Travel Notes: I’m My Own Stranger. I’m ‘Them’.

Submitted by mumunmumun on 8 May 2012   •  Opinion

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A few weeks back, I was sitting in a tuktuk that was driving through the streets of Vang Vieng, Laos. We were out, remember? I was squished amongst my travel buddies, a tattooed-and-pierced couple, a cougar-looking woman with her kept-man, and some of our backpacks on our laps or between our legs. We were spinning the town picking up more travelers with backpacks and heading to the bus station.

travel notes

Just out of the blue, I finally realized that I was living one of my dreams. I travel. Sure I wasn’t on a 6 months journey but I’m seeing worlds beyond my own. I was one of the ‘them’. I was one of those people that I always see trotting around the world with their big backpacks and everything else dangling around their boddies. I was that girl on the corner of a street arguing directions above a map with her friends to finally decided we had to go right and not left. I was her.

travel notes

Probably the notion of traveling my own country can’t hit me as hard as it did abroad. With Indohoy for the past 3 years, my line of work for the past 5 years, and my life the past 30 years, I’ve always been traveling in the sense that I’ve moved my body from here to there. But never have I really felt like a ‘traveler’. I’ve been to airports, bus station, train stations, and ports all my life, but it was nothing like what I felt in that tuktuk. You know what I mean?

I’ve always seen myself as a tourist, never a traveler. Many have categorized Indohoy as travelers, but we’ve never really seen it that way, nor have we really cared. People can label us anyway they please, we’re easy errr… in a good way. For us, we’ve always defined true travelers up on a pedestal. They’re the people that really live from a bag for months or years. They rely on the money they can generate on the road (may it be remote work or not). They call the road ‘home’. We are far from it. That’s why, it took me quite a while to feel this particular sensation no matter how mobile my life seems.

travel notes
Honestly, it felt very cool. *sunnies on. I can’t lie. I’ve always seen travelers as very cool people. People that left a lot to conquer more! Or people that left the comfort of home to find comfort in other places.. Muhaha! I’ve never seen myself as that cool, but I did at that moment. If traveling was a ‘gang’, I was finally riding with the cool kids, yeah! m/

I had smiles on my face. Yes, a lot of smiles. I might not be the true traveler as we defined it, but it was sure nice to feel like one for a brief second sitting amongst them. It was a nice feeling 😀


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