What a story this is and an even better question. So, one of my followers in Indonesia broke the question to why I decided to travel and live in Thailand. I’ve never actually talked about in bulk to why I decided to travel to Thailand…..so here it is!
I was sitting on my bed on a hot January day in Lane Cove, Australia, which is situated just North of Sydney, contemplating what I should do in terms of traveling back to America.
I thought long and hard about doing travels through Asia before heading to Hawaii, then getting on a Hawaiian Airlines flight to go back to Vegas.
After long contemplation, I decided that I would go to Thailand for 6 days with a 7-hour layover in Chiba (Japan) before heading to Hawaii for four days to check out the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
After jamming to tunes, getting on a China Airlines flight with a layover in Taiwan before heading to Bangkok….I was finally….here. I couldn’t believe it, but at the same time, I was looking over my shoulder because I was unsure who would try to kill me. This was the impression that Thailand had on the internet back in 2012 — of course the stories have gone to rest.
Nonetheless, the sweltering heat, the hagglers, the suit shops, extortionists, etc…..I stayed in Bangkok for two days, hassled by disgusting fiends trying to sell me “sex massages” on the street.
I headed to the gorgeous island of Phuket in May of 2012, and that’s when my impression changed. After meeting my Su and Meaw (two girls working at Central Ashlee Hotel at the time), I walked outside with an umbrella, seeing bars in a 360 view before having a girl wave me over for drinks. I befriended an Aussie while drowning myself with the infamous Southern Comfort. That next day, he took me all around the island, soaring up hills at sustainable speeds and overlooking turquoise waters. And there it was….a Sam Adams in hand with a lime shoved inside of it, a samaritan sitting right next to me, clouds hovering before going right through the emerald green hills. This was pure serenity. This was tranquility. This was…..LIFE.
Ahhhh…just going back in time gives me goosebumps. After the unforgettable three days in Phuket, I stayed in Chiba for seven hours. Keep in mind that this was the first time I stepped foot on Japanese soil, a goal that has been written in my essence since the 1995 Street Fighter days. I was there. Pagodas, people, food, and unbelievably quaint. I recall walking in the store and having this Japanese girl help me immensely with trying to buy a present for my sisters graduation. Japan, for those seven hours, met my expectations.
I later went to Hawaii. Although it wasn’t the best in the beginning, what happened was a wonderful lady hooked me up (not in that way) with another Japanese traveler and we ventured around the island to a secluded beach.
There — was the right of passage.
We met a couple more fellow Japanese along the way, and it was in that moment sitting on the beach with deep-blue waters when the most unbelievably gorgeous Japanese girl came to me (nurse from Hokkaido, Japan), and she sat there — smiling. I couldn’t speak Japanese, but this was the moment. The moment that everything could change if I had only known…Japanese.
I went home…and that’s when it was time. Not only being a typical, one-dimensional American, but it was time for me to head to Asia.