Thoughts

How to Travel to a Destination Without Internet

How to Travel to a Destination Without Internet

These days it’s all too easy to use the internet to research a destination and find out about the country you may be visiting for things to do and places to go but what did we do before this new age of technology? I have a love hate relationship with the internet, it’s great for finding out about things and maps are especially helpful when you’re out and about but where is the fun in that? I like challenges, so here are my ideas about how to travel to a destination without using internet.

Travel Books

Invest in one or two good travel books like the Rough Guides or Lonely Planet, which really won’t take up that much room in your luggage. They are full of useful information from what a country or city is like to where to sleep and what to eat when you get there. You’ll be able to find out about the weather, the currency, practical telephone numbers and whether you need a visa. Everything the internet will tell you but isn’t it so much more satisfying to read a book and find out things that way? Maybe you’ll think differently.

Talk to People

When you land in a new country after a few days you’ll get your bearings and naturally start talking to like minded people you meet in cafes, bars or organised tours. Think of them as a resource of information and ask them about their travels so far, Where they have been? How did they get there? What did they think of it and is it worth going? They might tell you about somewhere you hadn’t thought of going yourself, so you’ll really be able to make the most out of a destination. Don’t forget chatting to the locals, they are the ones who really know what’s what so make friends and listen to what they say.

Go To a Destination Without Knowing About it First

You could pick a destination, go to the travel agent, book a flight and arrive without doing any research whatsoever. Look up places to stay in your travel books and just turn up. Keeping basic safety in mind, walk around the city exploring its many streets and alleys and see what you find, talk to others for help and advice, get on a bus to somewhere, anywhere and see where you end up. Generally just go with the flow and experience life as it happens.

Travelling without internet can be a liberating experience, you’ll become more aware of your surroundings and you’ll also experience the here and now. What an achievement it would be if we could find our way without relying on Google.

Would love to hear your thoughts 🙂

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Indian Ocean

www.talkingthailand.co.uk/indianocean
Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka

Indian Ocean, blue and bright
Beautiful, but hidden might

Spanning the globe from the west
It touches the shores of Asia
And further east

The crashing waves
The calm of the tide
It has many guises
You need to keep it on your side

Indian Ocean you are so majestic
Hiding life, sustaining life
You keep some delights from sight

Mesmerizing

Awe-inspiring

Magnificent

Our Indian Ocean

Author
Gill Morris

Educating Yourself

www.talkingthailand.co.uk/educatingyourself
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Knowledge-is-Power-Wikimedia.png

It’s only now, later on in my life, that I love to learn about things. When I was at school I, like many others, didn’t want to learn. It was a chore to be there and all I wanted to do was to leave and get out into the big wide world.

If I had been privy to the joys of learning back then, I would have paid more attention and I certainly would have gone to university. I stayed on for a year in the sixth form, where I buckled down a bit more and, in the end, I left with 3 O levels and a couple of CSEs.

I started work when I was 18, and I had a few jobs where I had to do loads of training courses to learn how to do certain tasks, but, still, it wasn’t because I wanted to do them. I had no choice.

In 1994, I started an Open University degree. It was an Open degree, so I could choose any courses I wanted to make up the 300 or 360 points I needed in order to obtain the full degree. I chose to do science and biology, brain, and behaviour, because that’s the sort of thing I was interested in. I passed, but only just. After that, my life got in the way, so to speak. I met someone new and started a new job. There was no time to study. I guess this is one of my regrets in life, that I didn’t continue.

However, after moving to Thailand, I decided to pick up where I left off. So, in 2010, I started a psychology course which I passed with distinction. I was so thrilled with this result, it spurred me on and I continued with my studies and did courses in philosophy, grammar, and myth in the Greek and Roman worlds. 3 years later, I finally achieved a Bachelor of Science, with honours no less. I was as proud as punch when I went to the degree ceremony, with my mum, to receive my award.

I realised that studying later on in life, for me, was a good thing. I achieved much better results than I ever did all those years ago. I even did two courses at the same time and I could easily sit down all day and study. It was hard work and, sometimes, I would be tearing my hair out because I didn’t understand something, but I loved every minute of every course. As a mature student, I found that studying was such a pleasure.

