You must probably wonder why I failed to update this site for a long time. I was supposed to give you an update on my 4th and 5th month experience during my attempt to backpack across Southeast Asia but I didn’t. Well, the truth is that I got lazy.
Every time I attempted to start working on the updates for the site, something was holding me back. I thought it was my friend Procrastination. So I ended up travelling back and forth Bangkok and Siem Reap without saying a word here as to what I was up to. I also managed to return back to Pai on the first week of June and I enjoyed that trip so much.
one of the best views in Pai, Thailand
When I got word that our “vacation” house in Siem Reap was going to be temporarily closed, I sought refuge at my friend’s pad in Bangkok. We referred to our guesthouse in Siem Reap as our vacation house since we just keep it to store our things when we travel to Bangkok for our visa run. So half of the month, our rented room in Siem Reap was empty. I didn’t expect to leave Siem Reap that soon. I even failed to say goodbye to the friends I met there It was as if someone was telling me to move my a** out of that quaint little town that I love so much since I had overstayed for too long.
Then on the last week of June, my friend Ed introduced another friend from home. He was in Bangkok to process his visa application since he was planning to go on a Euro trip. He mentioned that he’d travel to Netherlands and will work part time in Sweden as a berry picker. I didn’t know that that was possible. He claimed that since it was the summer season in Europe, one can try their luck and apply as a berry picker for the summer. The first time I met him at Coffee World inside the Terminal 21 mall in Bangkok, he was busy looking for cheap flights to UK. He was going to enter Europe from Netherlands so it was important for him to find cheap flights in that area. He was trying to compare cheap flights to UK from JetAbroad. On our next meeting, he found a great deal and immediately booked the flight even though his visa application was not approved yet. He was so sure he would be granted a Schengen Visa since it was not the first time he applied for one.
On our second meet up, while having dinner at Pier 21, Terminal 21’s food court, he had an idea that would have changed our lives forever. While randomly chatting about his upcoming trip, he asked us if we would want to go with him on the trip. He offered to help us process our Schengen visa applications since we were already in Bangkok and it’s easier to process the visa from there. He figured it would be fun if we join him on his trip to Europe. He also mentioned that he might go to South America after the summer season. After hearing all the details of what we needed to do, we were sold. We immediately agreed to join him in touring Europe and, if given the chance, South America too.
The offer was too good to be true. All we had to do was shell out money for the Dutch visa application which was less than 3,000 THB, purchase a travel insurance and make a flight reservation and that’s it. Ed and I no longer thought of where we’re going to get the money to spend in Europe. We just had to do it one step at a time to avoid being overwhelmed with the excitement of going on a Euro trip. So the first goal was to get that Schengen visa application approved then we’ll worry about the rest later on.
Honestly, I was a little bit worried with the luck that struck us. Thoughts of the scenes from the movie Taken entered my mind. But our friend assured us that none of those things will happen and we believed him. We had to believe him. I also asked help from above. After meeting up with our friend, I spent (3) nights praying hard to give me a sign. Should I really push through or not? My friend, Den, told me I should ask for a concrete sign.
On July 1st, a Sunday, I got my sign. But the sign was at the expense of my mom. I got word from my sister that my mom had a stroke that day and she was brought to the hospital. I was crying the whole time. What made it worse was that I got more confused with the sign. I know I needed to go home. I thought that if she could hear my voice, she might recover fast. I guess my mom missed me so much and she was kinda mad at me for staying away for so long without a concrete plan. They never understood what I was doing abroad. I believed I was one of the reasons why she had a stroke, though my father and sister assured me otherwise. Then on a second thought, the trip to Europe was very handy as the part time job would have helped a lot in paying the hospital bills. My family also told me to try to find a job in Bangkok as a backup plan in case the visa application gets denied. They told me to stay in Bangkok until further notice.
On the 4th of July, a Wednesday, I received a text message from my sister that morning telling me my mom’s condition has not improved and she might ask me to go home to help out since she can’t be absent from work for a long time. Without having any second thoughts, I booked a flight that afternoon back home. I never even had the chance to message my sister to let her know I was coming home.
And just like that, my backpacking trip across Southeast Asia ended.
After assessing what had happened on that week, I realized two things.
- It’s easy to apply for a Schengen visa if you have a working permit in Thailand.
- When you ask for a sign and you get your answer, don’t try to confuse yourself and make it more complicated.
P.S. My friend’s in Europe now. Ed’s in Malaysia and I’m here in Cebu still trying to gather my thoughts on what to do with my life. My mom was admitted in the hospital for 20 days, 12 days of which was spent in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She has almost fully recovered from her stroke (her 4th) as of this time and I want to thank ALL OF YOU who offered your prayers for my mom’s speedy recovery and shown your support to me and my family.