I woke up and went for a 3 mile run at an easy pace. After the run, I got food from a local store to eat for lunch (eggplant, and stir fried cabbage with rice). I always try to get food ahead of time when I know I’ll be on a bus/train for a while and am unsure of the food options. Always be planning ahead!!! Can never risk going hungry.
After that I packed, ate breakfast, and checked out of my hostel. I hopped on the van to Pai around 9:30. I met this Slovakian girl Viktoria on the bus, and we exchanged info so we could meet up in Pai.
Everyone had told me that the bus ride to Pai would be absolute hell, since it has so many twists and turns, but it was fine. I just fell asleep and was more or less sleeping the whole ride.
During the bus ride I ate an apple, some pumpkin chips, and my lunch.
We arrived in Pai around 1:30. I checked into my hostel, Suandoi Backpacker Resort, which was really nice. It had lots of space and a really chill vibe. PLUS my bed was an actual, single bed and not a bunk!! WINNINGGGG
Getting to Pai made me think about how whenever you move to a new city when traveling solo, you are essentially starting over. All over again you have to make new friends, get used to a new place, get settled into a new hostel. I feel like it’s one of those things that you can so easily think of as exhausting and annoying, but you can also think of it as exciting and refreshing. I’m trying to stay on the more positive side. Reframing is everything!
Anyway, after I dropped off my bags in my room I went into town and got a smoothie (banana & watermelon). I heard two people speaking Japanese in the store, and it made me happy. There aren’t that many Japanese people abroad!
I spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Pai. I walked into nearly every clothing store because I was looking for a new dress & shirt (my white shirt and dress i brought are so dirty), a hat, and sunglasses (mine broke WAH). I ended up buying NONE of that; I instead bought two rings and a choker. Oops. But they’re really cute and local so…. oh well?
I went back to the hostel to blog. Then, while I was messaging Viktoria, I found out she is vegan too!!! I was SO happy! We made plans to meet for dinner.
While blogging, I also ran into two guys I took the May Kaidee cooking class with. I knew they were coming to Pai, but didn’t think we were staying at the same hostel, so that was pretty funny. We chatted for a bit and then I went to go meet Viktoria.
There is a big night market every day in Pai, so we decided to check it out. We ended up getting mushroom skewers (can never say no to mushrooms), a sesame sticky rice thing (really good), grilled banana filled with various things (I enjoyed the avocado filled one the most), and then for actual dinner I had panang curry.
We ran into the hostel/cooking class guys on the street, who were with other people from the hostel, so we decided to all go for a beer. I chatted with this one Dutch/German girl who speaks like a bajillion languages and AMAZING English, and I was so impressed. I don’t get how people can speak so many languages!! Makes me feel so dumb ha.
It occurred to me while I was at the bar that anyone with social anxiety should travel solo to help cope with the anxiety. It really makes you realize that people are just people and that you shouldn’t be afraid to approach them. Everyone wants the same thing: to be noticed and included.
Sometimes when I go to new hostels, I get nervous because I feel like I won’t be able to approach a big group of people without looking desperate or weird. But then you realize that they all probably also just met 10 minutes ago, are super friendly, and aren’t judging you at all. I think traveling solo is really great for building confidence, social skills, and just an overall comfort around new people.
We headed home around 10:30. Some of the food stalls were still open and we saw a truffle place with a BUNCH of different chocolates. All but 2 were vegan! Woooo!! The Dutch/German girl (Rachel) and I split a dark chocolate/coconut truffle. It was amazing, but I’m glad we split it because it was pretty rich.
The walk home was amazing because all the stars were out and it was beautiful. I LOVE looking up and just gazing at stars… it never gets old. Bed time was 10:30.