Solo traveler in Thailand. A reality! Hi there! I’m excited to share my travel woes with you. As a 27-year-old single girl with a backpack, I was ready to conquer Thailand. However, my grand plans were nearly thwarted by a simple transportation mishap.
Upon arriving at Bangkok’s airport, I found myself in quite the predicament. I had booked a hotel in a different part of town, and as much as I love a good challenge, lugging my backpack around Bangkok’s bustling streets didn’t seem like a wise decision.
I approached the transportation desk, expecting to find an array of options at my disposal. Boy, was I wrong. I was met with a language barrier that even my high school Spanish couldn’t help me overcome. I tried using Google Translate, but the app’s translation of “I need a ride to my hotel” came out as “I am a unicorn who loves to eat rainbows.” Not exactly helpful.
Use critical thinking right now
As a well-educated individual, I knew it was time to put my critical thinking skills to the test. I decided to take matters into my own hands and embarked on a quest to find transportation to my hotel.
My first stop was the taxi stand. I had heard horror stories about Bangkok’s taxi drivers, but I was willing to take my chances. However, as soon as I approached the stand, I was bombarded with drivers shouting at me, vying for my attention like I was some sort of taxi royalty. I felt like I was on the red carpet at the Oscars, except instead of paparazzi, there were taxi drivers.
I quickly realized that the language barrier was going to be an issue. The drivers were speaking a mixture of Thai and broken English, and I was speaking a mixture of English and broken Spanish. It was like a game of linguistic charades, and I was losing. i never feel like this on any Asian airport before.
My next option
I decided to move on to my next option: public transportation. As a backpacker, I’m no stranger to navigating foreign public transportation systems. I was feeling pretty confident until I saw the city bus. It looked like it was straight out of the 1970s, and the thought of sitting on those hard plastic seats for an extended period of time was enough to make my back ache.
Next up was the subway, which seemed like a more modern option. However, after asking for directions in my broken Spanish, I realized that the subway didn’t go to the part of town where my hotel was located.
At this point, I was starting to feel like the universe was conspiring against me. But I refused to give up. I channeled my inner MacGyver and decided to improvise. I whipped out my phone and searched for ride-sharing apps. After downloading a few and inputting my destination, I was ready to go. Or so I thought.
Available or not …?
As soon as I tried to hail a ride, I was met with error messages and notifications telling me that there were no drivers available in my area. It was like the universe was saying, “Sorry, you’re on your own, kid.”
Feeling defeated, I started to contemplate my options. I could sit in the airport and cry, but that seemed counterproductive. I could try to hitchhike, but as a single girl, that seemed like a bad idea. And then, like a beacon of hope, I saw a sign for the airport train.
I had heard about the airport train, but I was skeptical. Was it too good to be true? I decided to give it a shot, and it turned out to be the best decision I made all day.
The train was clean, modern, and efficient. I felt like I was in a different world. It was like stepping out of a time machine and into the future. And the best part? The train went straight to the part of town where my hotel was located. It was a straight shot, and I didn’t have to worry about navigating the busy streets of Bangkok.
As I stepped off the train and made my way to my hotel, I couldn’t help but feel proud of myself for not giving up. I already forget Bangkok airport. I had encountered obstacle after obstacle, but I had persevered. I had used my critical thinking skills and resourcefulness to find a solution.
In the bed … solo …
And as I collapsed onto my hotel bed, exhausted but victorious, I realized that this experience was just one of many that would shape my travels. It was a reminder that sometimes things don’t go according to plan, but with a little bit of grit and determination, we can overcome even the biggest obstacles.
Was is worth it?
As I reflect on this experience, I am reminded of the words of author Paulo Coelho, who said, “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
In a way, this transportation mishap was my challenge, my test of courage and willingness to change. And while it may have seemed like a small obstacle, it was a reminder that sometimes the smallest challenges can have the biggest impact.
So to all the fellow travelers out there, I encourage you to embrace the unexpected, to welcome the challenges that come your way, and to trust in your own resourcefulness and resilience. And if all else fails, there’s always the airport train.