Eat, Pray, Love

Monday, April 01, 2024

A friend remarked that my vacation plan sounds very "Eat, Pray, Love" like and you know what—maybe, he was onto something there

Sure, I walked like I was trekking to the EBC around Soi6, with a backpack full of Sanrio merch, taking pictures of a salon past working hours. Found Pooky for Pookie, who ordered the cheese? I also ate like I was on a remote island with no food left for dinner. 

However, in my defense, I also burnt a lot of calories walking and swimming and just lazying around in my room. I have also done Soi 6, over five times and going alone meant not having a single person who'd beg me to come back to the hotel to sleep. It was all me and mine to decide and plan. 

It is exhilarating to travel solo when you're constantly shoved to work with a lot of people and are expected to obey every Tom, Dick & Harry. 

I didn't think solo travelling could be this fun, and to think, a year ago, I was willing to give it all up for a person who wanted me to be an airport princess and waltz with him to his vacation dreams (one where we travel business, stay in only 4* and above resorts, don't leave the room, order room service and sleep). Hey, that's not a bad vacation and he wasn't a bad planner, but that life isn't just for someone who has a larger appetite of life—three breakfasts and four dinners and just some juice for lunch, thank you. 

I spent a lot of time reflecting in the pool, floating and staring at the sky (87 minutes precisely). I languished in bed until I physically couldn't anymore and ate like nobody was watching. Even if people were, likely that I'm not coming across them again. I met my noodle-soup hawker who recognized me and threw in extra bean-sprouts, just like I like it. I ate Pad Krapow Gai once a day, for 7 days straight and got a massage twice a day on days I felt my life was falling apart. 

On my way to work today, some 11 days in, I felt like it all passed by in the blink of a second. I never felt more at home and at peace than I did this week and to think time passes slowly when you're with your own thoughts. I've spent a lot of time alone, mostly out of despair and loneliness of watching people around me be sick and sat through those times alone out of helplessness. I think being by myself for once when someone wasn't sick or dying for a change was wildly empowering. I spent more time sleeping in the first 72 hours, because I knew, even if something bad were to happen, it would be out of my control. 

Only on the penultimate day, I felt like things were out of control. I didn't want to leave. I liked this new life, where I didn't know anyone and nobody knew me. I could be a minx by the beach, in a tiny swimsuit or I could be a vixen at the photo-booth, posing by herself and having a better time than she's had with anyone ever on a second date. I thought through the men I've loved and what they would have remarked on this act of brainless vacation, one where I've been a million times and one where I don't do anything new—same old, same old. 

I also realised I forgot all about the original reason I chose to skip town on the dates I had planned. Two days in, I realised it was a breeze. What could have been a reason to celebrate for different reason, became a reason to mark my relationship with myself. 

I'm okay. I'm enough. I got me. I'll be fine etc. 

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