Asia, Challenges, Destinations, Experiences, Travel Blog

Bumps on the Road: Why It’s Important for a traveller to Be Flexible

November 3, 2011

Here I am – three days before my flight schedule to Bangkok, a trip that supposedly will tick off country #22 of my 25-country travel list.  However, the trip remains to be a big question mark.

I’ve booked my ticket to Thailand five months ago and next week will be my first holiday after six months. And now, most likely this trip will be cancelled unless the flooding situation dramatically improves.

As you may have seen,  most parts of Bangkok are still underwater and are showing no signs of returning to normal in the next couple of days. The flood water was from accumulated monsoon water coming from the north in the past 2 months and has so far claimed more than 400 lives and billions worth of damages.  I’m watching the news 24/7 and the situation more or less looks like it’s going to remain in the next coming weeks.

Splashing on the StreetMy original plan was to spend a few days in Bangkok and then work my way to Chiang Mai just in time for Loy Krathong before heading back again to Bangkok.  Another option is to fly to the south to Krabi or Phuket.

To be honest, I am very disappointed about not pushing forward. I’ve been looking forward to going to Thailand for a while now – fuelled by excitement from reading various travel blogs and sorting out advice from fellow travel bloggers. And to add that this is the third time that my trip to Thailand will be cancelled. (once in 2007, second in 2009)

But who am I to complain? My rant and worry are nothing compared to the problems the floods have caused to the Thais.

It’s tough to accept but I have no other choice but to suck it up and face these changes.

As a traveller, we are bound to have our plans change.  Plans are mere guidelines.

Things will not always go our way.  It can come as an unexpected detour, a delayed flight, or a personal tragedy and we have to be prepared to face it.

For example, how many times have  have we hesitated on visiting a place but end up staying there longer than we expected.

Or planning an itinerary then ending up changing plans last minute because some of the people in the hostel wants you to join their road trip.

But what is an adventure without being ready for the unexpected. Changes and spontaneity make travelling exciting. Often it’s the spontaneity that brings the excitement and thrill of travel – the offbeat path, the hidden thrills and the spontanous night where you get drunk and hooked up with this hot Swedish chick 😛 . those are the experiences that, as travellers, we often best remember.

Changing plans test out our capability to adapt to a situation and seek alternatives if needed.

As for me,  I’m looking into a Plan B for my trip – the current list is between Hong Kong or travelling locally in the Philippines to the beaches of Siquijor, Boracay or Coron. I have yet to make the decision and may leave it to chance come this weekend.

And still, there’s a possibility of going to Bangkok on Sunday and braving the floods. Ground reports are saying that the situation in the center remains to be normal and other cities such as Chiang Mai, Phuket and Krabi are unaffected. So why not push forward with it?


Who knows what will happen? Even I can’t even make my mind and I’m going to decide maybe in a couple of days.

Life is not constant. Events will pop out that will and can change our lives. And travel has taught me to be flexible and accept these changes whole-heartedly. Change will come, sometimes when we least expect it but it’s up to us to face it and make the best out of it.

* Thailand flooding photo from Flickr norsez and is used under Creative Commons license.

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  • Reply Jade Johnston - November 21, 2011 at 19:15

    What a great attitude to have! I have a hard time accepting changes in plans, but it is something that travel is helping me to learn to work through. Good luck on the trip! If you do end up in Chiang Mai, one of the best things I did there was do a Thai cooking class. You will be full for days!
    Jade Johnston – recently posted..Kayaking in MelbourneMy Profile

    • Reply Jerick November 22, 2011 at 12:09

      Thanks, I feel so bad though for missing Thailand as I really wanted to go – but maybe some other time!

  • Reply Micamyx|Senyorita November 12, 2011 at 08:42

    Aw. We should travel together one of these days hehe 😛
    Micamyx|Senyorita recently posted..First Winter in Wales – Overnight Stay in Barcelo Cardiff Angel HotelMy Profile

    • Reply Jerick November 21, 2011 at 15:54

      we should! I’m always up for anything as long as schedule permits. 🙂

  • Reply Aussie on the Road November 10, 2011 at 10:59

    Well said mate. I like to think I’m very good at rolling with the punches when it comes to travel. No use getting upset about something you can’t change and, as you say, there are people far worse off.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Aussie on the Road recently posted..Geeking Out at Mana Bar, BrisbaneMy Profile

    • Reply Jerick November 21, 2011 at 15:53

      Great! Nice to hear that, I have no regrets and I think my plan B was a great alternative!

  • Reply Cole @ FourJandals November 3, 2011 at 21:22

    Great post Jerick. Unfortunately plans change constantly, but sometimes those changes can open up a whole range of other doors. I would say just push on and go for it. Any money you bring in to the country now will certainly be appreciated!
    Cole @ FourJandals recently posted..Hump Day – Where in The World?My Profile

    • Reply Jerick November 5, 2011 at 16:44

      Thanks Cole! Yes, I believe that travellers have more or less bound to have their travel plans change. I’m not pushing for Bangkok unfortunately but managed to sort out 2 good destination options!

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