When I had finished with my degree, I was so lost without it. I didn’t know what to do with myself. So, I continued to learn. I taught myself to speak and write Thai and I learned a little Hindi. I have to say I am nowhere near fluent, but I am still learning today, albeit sporadically. I’ve got a long way to go yet though. I read books and if there is a word or concept I am unsure of I will research it. I learn about places or people I don’t know about and I’ve completed a few English language courses to give me more ideas and understanding to help me in my job.

There are many things that you can learn about, and I find I don’t have enough time to learn everything, but it’s something I will continue to do and make it my goal to learn something new every day.

Do you enjoy learning?

Motivational Musings

BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE

If only we had the power of seeing into the future and seeing what our lives would be like. Then we could empower ourselves to be the best from an early age. Whatever you do, whether you’re in the school volleyball team, or you’re striving to climb the ladder in your career, always try to do the best you can. Don’t be afraid of what others might think. Their thoughts are their own business, not yours.

LIFE’S TOO SHORT

Why wait until the kids are grown up or the mortgage is paid off? Life is far too short to wait until…what? The right time? Before you know it, you might not be able to do whatever it is you want to do. Learn a new language. Travel the world. Get a degree. Start a new hobby. If there is something that you long to do, GO FOR IT! Take hold of the reins and just do it!  Don’t Wait!

BE POSITIVE

It’s easy being positive when your life is going well and you’re happy with your lot. Even so, sometimes negative thoughts and feelings come into play.
Being positive is a choice. Even if your life sucks, it’s still your choice to stay positive. Negativity breeds negativity. Don’t surround yourself with negative people, don’t let them bring you down. Concentrate on you! It’s your life and you only get one, so it’s up to you to choose.

CHOOSE HAPPINESS

Choose to be happy. People with a happy disposition won’t be moping around, letting negative thoughts hold them back. Happiness creates power. If you’re happy, you’re much more prepared to face the trials and tribulations that life may throw at you. Happy people can be the scorn of others, so remember people who make snide comments, or bitch about you are only saying these things because it is a reflection of who they are.

FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS

When I was younger, I wanted to be a vet, an air hostess, a soldier, work with animals, the list is endless. None of these came to fruition maybe I didn’t dream big enough. In actual fact, in the end, I realised that these careers were not for me. However, one day, I decided that I was going to leave the safety of my comfort zone, travel around part of the world, and get a teaching qualification in Thailand. I dreamed of living there, so I did what I could to get there. And that’s where I am today. I dreamed of writing a book, I accomplished that, and now I’m writing another one. It’s not foolish to have dreams. If you have a dream, maybe a job you want, a place you want to visit, anything at all, do everything you can to accomplish the things you want in life. If it is what you want, and you dream big, success will be yours. Just don’t stop chasing your dreams.

KEEP WORKING HARD AND SUCCESS WILL COME LOOKING FOR YOU

Not my quote, but this speaks for itself. It is amazing how many people think they will be successful without working hard. No-one in this world gets something for nothing. A friend follows this motto in his working life, and his success has come in the form of many honours and awards. Why? Because he works hard every minute of every day. It’s not rocket science and it may be tough, but the effort will be more than worth it.

LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE

Live your own life, don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. The older you get the less time you spend trying to please others, or worrying about what others think of you. Who cares what anyone else thinks? Whatever someone might say about you, or whatever they think about you, it’s none of your business. Keep that in mind. Let them waste energy on being negative. YOU are in charge of your own life, not theirs. YOU can do whatever you want to do in life, so go and LIVE IT!

March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move towards perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life’s path. Khalil Gibran.

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Lao Tzu

 It always seems impossible until it’s done. Nelson Mandela

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. Mark Twain

 

Clouds

www.talkingthailand.co.uk/clouds

Looking out from a plane window the clouds are a sight to see

They look like huge ice formations sticking up from a flat, white landscape

Huge marshmallows, to eat

What if you could jump and bounce around on them? Laughter abound. What joy!

Next, mud-pools, bubbling away

And the tops of many mountains, all towering over the sky

So majestic

So calm

So serene

Clouds are beautiful

Above the layer that covers the land, it seems like a different world

It is the in-between part between earth and space.

Author
Gill Morris

Going it Alone

www.talkingthailand.co.uk/alone

Recently, I mentioned to a male friend of mine that I was going to see a movie and he asked, “Is it a date?”

I replied “Yes, a date with myself.”

His reply, “Oh, man. You’re going alone?”

His reply made me chuckle to myself. I don’t know whether he found it hard to understand that I would even contemplate going out by myself or that he felt sorry for me.

