A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: lil0liz

and the moral of the story is...

overcast -17 °C

Writing this last entry has been hard. It will be harder for you to read it, so I apologise.

I left home in a bad situation. Life really wasn't what I wanted it to be and I was in a downhill spiral, the 21st of January I hit a peak of hurting myself to a point where I didn't care anymore. I completely broke down and I knew it was bad. That night I thought of suicide, which was a big thing because before I had never ever even considered it. Death scares me, and I always thought that things would get better eventually so it wasn't worth it. That night I text a friend who I've relied on a lot before. We hadn't spoken much recently but they helped me. I was scared and alone that night and I shared the problem and it helped it go away, albeit just for that night. Those last weeks I was stressed and tired, not just exhausted by work but by life. Hating being alone, upset, hurt... not ever having a solution, just stuck in a dead end. The day before I left I looked on the back on the painkiller box to see how many it would take to kill me. I sat on the floor and cried, because I realised what I was doing, and it was so stupid. It was stupid because this was something I had thought I would never do, it was stupid because like some kind of zombie I was doing this without any control of it myself, and it was stupid because no-one even knew I was in this kind of state. At that point, my trip was a lifeline. Knowing myself, I probably wouldn't ever have taken those pills, but jesus, I scared myself.

My trip was something to look forward to. Researching and organising it kept me busy and provided a nice distraction. It was a finish line for me to drag myself to. I had a goal to reach. It was also a cure, if it wasn't going to fix me by the end then I was more broken than I realised.

The first few days in New York were hard, but I adjusted. The first 5 airports up until I landed at Auckland, I would get badly homesick and scared again, going into the unknown. No amount of planning could ever have prepared me for that. But I stuck it out, because I'm stubborn and I was determined to make my trip work. Sometimes I did get really lonely, and wished that I didn't have to do it alone and that someone was there to share the things I was seeing. But I didn't have any choice, if I wanted to do this trip, I had to do it alone. I'm massively, unashamedly proud of what I've done. I've come back from this trip having seen and experienced so many different things and learnt so much and that in turn has filled me with even more confidence in myself than before. I met a lot of people along the road, who all played a part in making my trip that little bit better, because when you're travelling on your own they're all pretty important. I also know now that I can do it, this was a challenge and I overcame it, just like I'm sure the next few years will throw more challenges my way and I will overcome them too.

Best of all though, is that I've stopped hurting from what happened with Stuart. I also realised a week into the Cook Islands, amid emails, that he is selfish, and I don't think I've deserved the lack of respect or care he's given in this last year since we've been apart. I used to hope that one day he would be mature enough to talk to me again, but now I don't care, I'm too angry. Before I also gave consideration to how he and others may view this, but frankly, I've been honest, which is more than he has been to me. I guess what goes around comes around.

Another plus is that I went to Raglan to see a good friend Nash, met Colin and had the whole Raglan experience. Like I've said before, life in Raglan was exactly how I've wanted it to be for years, and I think it was that which really fixed me. I was completely me there, no pretending to be happy, no glossing over the bad bits. It showed me life's good side again, something which seemed only in memories for so long.

Now that I've admitted all of this to you; family, friends, even strangers... I don't want you to treat me differently, whether it to think me weird, or to treat me like a china vase, that's not what I want. There's such a anti-social association with self harm and that's only because people don't understand it, which I guess does figure, but I hope that through reading this I've maybe shed just a little, tiny, glimmer of light on the subject. Don't be apprehensious (think I just made that word up) of me, or feel sorry, talk to me about it even... I just want you to try and understand. For me, self-harm was another way of forgetting the emotional pain for a little while. It was the extreme, the rest of the time I tried to forget through writing, talking and sharing my hurt. If anyone ever needs to talk, I will listen. I won't fix the problem, but talking about it and not brewing it over in your head makes such a huge difference, or at least it did for me. I hope I don't sound like I'm preaching in a really cheesy way, but I quite seriously mean all of this. I've come back from this trip realising more than ever the importance of talking to people, the importance of friends. I guess that's the moral of my story.

Many thanks to those who read this blog, especially those who left comments, sent emails etc, all very much appreciated and needed along the road.

much love as ever,

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by lil0liz 16:34 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (3)

twinkle twinkle little star

semi-overcast

On Saturday we flew back to Bangkok and moved into our Holiday Inn room. Holiday Inn UK could do with learning a few things from the Bangkok place, it was very nice, not like the ones at home at all. Although our room smelt veryyy musty, probably because the only window didn't open and obviously fresh air had never entered, haha. Anyway I still wasn't feeling on top of the world so my mum went for a wander about the market just down the road while I slept, and slept and slept! She came back to the room a couple of times around 5/6 but I was sound asleep, right up until 9pm! Once I woke up a bit disorientated I went downstairs and found her in a sitting area and we went and had some dinner which was very nice, chicken tikka, I decided to allow myself something spicy.

