It’s been occurring to me lately how different our travels could have been – how a number of small decisions have made such a big difference.
According to our original plan, we should be in Australia now but, we decided near enough as soon as we arrived in Beijing, we wanted to take things much slower. Thinking back, the turning point came when we hit the backpacker trail in Vietnam.
We met some amazing people on the Ha Long Bay Tour but turned down the opportunity to travel with further with them. What would have happened had we tagged along? Although we didn’t know this at the time, the majority of the group ended up travelling through South East Asia together, and Australia and New Zealand too. In fact a couple of them are still in New Zealand working together now eight months on but, as you guessed it, the rest ran out of money and had to go home. I’m sure these people are fine with it, after all that was always their plan, it wasn’t, however ours.
Our path instead took us to Chiang Mai for three months. We made good friends with teachers who planted the seeds in Kirsty’s head for what she is doing now, teaching English in Bangkok. Neither would we have met such an awesome community who showed us how easy it is to live an expat life.
We would have missed both of these chance encounters had we followed our Halong Bay friends. Potentially this means we are now looking at making travel a long term thing, rather than a whirlwind tour which it could have so easily turned into.
Sure we would have had an amazing time but where would I be now? Back at home begging the council for my job back?
Instead we have the chance to have a million more encounters like the one we had in Vietnam and who knows, maybe next time we will tag along…