Confessions of a Bad Traveler

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Curled up in bed, my body is pimpled with goose bumps. I know I have a fever and I can’t get comfortable. I stuff tissue up my nose just so that I don’t have to go through the motions of blowing it again. The skin of my nostrils is cracked and sore.

The darkness of the room begins to lift and I can see light peeking through the curtains. The sun must be rising outside, but I won’t see it again today. I cough. I do the time calculations in my head and I know that soon friends and family back home will be sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner.

While I don’t necessary agree with its origins, it’s hard to not be excited about America’s most gluttonous holiday. I am craving green bean casserole and I feel whiney. Homesickness is hitting me in the worst way.

My hip is aching where it is pressed into the flat, hard bed. Why are all the beds in Thailand like wood? I roll over and the movement makes my sinuses ache.

We’ve been in Chiang Mai for a week now. We came for the Yi Peng festival. Once a year, outside of the city, a jubilee of lanterns are released in a Tangled display of glowy gold lights floating up into the inky sky like fireflies. My moth heart aches to experience it.

In Bangkok, we learned that the free, local festival had been canceled. The tourist display, with tickets starting at over $100 USD, are already sold out. Although the Loy Krathong festival, held in conjunction with Yi Peng was still happening, the confluence of a cold and disappointment keeps me in the apartment. Kelly doesn’t argue, but I feel like I am holding her back.

I just want green bean casserole and a soft bed (my bed). I’m tired of Thai street food with its weird meats and potential gastronomic consequences. I’m tired of sleeping on beds akin to sleeping on the floor. I’m tired of the heat and humidity. I’m tired of sweating. I’m tired of all of it. I am feeling distinctly unthankful.

I am wasting it. I am wasting this time in Chiang Mai. Other people (read: better travelers) would have sucked it up and gone to Loy Krathong anyways, not laid in bed and secretly thrown themselves a pity party. They would be excited to search out yet another place to eat at. Is that liver? Maybe I’ll like it the THIRD time I accidentally order it! It’s still an adventure, right?

The guilt. I’m tired of that most of all.

I remind myself to be kind to myself. It’s my first holiday in a foreign country away from home and I am celebrating it with snotty tissues and Disney movies. That’s okay.

There’s time to be thankful tomorrow.

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