After a few days struggling in Krabi with the hardest decision I ever had to make, I'd had it. I was completely finished, done for, up, ... I couldn't go further; I couldn't bring up the energy to find out where to go or what to do. The prospect of going to Laos, Cambodia and the north of Thailand, instead of filling me with joy, only filled me with tiredness and a feeling of disinterest.
I realized that I was travel tired already for a while, and the only thing that kept me going was Alex' company. He makes traveling a lot of fun and made me do things and go places that I otherwise wouldn't have done.
It took me a few Skype calls and cookies from the lovely girls in my dormitory, as well as a few talks with them, to come to my conclusion: I wanted to go home. The only thing I could think about was being at home, have a hot bath, drink hot chocolate, snuggle in front of the television in a blanket and fall asleep.
Traveling home happened in a frenzy. On Saturday night I took a night bus from Krabi to Bangkok. In Bangkok, where I arrived at 6 am, I was met by Chai, Alex' friend, who let me sleep for a while in his hostel. After that I did some last shopping on Khao San Road and I realized that - in better times - there is something to say for the area and Bangkok.
I met up with Chai for a few last cheap beers and a talk about life and love. Good dude.
After that, struggling with the idea that my coward's flight home was a mistake - or not - I got to the airport in the evening, wandered around, and caught my plane at 00.45 in the night. It would take me another 26 hours to get home.
All this time I was wondering if I was doing the right thing. I still don't know.
In the airport of Zaventem - so familiar and yet so strange - I was met by all the people I love and love me. They even made a "welcome home"-banner for me, and had a chocolate chicken, a toy bear and bubbles. Ahhh ... :-). The meet-up was followed by a little lovely "welcome home"-party. Unfortunately I was so knackered that I couldn't really participate a lot, but I did love the excited buzz around me, the bubbles in my hand and the splendid food my sister had made. Thanks all of you guys.
In the mean time I've been home for about 3 days now and I still don't know if my decision has been the right one. I think it's right in the sense that I honestly couldn't go on in the state that I was in. Yes, I do want to see Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and every other country in the world, but I want to see them in a proper way, I want to get all the fun and joy out of it the way it's supposed to be. I also think it was imperative that I met my friends and family again and get pampered for a while and come back to my senses, because I'd honestly lost them in Krabi.
But do I want to be back in Belgium? I don't know.
The first thing I thought when I flew over Brussels, was: "No! No way. But ... I could go to the mountains now."
I have no idea what's going to happen now and where I'm headed off next. I've been filled with the strange craving of going back to the mountains and snow (I think that's why I love New Zealand so much) so my path might lead there soon(-ish). In any case, these next few weeks will be filled with a lot of thinking.
I have no regrets about this trip (except maybe the one tour Inge and me did in New Zealand towards Glenorchy that was pretty boring and overpriced :-)).
I have seen 5 countries, I-don't-know-how-many cities. I have seen glorious mountains, wonderful lakes, pristine beaches, lush forests and the most perfect sunsets imaginable. I have held a koala, a wallaby and a snake. I've seen the strangest bugs ever in my life. The biggest spiders. Kangaroos, dolphins, penguins, turtles and whales. And so much more.
I have met the nicest people and have come to realize that everywhere in the world, there are so many good people about, of every color, race and sex, who will always be ready to have fun, to just have a chat, and if necessary, to catch you when you fall, even though they have only known you for five minutes.
And I have met Alex. Although we parted in a confused haze, there are still a million feelings there. It's a very big part of my confusion in being home, but also here I have no regrets whatsoever, on the contrary. I love every minute we have spent together, and hope he enjoys the rest of his travels and going home again. Somehow I have the feeling that this is not the end.
So here I am: home. Or not? We'll have to see that in a while.
In the mean time, you won't have to check this blog again. I'll let you know when I'll take it up again :-).
Cheers, people. We've had a lovely ride.