2012 TravelLaos

Airplane Ritual: Heading for Laos

This is part of the last leg of my journey in 2012. I definitely learned a lot more about myself than I could have ever anticipated. I finally let go of the past for the most part and allowed myself to let someone in even if it wasn’t all too natural.

I left Manila on a late Monday night flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I had this all planned that I would sleep in the airport and catch my connecting flight bound for Vientiane, Laos. The entire duration of my two flights including the 4 hour layover gave me lots and lots and lots…of time to reflect on what has happened the last couple of months back home in Jersey.

I am not an open book and although some may state they can read me I know that isn’t the case since the shell I’ve surrounded myself in is thick. Thicker than the Great Wall of China (I am going there one day!).

But I guess this blog post isn’t about a non-existent relationship but more so of the interpersonal relationship I have with myself.

I have this ritual in flights where I think of all the negative thoughts I have and I pull them out of my mind. I literally sit there and use my hands to pull the thoughts, throw them out the window and envision them being crushed by the jet engines.

This puts me into a trance and I doze off to sleep. I wake up and find myself in Laos.

After landing, I make my way to visa on arrival and with $45 USD, I get my passport back with the visa I need to explore Laos. A relatively short taxi ride at the cost of $7 I make it to the Mixay Guesthouse and wait for Jasmine, a girl I met back in September and her friend Georgia.

We walked around Vientiane as the sun beat down on our faces and backs.

It was nice to finally reach the Arch (resembles the arch in Franch) and benefit from its casting shadow.

We sat in a bar where they met a fellow traveler from Jersey and gave me minute by minute play of how it all went down. The story was quite humorous and I wouldn’t do it justice to rehash it in any form here. I was there however for their “experience” in trying to get a haircut and eyebrows waxed behind a crumbling building inside a room filled with cobwebs. Imagine trying to explain to an individual what you want done to your hair or eyebrows who do not speak a word of english. Classic.

I was not in Vientiane for more than 6 hours, now a bit clean and rested, waiting for our sleeper bus to Pakse in Southern Laos.

I think this would be another 14 hour journey to get to an area known as the 4,000 Islands. Who knew a landlocked country would have 4,000 islands?!

The bus rocked back and forth as if I was sleeping in a cradle or being rocked by gentle arms. The bus ride was unusual but everything about this journey has been and I had to sleep with a stranger in a tight space who just stared at me.

I closed my eyes and let the bus rock me to sleep.

Jason Vitug

Jason Vitug is a bestselling author, writer, producer, entrepreneur, and founder of The Smile Lifestyle Brands and the financial wellness marketplace, phroogal.com.

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