I’ve been backpacking for a long time now and I was reflecting upon my very first day. What if it had gone differently?
Walking around the Khao San Road in Bangkok I bump into three english girls on my first day. I’d booked myself on to a day tour to Kanchanaburi and after realising that we’d be going the same way for the next couple of weeks they decided to do the same tour.
We all got on great and I definitely felt at ease. This travelling business seemed easy. We spent the day together, I said goodnight and that I would see them tomorrow.
I wake up and look at my watch. The tour bus left an hour ago. I’d set three alarms and even left the tour company my room number. Turns out I hadn’t set the alarms properly and I’d got my room number wrong on the form. I was gutted.
This is where my head starts to hurt just thinking about it. What would have happened if I’d woken up. Because I had over slept I was a day behind. But imagine if I’d gone.
I would have travelled with those girls but then I’d never have got on that bus in Chiang Mai and met the guys I travelled round South East Asia with. I would have been on that boat that capsized and killed five backpackers in Halong Bay.
I may have decided to stop travel writing. I might never had had that surfing accident. I’ve met hundreds of people on my travels. I may have never met any of them.
One incident. One insignificant moment changed the course of my life. A butterfly effect. A sliding doors moment.
Even though I would love to see how differently my trip would have turned out I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve had such a great time and made some incredible friends.
I hate cliches but they all fit. Everything happens for a reason. Don’t have regrets. Don’t eat yellow snow.
My advice: think about it, pause for a moment and move on. Don’t dwell and forget to live.
Amar was born and raised in England and embarked on an 11-country round-the-world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second, which ended up being a 23-country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then, Amar has spent the last 14 years traveling the 7 continents.