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Thai travels of the heart

While travelling it's easy to meet like-minded people. Fellow backpackers, sweet locals, creative adventurers, dreamers. I love to waltz in and out of people's lives, like they do in mine. Because when you're on the road, there is lots of moving around and hardly any standing still. It's rare to find someone who is on the exact same path as you, so there are many goodbyes. I suck at goodbyes. It must be the hardest part of travelling, that moment you have to hug a new friend and say 'see you in life!'. Because unlike at home, you don't know when or if you will see each other again.

There are people you know you will meet again, because your entire body longs for it and you can't get them out of your mind. The story you started together just hasn't quite finished yet. But your plans send you in different directions. There is money to be made, flights to be booked, bucket list places to be ticked off. But in between the lines of greater travel plans, there are the hidden love notes. The memories of night time talks. Shared moments you don't easily forget. Instead your mind plays them over and over again, like a record on repeat.

You book a flight to Thailand and in impulsive love blindness, you tell him to come and meet you. When you arrive he's there, waiting for you at the airport. The next days are a blur, love flows and time flies.

Bangkok madness makes us hide inside a small room with the fan on high. The cold shower washes Indonesia off my skin, fresh for new adventures. He plays music, brings beers and cigarettes. The only reason to go out is midnight pad thai.

The North is calling so we hire a bike and turn a day trip into a road trip all around national parks, mountain views and hippie villages. We only stop to swim under waterfalls and set up camp for the night. We ride all day every day and take in the mountains until we breathe them. I fall asleep under the stars and dream of life in a small Thai village, starting jungle fires to farm the land. Cut fruit trees and cook Thai food like a goddess. I wake up and clear the dream out of my eyes. Coffee and we're on the road again. The bike has a hard time carrying us both uphill, so we stop and watch the clouds pass by.

A week feels like a day and before I know it, we're on our way to different airports. New places, back to our own journeys. Chiang Mai sticky rice turns into Yangon chocolate dumplings.

In all my travels, the only place I ever flew to and landed in the pouring rain, was Belgium. When I arrive in Myanmar, it's raining like mad. Monsoon season, they say. Coming home, I think.

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