours of trying guns and chatted with the staff there, it was time for the shooting range to closed. I was calmly go outside to the side of the street, only to find there are no public transport or bus or something I could rent to go back to my hostel. I should have know it from when I was deciding to dropped off here! Patak rd is like a highway road, there are only a few people there and very few closed, small buildings except the shooting range. After 15 minutes of standing on the side of the road like a lost child, I went back in to the shooting range, which now already closed. I met the staff whom I talked about guns before, asking him how to go to Patong. He was confused and explained to me that it is around 25 km to Patong and there are no public transport from there, moreover it was 6 PM and it starting to get dark. I said thanks to him and started to walk back out to the road, seriously thinking to go back to Patong by walking because I thought there was no other option. Then when I was out of the shooting range, I hear the staff calling me, and he was riding a motorcycle. He offered me a ride to Patong, while his house is just beside the shooting range!

I guess what I want to say is, if we open our mind a little and started to think positively, we would know that somehow there is a link that connect us all. Sure, maybe in life we’ll meet a swindler, con man, mugger, or other people that want to take advantages from us. But I think that’s the challenge: We have to keep our mind open and positive while still be cautious towards an ugly end.  We can’t let these evil people make our mind become narrowed, and travelling helps a lot with it. In my experience I realize it by the help of stranger’s kindness, but I’m sure that people can experience it too with a different things. Travel, experience different things, open your mind; give and receive a Stranger’s Kindness.


The Art of Sharing Travel Stories

After a journey abroad, we finally going back home. We’ve seen many beautiful places, ate unique local foods, and met many wonderful people on the roads. We feel rather tired but never been so happy, can’t wait to share the stories to our loved ones.

I want to share a little trick for you who want to share your travel stories: Be patient 🙂

The thing is, everybody always have stories to tell everyday, whether a day in office or a day hiking mountains in Chiang Mai. We have to understand, travelers nowadays face different audience than in the past:  a time when a traveler got back home, all the people would gather around while the traveler share the stories about some strange distant lands. Now we have the internet, with a few clicks people would know what Chiang Mai looks like and suddenly the mysteriousness of our travel stories are gone.

My advice is to be patient, and share your stories one at a time. Of course there are some stories that you want to share right away, go ahead. But for the rest, just be patient. Don’t make them watch to your slideshow all night while you keep rambling on about your adventure. A little advice about pics though: Be creative and shot a unusual angles. For example, when in Eiffel Tower, don’t just take a pic of you with the Tower on the background. Instead, take it from under the Eiffel, and let your audience guess it 😀

Closer Look - photo by Marcelo Villas
Closer Look – photo by Marcelo Villas

What’s your tips on sharing travel stories? 🙂