Stepping on a plane from Pokhara to Kathmandu and leaving a day later on another one bound for Bangkok, the airports resemble something more of a bus stop than the flash European transit lounges I have been so used to. The check in procedure manual, with hand written boarding passes, flight attendants walking through the departure hall and calling for last boarding. Wooden slatted benches where we sit, watch and chat with other passengers as we pass the time. A short walk straight onto the tarmac and up the single narrow stair case, boarding the plane and finding your allocated seat, as you prepare for take off. The twenty five minute flight to Nepal’s capital in a Jetstream 41, flying high above the Himalayas with the luxury of complimentary refreshments and the somewhat nerve racking sensation of sitting in a propeller driven aircraft that could seat a mere 30 passengers. Arriving in Bangkok I stepped onto a traditional long tail boat and explored the waters of the Thai capital, a wobbly affair as the narrow wooden boat rocks from side to side as it is manoeuvred through the canals of this golden city. Temples, houses on stilts, fishermen and their pray line the waterways. On the roads, tuck-tucks, taxis and mopeds competing in what seems to be an endless game of human jenga, trying to fit as many on top of one another as possible. The night train to Chiangmai a prime example of human engineering and sophisticated night travel, as the seats are turned into beds in a matter of minutes. Curtains allowing some privacy as you lie down to the soothing, rocking sound of the carriages moving along the tracks and heading north. The adventure continued on bicycle as I explored the beautiful temple ruins and hillside in and around of Chiangmai and further on a raft, as the river invited me to ride its gushing waters downstream, past elephants grazing on the banks, dragon flies skimming the surface and local fisherman hoping for a catch.
When I travel from A to B I often find myself rushing and wanting to simply get to my destination. Getting there often seems more important than the journey. This week I appreciated every minute spent exploring different travel routes, every hour I absorbed the views, the faces that greeted me and the wonderful nature I was surrounded by. Travelling and the journeys you embark on when you do, can be full of pleasure if you allow yourself to sit back, relax and simply be present in the moment – the journey offers many adventures on the way.