I had some fear and trepidation prior to my trip, and I think one of the reasons my past is devoid of such excursions is fear. On a positive note I have traveled more in the past 18-months than in the previous 35-years and my confidence is growing. But despite my increasing confidence I am still angry that pessimism is defeating optimism when it wages war in my mind. Having a pessimistic attitude not only places me into a negative frame of mind, but it also rubs off on the people sharing my experiences. Instead of thinking about tsunamis, exploding planes, losses of luggage and death by rabies I should concentrate on the natural beauty of the planet and the warmth and tenderness of the people. My report card currently says, “Must try harder.”
I spent the first week in a Muay Thai training camp in Rawai, Phuket. It was an experience that I didn’t want, found painfully difficult (at times) but in the end missed in some sadistic sense. During a recent trip to Marrakech, my girlfriend and I attended a Moroccan cookery course. I was the only male and a few of the females were married yet traveling alone. They told me that it was an experience they wanted to have, but one their partners didn’t share the same enthusiasm for. I wanted to create experiences with my new girlfriend and not without her, and this is why I wanted to do the Muay Thai training without personally wanting to do it. But during the training my girlfriend realised that I was not enjoying my experience and her awareness of my lack of enjoyment affected her mood and enjoyment. In the end I could so easily have spoiled my girlfriend’s experience despite my intentions to the contrary. Maybe I can learn something from the Moroccan cookery class roster?
I am pretty sure I have fractured my left hand, I have cut four out of my five knuckles on my right hand, cut and bruised both knees and damaged both feet; but when I stopped training I missed it. I realised that my body is not as weak as I thought it was and with a lot of encouragement I was still capable of strenuous physical exercise. I think the training camp has started something in my sub-conscious, something positive and healthy for me, and I plan to go back next year to put my ageing frame through the paces once more.
Whilst in Chiang Mai we visited an elephant sanctuary and the night bazaar. My fear had decided to have a vacation of its own, and I started to loosen up and enjoy myself. The elephant sanctuary was one of those special places that can change your life. The experience was so special I cannot do it justice in only a few words and sentences, and so I will write about it separately. The night bazaar reminded me of The Souk in Marrakech and it was a fitting way to end a wonderfully interesting week.
That was my week last week.
Traveling for 24-hours gives you plenty of time for thought. I have been thinking about my blog a lot and am worried that my writing is becoming stale. I think the strain of the 100 consecutive blog posts shows through on times. I listened to a podcast by Iain Broome from Write for Your Life and he was talking about blogs like mine. Blogs that try very hard to behave and act in the way the leaders of the field say is correct. I always wanted to inspire by writing about my life but on times I get sidetracked through worry. The experts say that people don’t want to read about other people’s lives. Instead they want information on how to improve their own. I think there is room for a little bit of both and wanted to start a weekly round up of my life to test the waters.