From one year as an Au pair to two months south-east asia – Decisions
Almost a year ago I did my Abitur – I was finished with school! I knew that I would need a break from the stressful school life before I would start studying. The first few months I worked on my application to become an Au Pair in America. I already skyped with a few families and I was SO sure that I would start my Journey as an Au Pair in January 2018. All of the sudden everything changed! I had a weird feeling about leaving Germany for a year. Over night I changed my mind.
New destination and planning
I asked my friend Nina if she’d be up for a trip to Thailand and well, she said yes! Just a week later we booked our flights. Yep, it was spontaneous. We still had less than two months to make some plans for our route but since it was almost christmas, time was running 😀 To make sure that we wouldn’t be lost in Bangkok the first night, we booked an Airbnb near the BTS. The owner also offered to send us a driver for 600 baht ( ca. 15 Euros) , which is really expensive for Thailand but we were happy to know that somebody would pick us up and that we wouldn’t have to take care of a driver at the airport ( at least that’s what we have thought by that time).
Then I started to write my packlist…I feel like I ordered stuff from Amazon everyday. Powerbank, sd-cards, waterproof phone bags, calipers and more. I was so excited that I didn’t even thought about Christmas. All I could think of was Thailand and how it would be – Beautiful? Culturally rich? Maybe dangerous?
Let the journey begin
The journey started on the 29th of december. We took the plain from Düsseldorf to Bangkok with a six-hour stop in Dubai. We flew with Emirates, which was really nice! Since they had all the new movies we weren’t bored at all. It was a nightflight so I probably should have slept a bit, but I was to excited and my thoughts couldn’t keep their mouth shut. After our six-hour stay in Dubai Airport and another 6 hour flight (all in all we had a flight time from 12 hours), we arrived in Bangkok. Phew!
And here we are…
Standing with our heavy backpacks, tired, hungry, thirsty – yesssss, okay, enough drama – I guess you can imagine how exhausted we were, just wanting to get to our Airbnb. But where was our driver? It was almost 10pm, very hot outside and he was nowhere to found. The woman from the apartment had given us the number of the exit where we should wait at and she said he would hold up a sign with our names on. What can I say? We looked on every piece of paper we saw, even in a different pick up area, hoping we would find him but we didn’t. Somehow the wifi couldn’t connect at first so we had problems to contact the airbnb owner. To cut the story short: the driver came 2 hours too late and we should have taken a taxi at the airport from the beginning.
Our apartment was in phra khanong and the train station was only 15 min away. We paid 15 euros per night ( together) which was okay but we were a little bit disappointed because of the bad conditions of the airbnb. We only had one chair – the other one was broken – dirty bathroom and it didn’t look like the pictures. We had a nice balcony though where we had waited for a spectacular firework on new years eve . Too bad there wasn’t anything 😀
I don’t want to get too much into detail about Bangkok. You definitely have to see it but two days in this crowded, loud and dirty city are enough.
But what I really loved about Bangkok were the beautiful parks! We even saw wild catamarans!!!
The paradise for vegans ♥
We arrived 4:30 am at the bus station. We didn’t know where we could stay the next days, so we ended up walking through the empty, dark streets in Chiang Mai 😀 In Germany I would have freaked out. I hate it when things are insecure and unsure. In Thailand? No problem, giiiiirl! As long as you have money and you’re passport , there’s nothing to worry about. At 8:30 we finally found a hostel where we could check in already ( most of the hostels there open the check in from 10 or later). We only paid 2,50 per night, everything was clean and we had amazing vegan restaurants nearby.
We immediately loved the charm of the city! There are a lot of temples and the side streets are the cutest! I’d always recommend to check out the nondescript places to go/eat , the people are very friendly and helpful. If you asked about vegan options in their menu, they were happy to tell you that they can personalize meals for you.
What I also really liked about Chiang Mai was the easy and cheap transportation. You can take the yellow or red bus, tell the driver where to go and he will drop you there or near by . Everyone pays the same but it may take a little longer since it is not a private taxi and new people get picked up almost every 5 min !
The day we arrived we wanted to hike to the top of the local mountain, but we couldn’t find the trail, haha. Apparently people go there by car?! After a few ubers we landed near a market where we made a rest. It was completely different than we thought. The waterfalls that we saw where directly near the street and it seemed like the only way up is the big, busy street. Since I didn’t sleep in the Bus to Chiang Mai the night before, I was extremely tired, so we didn’t make it to the top.
We decided to walk down by foot. After more than 30 min we were happy that a family picked us up. Don’t worry it was just the load area. No kidnapping possible ;D The feeling in the back was AMAZING. Honestly I’ve never felt so free and happy with the wind in my hair and this spontaneous decision.
Getting to know the culture / volunteering
After 2 days in Chiang Mai we went to a little village called “Kad Sala”, which we found via workaway . We had a maximum of three hours work ( promoting, teaching English, playing with local children) a day and we had a free accommodation and a lot of cultural exchange in return. We also had a great time with the other volunteers and the local markets were the best! I went crazy about the banana cake ( vegan) and Nina about the fried bananas. Most of the Thais didn’t speak English and sometimes we felt like they were laughing at us – I guess we’ll never know?
I guess this is enough text for the start! Our next destinations in Thailand were the islands: Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Lanta.
The next blog post is coming soon ♥