Posted by: James Shannon | February 15, 2012

Fleeing The Great White North: James’ Return To Southeast Asia

After hitting my breaking point with the darkness and extreme cold of an Alberta winter, I make my escape aboard a Korean Air jet bound for Thailand … warm sunshine, sand, and tropical waters, here I come!

Well, I tried to make it work.  Actually, to tell you the truth, after an amazing third season with Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park, I had no idea what to do next.  Allowing myself to go with the flow, I signed on for my second winter with Marmot Basin (Jasper’s ski hill, and all-round best kept secret in the Canadian Rockies), with plans to simply ride out the winter skiing.

Things didn’t go exactly as planned however.  As it happens, I have always been affected to a significant degree by the drastic decline in daylight in the far northern hemisphere during the Late Autumn to Mid-Winter months.  Over the years, I had built up a tolerance, or had otherwise learned to cope with the onset of blue moods brought on by the lack of direct sun.  What I didn’t count on, was the fact that I had spent the entirety of the previous winter season in the tropics;  the abundance of Vitamin D, seratonin, etc that I was soaking in one year ago was now alarmingly absent!

From early November on, I was grasping at straws … A feeling of hopelessness with no concrete cause took root, and despite my every effort to shake it, nothing came of it.  Eventually, I did figure it out, and soon after I formulated a plan to head back to the sunny shores of Thailand, and beyond.  Instead of merely travelling through the region, I would seek out employment as a tour guide, or failing that, as a teacher of English to the millions of Asians eager to learn the language of international commerce (at least for now, that is!)

After working through the holidays to save badly-needed cash, I set out to Asia once more on January 17th …

 Dinner aboard Korean Air flight 72 … didn’t care for the fruit item oddly enough, but everything else was awesome!

 One of the movies on offer: Moneyball.  I was skeptical that a sports movie could be an Oscar contender, but after watching this brilliant film about turning conventional wisdom on its head, I am sold!

 After dropping my bags at Lub D Silom, it was time to unwind and de-stress … fortunately, fellow travellers  are always up for a drink or ten … cheers, with Cheers Beer!

 At about 1 AM or so, the call went up to head to Khao San Road for more mayhem … back in North America, even I would be thinking about rolling over and going to bed … not here.  Bangkok never sleeps, and my Lub D friends and I hit the strip until about 5 AM … epic first night back in the Land Of Smiles!

Fun times had the first night cast aside, it will be an uncertain few months for Yours Truly.  But all change and personal growth occurs outside one’s comfort zone, not snuggly entrenched inside one’s concoon!  So here I am in SE Asia, seeking just not adventure, but opportunity.

We’ll see what happens.


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