Surprise! I’ve stopped travelling.
Well, that’s not completely true. I’ll be back on the road in September, starting with Vietnam, and hopefully continuing through Cambodia and Southern Thailand (unless I go live on a farm…no joke).
It was serendipitous, really. I knew I wanted to stop moving for three months, get an apartment, and get a job (travel is fun but unemployment is uncomfortable), but I was 99% sure it would happen in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I was back in town there for Songkran after travelling Burma, and decided to explore Laos during April and May, putting me right on track to settle down somewhere in June.
‘I’m almost certain I’ll spend the summer in Chiang Mai,’ I told my friends, ‘…though I guess the only thing that could change that is if something happens in Luang Prabang.’
Life is funny sometimes. I arrived in Luang Prabang in mid-May after trekking northern Laos, and on my very first day walked into a tour agency to ask directions. They had a cool, youthful vibe, with both foreigners and locals working there, and were partnered with a shop selling handicrafts from small artisans all over Laos. I dug it instantly, and on a whim, went back the next day with my CV.
I had no idea if they were hiring, and what they’d even be hiring for, but what did I have to lose?
Maybe now I should confess that I completely believe in guardian angels. Travel guardian angels, in particular. Or just really kick-ass luck. Not only did they have an opportunity in the skill set I wanted to pursue, but the position came with a room in an apartment, travel opportunities over Laos, and a 3-month work period – perfect timing to meet my friend in Vietnam come September.
This is the sound of me high-fiving the universe. SHAZAM!
So, there you have it. I won’t be in my heart-achingly beloved northern Thailand – for now, at least – but instead spending my summer doing social media, tourism, writing & photography (and general office bitch work) in Luang Prabang.
I am MORE than stoked. They’ve got me blogging, travelling, and photographing for the company – three of my favourite things!
Hopefully I can get out of any coffee making ;)
But best of all? I get to know Luang Prabang, this amazing city, even better.
This is a city of such killer charm, it’s difficult to decide how to even begin to explain. The streets lined with old French colonial houses, white-washed and half-timbered, housing cute cafes, boutique hotels, and artist ateliers?
The absolute riot of colour coming from the flowering trees – red hibiscus, pink and white plumeria, yellow padauk, purple bougainvillea – on every street?
The quiet of the city centre, the calm of the avenues, the unending sense of summertime leisure when sitting on the banks of the Mekong, feeling the wind blow past, and watching the clouds and the fishermen go by?
No. I don’t know. It’s difficult. Words fail me when I try to describe the sights, the beauty, the peace, that strike me daily in this town.
The local waterfalls, the late nights at the bowling alley (one of the only places to stay open after 11:30), the monks in saffron robes, the gold glinting temples, the flashes of French, the mangoes and jackfruit and bananas ripening on my street.
I’d rather just show them. Maybe the pictures in this post will inspire you to come check this city out for yourself someday.
And if it’s anytime in the next three months, hit me up!