Sunday was our last day in Thailand and so we decided to go to the reclining buddha, just near the grand palace. We got a taxi out there, and were walking around to the 'foreigners' door when a man who had been walking in front of us turned round and said, 'are you wanting to see the reclining buddha today?' we replied yes, a bit confused as to why this man was talking to us. He explained that the reclining buddha was shut for foreigners until 2pm that afternoon due to a special holiday and that we would have to do something until then (it was 10am). We were a bit wary at first and were going to carry on to find out for ourselves, but he then asked for a piece of paper and a pen. With these he started writing down while explaining a few places we should visit meanwhile. He then said it would be 25 baht each, 50 baht in total, for a tuk tuk to take us around all afternoon until we could return to the reclining buddha. He then stepped near the road and a tuk tuk pulled over. Our Thai man explained to the tuk tuk driver that this was what we would do and this is how much is would be. He then shook our hands, we thanked him, and got into our tuk tuk. It was all very surreal and friendly. So first we were taken to the lucky buddha. We pulled down a rather private looking drive with houses on either side. The tuk tuk stopped and he explaining in broken english that the entrance was just down on the right. So we walked down there, and through some gates, not sure whether it was just someones garden when another friendly man came up. We asked if this was where the lucky buddha was and he said yes, come on in. We followed him in while he explained his love of british football. He had even heard of Aberdeen! Anyway, more interestingly he explained how the temple was in repair and what various things meant. For example the 'swan tails' which stick off all the temples at the corners on the roof are there as connections to heaven. While we were in one temple my mum got talking to a Belgian guy who later told us that he comes to Thailand a lot for scuba diving, who told us of a good jewellery shop and gave us the address. So once we finished there off we went to the gem store. My mum ended up with a sapphire and gold ring, and me with an ivory necklace which was all very nice. Then we got taken to another gem place and if we bought something then the tuk tuk driver would get money for petrol, so we kind of felt obliged... so out we came with a pearl necklace. After all this we decided to just go back to the reclining buddha as it was around 3 by then. There ended our tour of Bangkok by tuk tuk. The reclining buddha was HUGE. I don't know what its made of, but its gold in colour and the temple which it is in has painted cloth walls. You can pay 200 baht and get a tub of coins to drop in the monks collection bowls lining the wall of the temple, which we did. While we were in there a big group of young monks went in as well, chanting as they went, which was very atmospheric. On the buddhas feet was massage pressure points carved in with mother of pearl. Outside of the temple we wandered around a few of the other temples and statues. After this we walked to the river side and caught a boat on the very disgustingly dirty river. Fun all the same, we got off at the Oriental Hotel stop. There was a lovely friendly sign as we walked up the path to the hotel saying 'No backpackers allowed' hahaha! We went in for afternoon tea in the Authors Lounge or something which was verrry nice. The whole hotel was very nice. Our little tea set was on a 3 tier cake stand. We had some nice mini sandwiches, mini scones, mini creme brulee, mini shortbread, mini Maderia cake and other mini cakes. Plus a giant pot of earl grey. Was all very nice, a good end to the trip. After that we walked down the road and got a tuk tuk back to the hotel.

