“You must not abandon ship in a storm because you cannot control the winds.”- St. Thomas More.
Things have been hard the past few days, but we are not abandoning ship, we kind of couldn’t even if we wanted to. So we keep sailing and pushing on!
It’s hard to complain about sitting in Bangkok, Thailand trying to find solutions for the problems we are having, but at the same time it has really made us appreciate how much we had taken for granted the ease of living at home. Often times when looking at Instagram travel photos, you will see beautiful cities, amazingly remote and white sandy beaches, hiking in the countryside and mountains with nothing but blue skies above you, mountains around you, and dreams carrying you. Never do you see the true photos of travel; the white walls of the hostel while sitting inside for hours because this is only place with wifi in a 12 mile radius, trying to figure out how to withdraw cash from a locked bank account. There is always a balance to life, and this is often the hidden perspective because who wants to share reality when you are supposed to be living it up and having a great time? That is often the point of traveling, after all, is to escape reality for a bit. We will share the real side, because one of the best parts of traveling is having the ability to tell stories, and sometimes the best stories are made when reality throws itself in your face.
Back at home, Emily and I have been fortunate enough to not have to worry about our next meal or how we were going to pay for it. We always knew where our head was going to hit the pillow, and we did not have to worry about the safety of our belongings because they were always locked in their comfy cozy home.
Being diabetic, this comfort not only was nice to have, but is absolutely crucial having a temperature controlled place for insulin, always having the supplies needed somewhere safe, and knowing there is the ability to buy more if necessary.
For the past few days in Bangkok, our reality has shifted from the top of the pyramind (expanding our minds by learning and experiencing new cultures), all the way to the bottom (how we are going to buy food and where we will be sleeping the next night). When traveling and moving often as we are, we spend a lot of time hanging out in the bottom of the pyramid by figuring out where we are sleeping for the night and what THAT is on the plate. These are all welcomed and usually fun parts of experiencing new places, but sometimes challenging.
For the past two days, these challenges have been increased by the fact that we have not been able to withdraw cash from our bank accounts. We were planning on taking money out of one account, which was locked due to “suspicious activity” from us attempting to withdraw money in Hawaii. Fortunately, we planned ahead and brought a backup debit card for this exact scenario, but unfortunately found out that we mistakenly brought another credit card.
This is a major problem in a society when people think of plastic as water bottles, not credit cards. Thailand is a majorly cash based society, and we only have about $10 in cash and no chickens to barter with for food and transportation. When a decent sized meal of noodles and vegetables costs around $1, and a bus or taxi around the same, we can make this stretch for a little while. In the Thai culture, bartering is a built in act of daily life, you never accept the first offer. Before bartering had been a game, but now it has become a necessity as we just cannot let an extra dollar go to waste.
Luckily we have enough supplies in our bags to survive any situation, including Zombie apocalypse, and we brought back up US dollar bills that we have exchanged for Thai Baht. This will hold us over for a while as we wait until Monday for the banks to open and help us out. This however, only aids to frustration because it is currently Monday in Thailand, but Sunday where the banks are!
We are so progressive
We have not had much chance to enjoy Bangkok outside of our 1 mile radius and the hospital, as we have been dealing with this banking issue and getting vaccines to keep us safe the rest of the trip. We are keeping our heads high because this is simply what comes with long term travel, and we have been enjoying problem solving and figuring out solutions together. We realize that things are tough now, but they are tough because we are doing it while fulfilling our biggest passion and most sought after dream. We hope for a better and wallet filled tomorrow, as we are off to Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai here we come!