What brings men the desire to travel? What is this primal instinct that pushes people to explore and seek adventure in the far corners of the planet? That dear reader is wanderlust in a nut shell.
After kissing my girlfriend goodbye I set out to embark on an epic journey across Southeast Asia, an adventure for the ages, if you will, with a lump in my throat, butterflies in my stomach, and eyes welted up.
I’ll be the first to admit it, traveling makes me a nervous wreak. I can’t explain it though time and time again, I put myself through hell, but I always come back wanting more like some deranged traveling sadist, who gets his sick kicks off his own misfortune.
Fast forward three hectic hours later, after reaching JFK, the ANA terminal is all but deserted and with 45 minutes left, I didn’t think I would make it through the TSA line in time. Not to mention the visa problems I had at the front desk with. (That’s a completely unrelated anxiety attack, don’t worry). However, to my amazement I get through it all in record time, running to the gate I jumped in line final boarding destination. While waiting in line for what felt like forever look down at phone, as any nervous melinial does in a time of need, to grasping at one last comfort of home before I’d be thrown to a different world.
A split second later I’m on the plane, sitting next to a man in long flowing pants, and hair the same. Reeking of some foreign hooch, to help him cope with enduring the 14 hours in the middle seat, no doubt. To his left there sat a babe! (Sorry Krista) what luck though, almost as rare as the sighting of a unicorn for us plane folk. As the aircraft took off, I knew it was going to be tough, arduous some may say, but I had Kipling by my side and a whole slew of shitty B role movies to help suppress my boredom.
As quick shut of my eyes and 14 was cut down to three, a few hours seemed like a cinch compared to what I just went through, now all I had to get through was the landing… As the landing gear lowered I began a silly little ritual that I always conduct. I ball my toes with just my socks on, not unlike one John McClain in the beginning of Die Hard. As my mind wandered to the hostile takeover of Nakatomi Plaza, the plane landed and people were disembarking left and right. With a nudge from my seat compatriot I begrudgingly got up and grabbed my bag.
My only layover was in the land of the rising sun, a country that I am all to familiar with. It was a giant tease only to go back to just the airport, I could practically see Mt. Fuji in the background (That’s a boldface lie). By now the nervousness that once almost consumed me, washed over me like the morning tide and I was back to my old self thinking of where to travel to next. As I slurped down the remaining ‘authentic’ airport ramen I noticed my plane was boarding I grabbed my things and rushed off.
The following plane journey was slightly easier than the last, clocking in at only six hours I was almost in Bangkok. The flight consisted of five hours of the worst on and off sleep of my life, due to the seating rocking jackass in front of me and the repurposed United Air Jet Liner swaying like a ship on troubled waters.
Luckily we landed without a moment to soon. Coming into the visa line I nearly shat myself because of the warning the front desk lady gave me in New York, but it went so smoothly and effortless, I could have been a Thai Native. Everything else went according to plan, (sort of) I found a taxi and I was off, as we raced seatbetless through the streets motorbikes whizzing by left and right. I arrived at a quiet back ally hotel where I wasn’t what I got myself into, but it’s rustic atmosphere, and the sound of jetliners and howling dogs would be my lullaby of the night.
I had finally arrived in this majestic country of Thailand, something that for me was incredibly anticipated. No more jitters, no more knots in my stomach, just a man who remembered why he loved traveling the world.