It is a moment in time. Somewhere, somehow, we all experience it, sensory overload. Sometimes painful, and sometimes bliss, these moments bring to us an awareness that we are alive, or, perhaps, really living!
We were already exhausted from a sleepless night when we started walking through the narrow corridors of the market place. It was 7am and we had joined our dear friends Adrian and June to do some shopping at Bangkok’s Chinatown.
The vendor’s were scrambling to set up, to get all their goods on display. The crowd already so thick you couldn’t see more than a few feet in any direction. Being pushed, shoved, and jostled without having had a proper cup of coffee is no way to start your day!
The temperature already so hot and humid that we were already drenched in sweat. Making our way to the street the strong scent of the sewer flowing below open grates, durian fruit being cut, deep fryers cooking, satays grilling, curries simmering, and meats hanging combined to form an indescribable smell.
Different music was playing every few feet from American pop to Buddhist sanskrit chants. Every step dodging pot holes, scooters, or strays. Sensory overload! I woke up without my coffee. Tuned in and turned on. This was one of those moments that define why I travel.
I have never explained why I named my blog, “A Trance To Travel”. I believe travel breaks the trance of our lives. One of the things I learned in my early hypnotherapy training is that time distortion is a key indicator of a trance state.
We experience this all the time in our daily lives. We watch a three hour movie and become so entranced that it seems like ten minutes. We meet a dear friend for coffee and become so engrossed in our conversation that we lose track of time. We drive home and can’t seem to remember if we stopped for that stop sign that we stop for every single day. Time drags Until Friday, flies to Monday, and before we know it a year has blown by. We do the same things, in the same way, and we ask ourselves where does the time go?
Travel breaks the trance. Everything you do when you travel requires you to be mindful of every detail. If you do not look where you walk you will trip. Sidewalks are uneven, if they exist at all, and potholes are everywhere. You must eat carefully or you will choke on bones. In many cultures they simply hack chicken with a cleaver into small pieces so you must pick it apart with your fingers. Toilet paper, well thats a topic of its own, lets just say that going to the toilet requires a whole new level of mindfulness. Everything you do is different so you have to slow down and become mindful. This breaks the trance and time slows down. Sometimes it seems to even stop. It is a beautiful thing! I have often said that I blinked and my three boys became men. So fast it seemed like overnight. However, when we reminisce about the trips we have taken together the detail we remember is extraordinary!!! I truly believe that the amazing relationships that I have with my three sons was woven from the fabric of our travels together. Simply because we stepped out of the trance of ordinary life.
You do not have to go someplace as far away or exotic as Bangkok, just go someplace that you have never been!
Here are more of the faces of Bangkok’s Chinatown.