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Taking it for Granted

by Going Slowly

A couple of days ago, our friends left Laos, heading back to Thailand to prepare for their journey home. Today, an email arrived in our inboxes from Natasha, telling us how much they miss it here. They're finding the busy, touristed streets of Bangkok to be quite a shock after the peace and quiet of this country.

Though we're planning on spending two months in Bangkok to finish our journals before heading home, we're beginning to wonder whether we should rush right over there so quickly. While we were enamored with Thailand's capital upon arriving from Mongolia, we're not sure how much of our love for Bangkok was the sheer shock of difference between the two places. Will it be as inviting as we remember it being?

In any case, Laos is special, and thanks to Pete and Natasha, we're remembering that fact. On the whole, this country is hands-down the most relaxing place we've ever been. Truly, out of all the countries we've visited, it is one of our most favorite, and we've been taking it for granted.

Writing out the last few posts has been a cathartic experience, and we're feeling refreshed and clear about our emotions. We know that we're travel weary, and that we long to be on our way home. We also know that we could push through and cycle the full length of Laos, but instead of adventuring, the idea feels like lingering.

So, we've decided to compromise. We're going to ride as far as the reportedly quaint, colonial city of Savannaket, where we'll end our journey in roughly seven days. Another week or so on the road isn't going to break the camel's back. Instead, it will prevent us from regretting that we missed out on our favorite country while we were right there.

Tonight, we are packing our tar-splattered panniers, preparing for an early departure. Our passports, with their new Lao Visa extensions, are ready to go. The waterbottles are filled and stowed in the mini-fridge to keep cold. A loaf of moist banana bread and a liter of milk from the exorbitantly expensive minimarket next door are shoved in there as well for a special early morning breakfast.

Tomorrow we're embarking on the final four hundred and seventy five kilometers of our two-year journey from Scotland to Southeast Asia, and we plan on being truly present, savoring every last minute of it. Laos, here we come!