On the move in: Germany

BANGKOK: SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT

2

So here I am. More than three years later I came back to the city where my first real solo backpacking trip started: Bangkok.

Much has happened since then. I did my exchange semester in Hong Kong, my internship in Cape Town, graduated from university and went to Switzerland to save up money for my next big trip. But it’s definitely not only about the places I went to but rather the experiences I made, the people I met, the adventures I had and the way I personally developed. Looking back I must say I probably have changed a lot during the past few years.

Therefore, I’m asking myself does Bangkok still feel the same to me than it did three years ago?

Grand Palace, Bangkok

The answer is certainly no. I remember that big excitement when I first arrived here. The excitement of freedom, independence and adventure. Everything was new. It was like I had entered a secret world full of endless possibilites. Two months of travelling South-East-Asia was just ahead of me.

But with that excitement I also remember that feeling of being lost. I was travelling on my own, didn’t inform myself about the places that I could visit and didn’t really know how to get started. Where would I go? What would I do? Who would I meet?

Shisha Bangkok

A great evening with new friends in Bangkok (2012).

Now, three years later, my arrival somehow just feels different. This time Bangkok is a city I come back to. A place which I already know and brings back so many memories. Memories of people, places, feelings and so much more. I also don’t feel lost anymore. By now I know what I’m looking for in life and on my journey as much as I know in which direction I want to move.

Grand Palace, Bangkok

At the Grand Palace (2015).

Last time Khaosan Road used to be my favourite place in Bangkok. Now it’s not anymore. I went back there for two nights and suddenly the music seemed too loud, the people too crazy, the salesmen too pushy and the whole vibe too fictitious. It felt like a staged world to me which was only set up to satisfy the needs and wants of backpackers and tourists. Certainly it did not feel like the real world anymore.

Khaosan Road

A night out at Khaosan Road (2012).

Please don’t get me wrong here. Of course a night or two on Khaosan Road can be a lot of fun. But somehow that’s just not what I’m looking for anymore. I often prefer that random food place around the corner over a fancy restaurant, a nice bar over a club, live music over charts, deep conversations over small talk and a relaxed afternoon over a rushed sightseeing tour.

So this time I felt that I experienced Bangkok differently. I tried to feel the vibe of the city better, wandered around the streets, made random turns whenever I felt like it, used public transportation, tried a wider variety of food, talked to locals and also took more time for myself. After three years it felt more like I was part of the everyday’s life in Bangkok instead of just a visitor.

I think it’s usually not the place that has changed but you.

Bus in Bangkok

A public bus in Bangkok (2015).

Last but not least, did anyone ever have a similar experience when coming back to a place? Did you also feel like you had changed? I would love to hear about your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.

About author

Jacky

I’m Jacky, a 27-year old globetrotter from Germany. However, I usually can be found almost anywhere but in my country of birth. Until not long ago I was on an important mission in Australia to chase the sun, adventures, good chats, unforgettable moments and the beauty of this world.
Moreover, I’m a hippie at heart, recently did my yoga teacher training in India and just love to bury my nose in a good book. I’m mostly exploring countries on a low budget and often can be found with a colourful sign and a big smile in my face on the side of the road, trying to hitchhike from A to B.
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2 comments

  1. tdobbins@live.co.uk'
    Terry Dobbins 26 October, 2015 at 14:32 Reply

    Ah not the same without me in the hostel! 😉

    Seriously though I know completely what you mean . I feel the same way about my own city now. You’re three years older so your perspective is going to change. I always feel my first visits to cities just gives you a snapshot of what life is like there and if I go back the second time it’s because the memories of the place were amazing and I want more of it.

    I’ve just got back from visiting Edinburgh for the first time and loved it! Love the architecture, the history and the subtle cultural differences Scotland has to the north west of England. I’d never want to do Edinburgh in the same way again though. For one this two-day hangover is a killer. And two, what would be the point? What would I learn?

    • Jacky 27 October, 2015 at 01:59 Reply

      Haha no it’s really not the same without you here Terry. 🙂

      It’s so good to know that I’m not the only one feeling this way. Sometimes you maybe only realise how much you have changed when you go back to a place and compare your impressions with your first visit.

      I have heard so much about Edinburgh recently, the people who stayed there or even ended up living there all liked it a lot. I was never really interested in going there to be honest but maybe I really should just go at some point and see for myself. 🙂

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