On my first ever trip overseas (other than ferries) I arrived in Bangkok alone, with only the advice of friends and travel
books giving me and idea of what to expect. I would spend over a month in Thailand as my stepping stone into the countries of Southeast Asia. Perhaps because it was the first foreign place I travelled to alone, and the catalyst to what would be an amazing adventure in new places, but Thailand resonated with me the most a feeling of pure freedom.
Not only did I feel liberated in my thoughts, knowing I was thousands of kilometres away from my home country full of people and places laced with familiarity, but also in my actions, unbound from the ties of menial responsibilities and petty pressures, free to let my energy flow where it should. Learning and growing.
There are countless experiences I was fortunate to have here that all contribute to the aura of freedom I felt so strongly in this beautiful place. Waking up in the morning and getting to make the ever changing decision of where to go for
breakfast; falling asleep with no blankets because they’re just not necessary; meditating for hours in a stunning temple escaping from your own thoughts and the outside world; sharing the ocean playground with whalesharks in clear waters; meeting amazing people from all walks of life that remind us we are never alone; hiking through the northern jungle and picturing your coordinates on a map; driving a moped down the highway amidst spectacular mountains and canyons; seeing the works of many generations ago and getting to learn about a culture not from books but through first hand experiences; ordering extravagantly from the dinner menu on occasion because, well, you can. The list goes on, from the small to the big. If you want to do something, stay somewhere or leave at the flip of a coin, and having the choice is amazing.
I believe when all the buffers and restrictions are erased, you can realize your true self. Being here allowed me to realized this freedom, giving me a little push out the proverbial door, confirming what my true self had been telling me. I could see it in a wrinkled mothers smile, feel it in the rawness of the jungle and in the breathtaking sunsets over the Andaman Sea, signifying our impermanence, and thus, our freedom.
Independence in a world where we all must co-exist and work together to create beautiful lives. Visting the ‘land of smiles’ confirmed this for me. And once you taste true freedom, there’s no turning back.
About the Author: Jessie Le Couteur is a peanut butter loving yogi, wanna-be mermaid who enjoys dancing, painting, writing, swimming and music that forcefully makes you move, among other things. She is from Canada, mainly BC and New Bruswick, and has been moving around the beautiful country since toddler-hood, exploring and seeing what our amazing world has to offer. She likes to share ideas and stories through pictures and words via her blog: www.moonroots.wordpress.com