We've made it back through 12 times zones from beautiful, hot Thailand to cold, snowy Ottawa, Canada.   The return back to the west is always a little strange, like a dream.  Traveling changes you in some way.  It is subtle but it's there.  This time I come back  feeling more relaxed and inspired. I come back feeling inspired by a deep experience with my children.  There is such a change in Zoe and Owen.  The children that accompanied me to Thailand are not the same children who flew back with me.  They feel lighter, funnier, more mature and grown up.  They get along better and are more appreciative of life in Canada.  Although I know this will fade with time.  I am appreciating every moment.

On Friday morning we woke up at 3 am with jet lag.  We were at Jay's house in the woods.  It was there that Owen took his first hot shower in one month.  He walked out of the bathroom with tussled, wet hair and a big grin on his face and proclaimed: "I love Canada".   Later in the morning around 9am (it felt like a day had already passed) we returned to our home and daycare was in full swing.  Both Zoe and Owen were so happy to see our daycare friends. 

Any doubts I had before about pulling my kids out of school for 1 month has dissolved. Our tour to Thailand was worth every moment and the learning continues even that we have returned.  They really know what appreciation is now.

Our last days in Thailand were spent in Bangkok...

Bangkok is a concrete jungle with sky scrapers rising through smog filled air.  It is dirty, smelly and traffic is jam packed with tuk tuk, mopeds, taxis, food carts, pedestrians, and more.  The exhaust from these vehicles is suffocating, the smells from whatever is rotting is nauseating, the heat is exhausting and yet Bangkok holds it's charm. It has great shopping malls for those shoppers, like Zoe.  It is a happening place with many people going in different directions.  The subway, sky train and buses are jam packed.  It's incredible that families raise their young in this polluted city.


We arrived on the night train.  The train cars ran along it's tracks and  arrived on the outskirts of the city just as the sun was rising.  We sat by the window watching the early stirrings of life in Bangkok.We saw old falling down shacks held together by a mix and match variety of wooden and steel planks.   Mangy dogs loitering the streets scoping for food,. Fruit vendors filling up their carts with freshly cut pineapple, rose apples and mangoes.  Children in school uniforms walking, books in hand ready for a day of learning.  In contrast sky scrapers loomed in the sky and behind their closed windows their early mornings stirrings were hidden from our view.  Small streams of water ran parallel to our the moving train,  laced with floating oil, and plastic bottles


Bangkok is Bangkok and I am always fascinated by the differences in which people can live.  As I glimpsed onto the life of others who had less than me I did not feel bad or pity for the people living in shacks. That would only be diminishing their life experience.  Suffering is relative and it touches all of us whether we live in a big mansion or a small little shack.  Fatigue, sadness, sorrow,  and loss runs through all of our lives as do  moments of happiness, joy, enthusiasm and ease.  It is how we move through these dualities that signifies our state of contentment with life.

Thailand is a buddhist country  and the buddha taught the four noble truths.  Number one: Life means suffering. Number Two: The origin of suffering is attachment (desire).  Number Three: The cessation of suffering is attainable.  Number Four: The path to the cessation of suffering.  If you with to go deeper into the four noble truths you and can click here. 

That is the end of my travel writing for now.  We have been back for almost 3 weeks.   Although every day brings farther away from our adventure the memories of Zoe and Owen discovering so many firsts will be forever etched in my heart.  We will do some kind of adventure again in the next few years, stay tuned.



inspiredmoments said...

every single day you have the opportunity to create the life that you want... you are doing this for you and for your kids. it's inspiring to witness. i am grateful to be a part of the 'side lines' on this awesome adventure.
keep creating. keep living. keep loving.

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