Travelling in pain

How is it going?

It’s the question we’ve been asked throughout our travels. A simple, ambiguous question to an outsider, but a weighted one for the informed.

I’ll fill the gaps, don’t you worry.

Myself? I’m good. Had a second wind after a short bout of homesickness in Vietnam.

May have been to do with getting scammed in a (I’ll grudgingly admit) humorous series of events. Got an exhilarating scooter ride from a local through the most hectic city in east Asia (that’s not a fact, I just assume it is) though. Even if the driver demanded 800,000 dong… That’s about £30. That’s also not my picture. Good blog post eh? Still, it wasn’t as bad as Becca’s haircut scam.

I’ll let you ask her about that yourself…

Anyway. We’re back in Thailand now, hitting up the beach. Life’s hard.

I almost broke into tears at breakfast though at the thought of chilli con carne with cheddar cheese. Best put, I’m an emotional man atm.

But what you really wanted to know is how we’re doing with Becca, or more specifically: how’s she holding up.

I’ll answer that question with a picture: 7am — beach run. Just a taste of things to come in the lead up to race day in October. More on that later. My point is, we’re doing just fine. Surprisingly.

This isn’t us kidding ourselves everything’s OK, mind. It’s the scabbing over of a deep, deep wound.

Keeping busy never solves a problem. The pain never goes away, but it allows her to live an actual life until she’s ready to address the internal damage. For any confused readers, take a look at this (yes, it’s in the papers): Although a more accurate story is on Tristan’s (Becca’s husband’s) donation page.We can’t take much of the praise though. Keeping Becca on her toes has been the job of randomers from all round the world.

It’s the icebreaking with strangers. The constant questions, chance meetings, handshakes and hugs. There’s no time to relax and reflect out here.

Not really. I may have touched on the samey nature of travelling before.

The fact everyone’s pretty much doing the same thing: the same route, the same way, for the same amount of time.

It’s those questions you get out the way early. “Where are you from?” “Where have you been/where are you going?” “How long are you out here for?” And I’ll be astonished if there isn’t at least one knowing smile exchanged. “Oh yes, I’ve been there.” And then more often than not: “You’ll love it”.

Come on… if you hadn’t gone already you’d be enroute there now. Let’s cut the crap.But really they’re important.

You get a quick idea of what each traveller is about. Not from their answers but from how they talk about life in general. It’s like speed dating. Because it’s so so rare you’ll meet that person or group of people you really connect with on a meaningful level. But until it happens, you’ve got to keep a face on and carry on mingling.

Becca quite literally doesn’t have a choice BUT to be smiley — like the girl… no, the woman we all know and love. I guess it’s that in addition to the fact we’ve been constantly on the move since she joined us in January. We’ve been to Cambodia. Seen the world famous temples in Siem Reap, partied hard on tropical islands, then dosed ourselves up with perspective learning the terribly recent history of Cambodia’s mass genocides. Learn more here:

We’ve been to Vietnam, in the hustle and bustle in Ho Chi Minh in the south and Hanoi in the North. But stopped off along the way to share some authentic Vietnamese food (let’s hope it wasn’t dog…) in a family setting.

Oh, we jumped off a few waterfalls (Becca is fearless when it comes to adrenaline sports it turns out), and rope mopeds in varying states of neglect around some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. We’re on the last month now. The home run. And talk of the dorm is focused obsessively over our next big adventure…

Getting washboard abs and destroying the beachy head marathon 😉

Our final steps will take us through party island central and out the other side to some of the most beautiful, untouched beaches in Asia.

Of course, every beach we visit must have ‘Tristan’ artfully sculpted in the sand. And that feels almost like an acknowledgment — letting him know we know he’s there with us. Because even if religion, afterlife, ghosts… all these concepts no one really knows about aren’t real. He’s impacted our lives irreversibly. Not by his death but by the fond memories we have of his life. And he’ll always be there, in the blink of an eye.

I’m told by a reliable source there’s a blog coming @ Becca’s of Tris. Some time this week maybe. We’ll see. Thanks for reading!


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