I started doing things alone when I first went travelling 12 years ago. If you choose to travel solo you don’t have much choice. Yes, I met people and it was fantastic, I have some wonderful memories of those people and times. But, equally when you are alone you don’t have anyone to worry about. You can go where you want, when you want and do whatever you please.

The very first time I dined alone was in Kuala Lumpur in one of the hotel’s restaurants. I recall feeling a little self conscious and was thinking that everyone was looking at me because I was alone. They weren’t. I was made even more self-conscious when a group of musicians came over and sang to me. Maybe they felt sorry for me too. But I ended up not caring and left with a huge smile on my face.

Then, when I was travelling around Thailand, I met a woman called Sophia in Bangkok. She was travelling alone and I started chatting to her because my family and friends had just left me and I was feeling a little out of sorts. She really cheered me up and I will always remember what she told me. She said that doing things alone is very empowering.

Now, my home is in Bangkok and I go out everywhere alone. I have friends here but my working schedule means that it is not always possible to meet them. I take to the streets and wander around taking photographs, go to the movies, have lunch or dinner in my favourite bars, go to art galleries, or I just stay home and write, paint or cook, whatever takes my fancy. I have learned to love my own company. What Sophia told me was true; being alone and actually loving it is a surefire way to boost your confidence.

Start small. Next time you agree to meet your mate at a bar. Don’t wait outside. Instead, go and ensconce yourself at the bar and order yourself a large drink. It’s a great feeling!

www.talkingthailand.co.uk/alone
Pegasus Reef Hotel, Sri Lanka

Bus Baby

www.talkingthailand.co.uk/busbaby

I have lived in Thailand for a few years now and there have been a few things that have caused me to raise my eyebrows; motorbikes on pavements, family picnics in Tesco’s car park, five people on one motorbike. You know, things that you don’t normally see in your own country. I think the most recent crazy thing I saw tops all of those things.

www.talkingthailand.co.uk/busbaby

One evening, on my way home from work, I couldn’t believe my eyes and I had to look twice but as I got on the bus I could have sworn the driver was holding a baby! There was, dear God, a one year old baby, laughing merrily in the arms of the driver.

I thought to myself, surely he isn’t going to drive with the baby in his arms. How could he? He needs two hands for driving and the baby, being a baby, was doing the opposite of sitting still.

www.talkingthailand.co.uk/busbaby

Thankfully, before he drove off, he placed the baby next to him on the gear box cover. Not in a pram, oh no, on the gear box cover. Thankfully? Not! Not even strapped to anything, the poor mite could have gone flying if the driver had braked suddenly.

I got off at my stop, shaking my head in disbelief. There is not a lot of health and safety regulations, here in Thailand, and now it seems not a lot of common sense either. I am pretty sure that if this happened in the UK someone would say something but no-one says anything here. In fact, this 100% would not happen in the UK. However, it would have been useless for me to say something as the language barrier gets in the way and I would be deemed a crazy foreigner but even the Thais don’t, it’s not in their nature to confront even though they may feel the same as us.

Regardlessly, the baby seemed to be enjoying the ride and I’m sure he lived to gurgle the tale but COME ON!!

Inside or Outside?

When I am alone I often think of weird things and this is one of them. Do you like to sit inside or outside? 😉 😉Weird

I’ve always been one for sitting outside in restaurants. Even in the blistering heat of Bangkok, you’ll always find me outside. It’s much more interesting; you can see more and it’s great for people watching.

A while ago, I went to a bar with friends, only to find, to my horror, that there were no seats available outside; there are always seats available outside, but not this night. We were offered seats inside the bar, so, along with my bottom lip and annoyed expression who had now joined the party, we took our seats. INSIDE! ARGHHHH!

You may be thinking that it doesn’t really matter where you sit, especially if you are with friends, and you would be right. It’s just that I prefer sitting outside. Each to their own.

Another week, another evening, and I was sitting alone in a restaurant having dinner. I watched as a group of three people came in, followed by another, separate group. The ever attentive staff asked, “Inside or outside?”  Both groups replied “Inside.” A rather more stern reply of “Inside” came from one of the guys before either of his two companions could say otherwise. His reaction was quite amusing; like he didn’t really know why the staff were asking that question, of course they wanted to sit inside, it’s too bloody hot. There you go, sitting outside has its benefits, you get to see all this action however trivial it may seem. It adds to the amusement of the evening.

