“Hm, let’s think about it and come back.”
We’re thinkers before we become doers, especially Justine. She likes to know her options, think about a plan, and then come back after making an informed decision. Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t turn out to always be the best mode of decision making when it comes to living abroad.
Ticket prices increase.
Food vendors with scrumptious looking food that were there one night, gone the next day.
Even food stocked on the shelves of a grocery store seem to disappear, never to return.
Donut shop by morning, bar by evening
Most recently, we were taught the hard lesson again when we had been eyeing up a restaurant we wanted to check out. We had made plans to go after spending a couple of days in Cambodia. We came back and, Poof! Gone!
What it looked like before we left:
What it looks like now:
The first lesson was two months in to Viet Nam, we had met a man selling ceramics on the side of a pagoda. We fell in love with his second-hand pots and hand-painted bowls. We bought one bowl and determined we’d be back the next Sunday. We never saw that man again. It wasn’t for us trying. We put out the ‘bat-call’ to our friends, we bicycled past this pagoda frequently; he just never showed up again.
There were countless moments where we saw a great gift or item and we said we’d walk back to get it later. It was never there. Sometimes the entire vending stall was gone, sometimes the item we wanted to sold, sometimes we couldn’t find our back to that same spot. This held true for our times at Chatachuk Market in Bangkok. It’s a weekend market with over 15,000 stalls with over 200,000 visitors a day. We never return to quite the same spot. It may look the same, but we promise, it’s not. It’s 27 acres, bring comfortable shoes.
At first, we were sad that we missed out on an experience, meal, or gift. We realized we would have avoided this sadness by taking the risk and saying “Yes, let’s do it.” For the first several times, we thought, why haven’t we learned this yet?! Shame on us once, twice…more times to count. So now, when we see a good opportunity to travel somewhere, buy something, experience some space, we do it.
It’s been a year of changing, reflecting, and enjoying. This is one of the most important lessons we learned in our time abroad, saying yes because the opportunity may not present itself again.