(May 30, 2006)
Life is full of unexpected surprises. There are many opportunities when one can secretly wish for something exciting to happen – something out of the ordinary. The real surprise is when the wish unexpectedly comes true. I never believed that something like this could ever happen to me; such a thing that would make me stop and look back at the events in awe. I think you would agree that something as simple as being lost in the forest for less than ten minutes should have no influence on my life. If you do agree, that makes both of us wrong.
Throughout my childhood, I loved the wild. My family and I would always go for a walk in the downtown forest of Coote’s Paradise. There were many times I thought of what could happen if we were to lose our way from the trail and have to live off of the land until we found our way back to civilization. I thought it would be the greatest experience ever.
As my brothers and I grew older, we continued to go for these walks with our parents but the dreams of living in the forest I soon forgot. That’s when it happened. We decided to take a different path off the main trail. Before I knew it, the path had disappeared and no one in my family could tell where we had come from. It was so unexpected. It gave me a feeling of excitement that can’t be described. Everything in the forest seemed different. The trees were a deeper shade of green. The birds chirped in a different tone. Vines covered almost every inch of the ground. One part of me never wanted this moment to end. I felt completely free from the stress of my life outside of the woods. It was this moment that I realized that I would much rather stay here for the rest of my life than go back to society.
I think that another reason that I felt carefree was because my parents didn’t panic. They took the situation under control and headed for any open area in hopes to find a map (many of these maps were found throughout the grounds, telling you where you were). From my point of view, at the time, it seemed as if they were excited as I was about losing our way. In the end, it only took my parents ten minutes to find such a map and we were back on the trail in no time.
An experience like this made me think about my place in life. I’m the type who loves seeking out adventures. When we were lost, I realized that I had everything I would ever need with me – my family. They’ve always supported me in everything I do. This experience made me realize that families need to stick together; you don’t realize how much you need them until, for a moment, you think they’ll be the last people you see for the rest of your life.
It’s incredible how much a simple thing like being lost in a forest for ten minutes will affect your outlook on life. Things like not being able to find your way back to where you came from make you appreciate the little things in life. Looking back on the day, I realize now that it was fate. Moments like that are few and far between and should be taken as a lesson. Surprises like this were, and always will be, an unexpected gift for all.
There is nothing better than the emotions and feelings one can receive from setting out on an adventure. Journeys help us to forget about our everyday issues. That is why I want to tell you about the best journey of my life.
It started at home as I began to pack items for a journey. I was excited because my parents and I were going to Thailand: the most interesting place to me. I could not imagine what it would be like.
The first experience we had when we got out of the plane to enter Thailand was the tropical, wet, hot air that permeated the environment. We arrived at our hotel on the south of Phuket Island. Beauty seemed to be all around us. From the one side of the road there was a lush greenery of tropical forest, from the other there were turquoise waves of the Andaman Sea.
We decided to spend our first days on a cozy seacoast and take a rest from a tiresome trip. The weather was wonderful. The sun was shining and the water was so warm, placid and limpid that we could see our shadows in it. I had the impression nothing else existed in this world besides us, nor the cares of everyday life nor urban fuss. We were enjoying every minute of our rest, slowly sipping a coconut milk through a tube straight out of a coconut. The days were changing from one another with new, bright, unforgettable emotions and impressions.
We wanted to pass one day away on motorbikes, studying the island. Our trip took a whole day and we managed to bike the half of the island riding along the coast. The views we saw on our journey showed us another side of local life. People were in a hurry going to work or other attending other business. The traffic in Thailand is extremely busy and noisy. A lot of people ride motorbikes, which is a distinguishing feature of Thailand.
All the way long, we made breaks to taste the delicacies of the local cuisine in snack bars. I enjoyed Thai food immensely with its extraordinary combination of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors. Sometimes the dishes were so spicy, that tears streamed from my eyes.
We also decided to diversify a bit, and go to less touristic parts of the island. Our island was covered by steep hills. The picturesque view of the tropical jungles and endless spaces of the sea with many adjoining islands, the beauty and splendor of local nature was opened to us. I was overfilled with the sense of infinite freedom and peace of mind. There was the impression that nothing is necessary in life except this place and moment.
It was a truly sad realization when we knew we had to travel back home. The whirlwind of emotions and feelings swept over my mind: this is completely another world, with its climate, people, food, traditions, and customs that charm and dip you in the extraordinary atmosphere of calmness and composure. I remember it now with freshness and understand that it was the best journey of my life.