The next day we went to the airport, my flight was at 6 while my mums was at midnight, so she had a bit more of a wait at the airport. I went up to check in and the man had a problem with my ticket. Once again I was asked for my proper ticket and I had to explain that was all I had. He then said I wasn't booked in on that flight. We had just changed the flight dates so we thought maybe they hadn't gone through, but I did have a confirmation of the new dates so that didn't make sense. After probably half an hour of being taken to different check in people one girl finally managed to do it, and shouted something angrily to the original check in guy. I think he was trying to get me on the flight which had been checking in before, and thats why I wasn't on it. Anyway after that I said bye to my mum and off I went on my own again to get through immigration, which took agggges. I did a little shopping in the airport before going down to get the flight. I arrived at Singapore around 10pm and was there for the next 11 hours. We did try to get me on the flight which left at 11pm but as it was the brand new super huge plane it was all booked up. So I had to wait til 9am. Luckily there is a hotel in the airport so I booked in for 8 hours and slept there and got a shower in the morning when I had to get up. I then went around some of the shops, into Tiffany again for another oggle, haha. I went on the free internet for 15 mins and after wandering about aimlessly it finally got around to time for me to leave for London. My flight home was fine, despite being 12 hours it went really quite quickly, although I had an annoying tiny Chinese guy sitting infront of me. He had the seat which is by the emergency exit so has loads of leg room, like 2 metres worth, and yet he STILL put his seat back so that I had about 3 inches between me and the tv screen on the seatback. I was very annoyed, especially as it made the screen darker so I couldn't see the film as well, so I made it my little personal mission to wriggle about with my knees up against the seat so that every time I did so he would be bumped about in his seat. He got the hint and moved it back for a little while but not the whole time. Nothing annoys me more than people putting their seats back on the plane. I never do it unless I'm at the back seat, even then I don't think it makes much difference. Anyway rant over! So when I arrived at Heathrow I had a silly smile on my face that I was landing into England, nearly home! Getting across Heathrow was a pain though, I think out of all the airports I've been to it is the worst! Especially for joining terminals, most places have trains, trams or buses. Heathrow has little bits of moving walkway, all underground in a dark, dank tunnel. Anyway, I was booked on for a 9pm flight to Edinburgh but I arrived around 3pm so tried to get an earlier flight even though my dad had tried and had been told they were all full. Luckily there was a space and I left at 6, in for 7. I was so excited getting on the plane, the last leg of my journey before home, that place I'd been thinking of the whole time since leaving 3 months earlier. When we landed and I saw the airport which I'd seen so often from the bar and was smiling like an idiot to myself. I could see out of the corner of my eye a business man watching me smiling to myself, obviously wondering what was going through my mind. After I got off the plane I went up to the bar and saw one of the managers, Stuart, as well as Scotty, Barry, Ben and a few other new people I didn't know long enough to remember their names. It was so nice seeing them all again, it really sucks that I can't go back to work there because it was so much fun. Anyway after a quick chat I went down the escalator I used to go down every day after work, but this time as a passenger, and saw my dad waiting outside. We waited for my bag which came off quite quickly and went and got the car. It was strange, and it still is actually writing this now a week later, that my trip, this blog, is all finished and over. I am obviously quite sad about it, but happy to be home all the same.

I'm going to write a conclusion to this, once I've had a thought about it all, so come back sometime. But for now,

much love,
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by lil0liz 08:21 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

second batch of photos...

overcast

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Posted by lil0liz 08:10 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

poddington peas

sunny

On Monday the 21st it was my mums birthday and it was also the day we flew to Cambodia. We arrived in Siem Reap after just an hours flight from Bangkok to blue skies and rediculous heat, even warmer than Thailand. Very sticky. The airport is international, very new and very nice. Siem Reap is quite obviously built off tourism. Our tour guide met us at the airport and bundled us into a taxi to take us to the hotel. Driving down one of the main roads (as in the ones with tarmac, there are 3 main roads, one to Angkor Wat, one through Siem Reap and one from the airport) was a bit like what I imagine the Las Vegas strip is like except slightly smaller and less lights. But you get the idea, lots of big hotels with lavish, traditional-looking Cambodian architecture. Our hotel was very nice, once we arrived we went straight to the pool for a lie in the sun and then some late lunch which included watermelon juice - soo good! One of the nicest thing in Asia was the nice fresh fruit juices. After a while I was getting quite tired and uncomfortable in the sun so my mum stayed down there and I went up to the room for a nap, my energy levels were getting verrry low and my throat was even more sore than before. Later on we went down for dinner (buffet again!) and watched the Cambodian dancers outside who were really good. The dancing is very slow and they move their hands and feet very intricately, wearing these gorgeous silk baggy 3/4 trousers, white tops and lots of gold jewellery. Once we went back to the room we watched Braveheart for the first time!! Very funny to be watching that in Cambodia of all things.

On Tuesday we were booked to go on the tour of Angkor Wat all day. I however was very, very ill, and it sucked! I felt tired, couldn't hear because my ears were still up in the sky and my throat was the worse it had been and not nice at all. My mum got a 'doctor' to come up, although whether she was a doctor or not we don't know, she didn't even look at my throat! She did give me 2 days worth of 3 antibiotics and 3 vitamin C tablets though. Until they kicked in she suggested that going outside to the heat and then back in cool air-conditioned rooms probably wasn't helping. My mum put off the tour for a day, but that was the most she could change it. She spent the day by the pool and taking a trip into town while I slept most of the day - not the exciting Cambodian experiance I was hoping for.

Wednesday my mum went to Angkor Wat for the day long tour while I still wasn't feeling well enough to go. It was another boring day of sleeping and a bit of tv. When my mum returned I got to look at the photos on my camera, but I really didn't want to get this close to Angkor and not go see it for real!

On Thursday I felt a bit better but didn't want to risk it getting worse again by going out so my mum went on the tour of the floating villages alone again, and again I just got to see the pictures! We met the 'doctor' again and she gave me another 2 days of antibiotics as they seemed to be working. That evening I went down with my mum for dinner in the restaurant instead of room service.