When someone asks me to sit inside, I have to struggle with myself not to behave like a child but there are a couple of people that will get me to comply and my friend Mark, is one of them. We met for dinner and drinks a couple of months back and he is quite happy sitting outside, like me, but he requested that we go inside for dinner. A reasonable request, I thought, being as it was rather hot. I yielded and am happy to report bottom lip did not join us. Once we had finished we were outside again. Proving to myself I can do it if I am persuaded.

I know it’s hot in Bangkok but for me I shall continue to station myself outside. It’s fun and the people watching is hilarious. You should try it.

Which do you prefer? Inside or outside? 😉

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Going Home for Christmas

As you may have gathered, I love my life in Thailand. I consider it my home. I have a job I love, and friends to hang out with now and again, but it’s always great to go back to my hometown of Northampton, in England, to catch up with my beloved family and friends.

And being Christmas makes it extra special. It’s not the same in Thailand, yeah they put up huge Christmas trees and decorations in the mall but it doesn’t have the same feel to it as Christmas at home. For a start, at home, you’ve got the run up to Christmas day when you get to exchange secret Santa presents and drink wine with your girl-friends, and shopping with your mum or dad. Decorating the tree and wrapping presents and not forgetting the obligatory Christmas Eve drinks. It’s all part of the Christmassy spirit. So, even though I like to make out that I am a bit of a humbug, really, I love this time of year, so I was very happy to be going home.

So a few days before Christmas I found myself sitting in a taxi, my bags packed, on the way to the airport with that tell-tale smile on my face that means I am excited to be spending time with my loved ones.

I arrived a few days before Christmas and got into the spirit quick quickly, catching up with friends and chilling with my family. I was just happy to be back surrounded by people who know me the best once more. To make it extra special this year we have three new babies in the family. My beautiful niece, Amayah, and two bouncing nephews, James and Sebastian.

On Christmas Day it was just, me, Mum, Dad, my sister, Denise and my new little niece, Amayah. In the morning we opened presents. And then watched Amayah open hers, with a helping hand from her mum and grandma of course. We had salmon, scrambled eggs and prosecco, which is the norm for Christmas lunch in our house. And, a few hours later, we demolished turkey and all the trimmings for dinner. It was delicious, like all of my mother’s food is. For the rest of the day we all sat watching TV, eating chocolates and drinking wine. It was very special.

Amayah loves her new teddy
Amayah loves her new teddy

The next day, I went for the one and only run of the holiday. It was nice to run in the cold for a change. Normally, I have to contend with 20 degrees plus temperatures, so running in the cold made a pleasant change, and it blew away a few cobwebs. (a.k.a.drinking too much wine!) In the afternoon the rest of my family arrived for the annual Boxing Day party. It was fun, although a bit different what with the new babies. There were no drinking games, or drinking of the dirty pint but there was a delicious buffet, wine (of course) and a lot of laughter. It was time well spent with my family.

New Year’s Eve saw me on the train heading to Newark to spend time with my good friends, Doyle and Mel and their two boys. Doyle picked me up from the station and we had coffee, before arriving at their home to start (and finish) two bottles of wine. Later, we went to their friend’s house for food, games, and, you guessed it, more wine. This time accompanied by a glass of water in between. Shock, horror! First time for everything! It was a great night, and when we got back we sat and chatted for a few more hours before heading to bed. A rather tame night, not like the ones we have had in the past, but I was happy that I got to spend time with them and I didn’t want to be anywhere else for those couple of days.

My best friends, Doyle, Mel, Ellis and Harley
My best friends, Doyle, Mel, Ellis and Harley

Whenever I go home the first few days go slowly as I get used to my surroundings again. And I think to myself “I have ages here.” But once those surroundings become familiar again, and I’ve had a few nights out with my friends, I’m almost on my way home again. The time goes so quickly.

It’s always bittersweet when I see people for the last time. Sweet because I’m spending time with the people that I love but bitter because I’m leaving them once more. But however much I love everyone at home, and I miss them a lot, it’s always nice to come back to the life I’ve made for myself. To get back into the routine of working life and to feel healthy again.

All in all I had a fantastic two weeks. I drank my body weight in wine, ate a lot of delicious food, put on a few pounds, but most of all I spent time with my wonderful family and gorgeous friends. In fact, words cannot describe just how much I loved it. It’s like I have never been away from them. They welcome me back with open arms and we pick up where we left off, just like I saw them yesterday.

So until the next time….