Grand Palace Thailand


My spirits lifted when I touched down in the land of smiles.


Thailand Temples


At immigration I was offered a stamp and a welcoming “sah-wah-dee-kah!”

Tour desks and workers eagerly waited to lend a helping hand.

Bus drivers, street vendors, bystanders all spoke English?!?!




The culture appeared happy, open, and free.


thailand temples


Friendly travelers offered invitations and headed in packs for Khaosan Road

yet one turn down a small street revealed a charming, local world.


thailand temples


A woman selling young coconuts eagerly taught me Thai.

She beamed each day I stopped by.


thailand temples


The ornate temples humbled me

they were far more grandiose than I could believe.


thailand temples


In Thailand I began to remember what all of this was for.

Why I came to Southeast Asia.

Why I travel at all.


thailand temples


My heart ached less for Costa Rica.

Looking at the beauty around me, for the first time since I departed, I honestly did not miss it at all.


thailand temples


I began wonder… could Thailand in fact be too good to be true?

The deeper I looked, the more truth I saw.


thailand temples


If Vietnam displays its wounds like a proud war vet

perhaps Thailand conceals its darkness behind gilded temples

or beneath pure white sand.


wat arun


The grit can be found in back alleys with prostitutes and “ping pong”.


thailand temples


Kind strangers become master scammers whose smiles turn aggressive when payment is declined.


thailand temples


Elephants in the jungle are not revered, but paraded like puppets in a show.


thailand temples


Majestic tigers laze with monks, are snuggled by tourists, laying docile from all the drugs.


thailand temples


The more time I spend here, the more shady corners I find.


thailand temples


And in this place that first felt so easy, difficulties within me have begun to arise.

I am reintroduced to sides of myself I thought I left behind.


thailand temples


Yet acknowledging these realities has not made me disenchanted with my world.


wat arun


I see the beauty and the ugliness

in Thailand and in me

I continue to love them both regardlessly.


thailand temples


Our facets and our dimples only add to our intrigue.


thailand temples


Because I know that to find balance we need yin and yang.


thailand temples


For it is only when we know darkness that we can truly see the light.


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