Friday I felt a tad better, but out of sheer determination we went to Angkor Wat so I could see it, and it was totally worth it. Its so huge and vast, and the amount of work that must have gone into it is just crazy. Almost every single wall or pillar is carved with so much detail its like wallpaper. We visited Angkor Thom as well, which is the temple with the faces carved into the stone which is really cool, but a bit more derilict than Angkor Wat. Outside of there I bought a hat from a really nice girl who mustn't have been older than 13 or 14. I have to say, all of the Cambodian people who I did meet on my short visit were really friendly and happy, considering how much death and destruction which has so recently been inflicted on the country, the people are obviously keen to forget and rebuild. After Angkor Thom we went to Ta Prohm which is the famous temple from the Tomb Raider movie and which the jungle is taking over. Its really cool because the trees are like nothing else, all the roots wrapping around the walls and slowly destorying the temple. In a few years it will have been eaten up by the trees. Its quite spooky. Once we got back to the hotel I was really knackered out but so glad that I managed to make it, it really would have been awful if I didn't get to see it. After a short nap we went down to get massages at the hotel spa which were ammazing, after massaging your arm of whatever the lady pulled it so it went all tingly and really nice, haha. She pulled my fingers though and they clicked and I hate that, I always told Colin off when he did it cos its really gross, ha. After that we had dinner and then got a tuk tuk around Siem Reap which was quite good because I hadn't seen very much of it!

Posted by lil0liz 05:51 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

you smile when you're dancing

sunny

Our first day in Bangkok I still felt quite ill, just tired and unable to swallow or hear properly. But we pushed on and went to Jim Thompsons house which was like an oasis of clean, freshness in the centre of dirty, busy Bangkok. We had a tour from a Thai girl which was interesting, just explaining a few things in the house and garden. The house was really cool, it was all made of teak and was made up of three traditional Thai houses which Jim stuck together to make the one. It was decorated really nicely and had a lot of things from his silk business, like wooden presses for making patterns on the silk. The garden was nice too, and there were loads of pots full of fish dotted about. Ooh and a tortoise, I love tortoises. We went into the shop and bought a load of really nice silk things with pretty patterns on. After that we got our taxi back to the hotel and went back to the room and then the pool. But just as we got up there a woman came running out to get people out of the pool saying that thunder and lightening was coming, and right enough a giant black cloud was looming and it was a bit windy. But it was still rediculously hot and humid. So we sat outside for a while and it seemed to pass after a while and eventually got a bit sunny so we stayed out a while. That evening we went a taxi quest to find a restaurant which apparently offered a proper teak house experiance, sitting on the floor, triangular cushions, thai food etc, so we searched and searched, the taxi driver having no idea where he was going (this was a reoccurring experiance with Bangkok taxi drivers...) until eventually we drove past it and luckily I spotted the sign just in time. We were taken through and no sign of the pretty room where the picture in the guidebook had been taken. Much to our dismay we were sat down at a table! with chairs! although we did get a bit of Thai culture as we had a fork and spoon. They eat by pushing food onto the spoon with the fork. Anyway, we got given this giant tome to flick through, each page with a photo of a different meal. All 3 gazzilion of them. Anyway, the meal was nice, and we got a taxi home, although once back I started to regret having ignored the instructions on the throat ulcer website and the spicy thai food seemed to be swelling my glands up so my throat was very tight and uncomfortable. But going to Thailand and not eating Thai food just would not have been right. Oh I forgot to mention, on the way home the taxi driver couldn't find our hotel, they are actually useless.

The next day we got picked up by a shuttle bus and were taken on a tour of the Grand Palace. Possibly THE most lavish thing I've seen in my life. Theres a lot of temples, all with blue, orange, green tiles while every inch of the walls on the outside is covered in gold leaf, different colours of glass, tile or mirror. There was also one temple which contains the cremated remains of the first buddha which was pretty cool. I can't try to even do justice to it all, just staggering. We went inside one of the temples and saw the emerald buddha, which is actually made of jade. They thought when it got cut out of concrete (for protection during some kind of war) that it was emerald and the name stuck. Its only about 40cm tall but mounted on this giant pedestal of decoration in the temple making it rise above you. Once we'd finished there we were taken to a government run gem jewellery place. So in we went and I got a jade bracelet and we bought my dad a sting-ray wallet (quite a novelty!) amoung other things before leaving and being taken back to the hotel. I went straight for a nap being exhausted while my mum went up to the pool to catch some rays. That evening we ate in at the pretty fab buffet at the hotel, it had everything, including all the thai food which I really wanted but as I didn't want to suffocate myself I avoided.

Posted by lil0liz 17:22 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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