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Thailand

thailand
Oh, the joys of travel! To feel the excitement of sudden departure, not always knowing whither. Surely you and I are in agreement about that. How often did my life seem concentrated in that single moment of departure. To travel far, far—and that first morning’s awakening under a new sky! And to find oneself in it—no, to discover more of oneself there. To experience there, too, where one has never been before, one’s own continuity of being and, at the same time, to feel that something in your heart, somehow indigenous to this new land, is coming to life from the moment of your arrival. You feel your blood infused with some new intelligence, wondrously nourished by things you had no way of knowing.
— Rainer Maria Rilke
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I am a great believer in travel. Travel anywhere, travel for as long or as little as you like. But travel. 

My brother and I donned our backpacks and set out for Thailand without a plan, just a wish to explore and experience. We discovered that Thailand showers those who visit in riches of kindness, openness, generosity and beauty. We found ourselves continually amazed by wild temples on every corner, by street foods of all kinds, by the oceans, the jungles, the wild cities - but mainly by kindness, such kindness of so many people wet met along the way. And this is what makes the journey truly beautiful. 

As so often happens in travel, we happened to find our favorite place by chance, chatting to a group of Irish tourists, who said we must go to Khao Sok National Park. And I'm so grateful that they did.

Khao Sok is a vast lake and jungle area which formed from a damn. Unlike many parts of Thailand it is still quite untouched - only a handful of people are allowed to visit and stay on the floating huts each day (and only for one night at a time).

We swam in the green water, hiked to a cave and walked through the long, dark, tubular cavern (in water sometimes up to our chin). We saw a Python gracefully swimming in the dark, Gibbons and Tucans at dawn, and ate fresh fish with our small group of travelers from all over the world.

It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen

Travel is never quite what it seems from a blog post and photos, there are so many more moments: waiting for buses, sleeping in loud hostels, being in huge crowds, being ill, being lost ... But I would never exchange a moment, to be in such a place, and see such beauty.