There is nothing better than the emotions and feelings one can receive from setting out on an adventure. Journeys help us to forget about our everyday issues. That is why I want to tell you about the best journey of my life.
It started at home as I began to pack items for a journey. I was excited because my parents and I were going to Thailand: the most interesting place to me. I could not imagine what it would be like.
The first experience we had when we got out of the plane to enter Thailand was the tropical, wet, hot air that permeated the environment. We arrived at our hotel on the south of Phuket Island. Beauty seemed to be all around us. From the one side of the road there was a lush greenery of tropical forest, from the other there were turquoise waves of the Andaman Sea.
We decided to spend our first days on a cozy seacoast and take a rest from a tiresome trip. The weather was wonderful. The sun was shining and the water was so warm, placid and limpid that we could see our shadows in it. I had the impression nothing else existed in this world besides us, nor the cares of everyday life nor urban fuss. We were enjoying every minute of our rest, slowly sipping a coconut milk through a tube straight out of a coconut. The days were changing from one another with new, bright, unforgettable emotions and impressions.
We wanted to pass one day away on motorbikes, studying the island. Our trip took a whole day and we managed to bike the half of the island riding along the coast. The views we saw on our journey showed us another side of local life. People were in a hurry going to work or other attending other business. The traffic in Thailand is extremely busy and noisy. A lot of people ride motorbikes, which is a distinguishing feature of Thailand.
All the way long, we made breaks to taste the delicacies of the local cuisine in snack bars. I enjoyed Thai food immensely with its extraordinary combination of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors. Sometimes the dishes were so spicy, that tears streamed from my eyes.
We also decided to diversify a bit, and go to less touristic parts of the island. Our island was covered by steep hills. The picturesque view of the tropical jungles and endless spaces of the sea with many adjoining islands, the beauty and splendor of local nature was opened to us. I was overfilled with the sense of infinite freedom and peace of mind. There was the impression that nothing is necessary in life except this place and moment.
It was a truly sad realization when we knew we had to travel back home. The whirlwind of emotions and feelings swept over my mind: this is completely another world, with its climate, people, food, traditions, and customs that charm and dip you in the extraordinary atmosphere of calmness and composure. I remember it now with freshness and understand that it was the best journey of my life.
It was June 15, and in two days I would be turning thirty. I was insecure about entering a new decade of my life and feared that my best years were now behind me.
My daily routine included going to the gym for a workout before going to work. Every morning I would see my friend Nicholas at the gym. He was seventy-nine years old and in terrific shape. As I greeted Nicholas on this particular day, he noticed I wasn't full of my usual vitality and asked if there was anything wrong. I told him I was feeling anxious about turning thirty. I wondered how I would look back on my life once I reached Nicholas's age, so I asked him, "What was the best time of your life?"
Without hesitation, Nicholas replied, "Well, Joe, this is my philosophical answer to your philosophical question:
"When I was a child in Austria and everything was taken care of for me and I was nurtured by my parents, that was the best time of my life.
"When I was going to school and learning the things I know today, that was the best time of my life.
"When I got my first job and had responsibilities and got paid for my efforts, that was the best time of my life.
"When I met my wife and fell in love, that was the best time of my life.
"The Second World War came, and my wife and I had to flee Austria to save our lives. When we were together and safe on a ship bound for North America, that was the best time of my life.
"When we came to Canada and started a family, that was the best time of my life.
"When I was a young father, watching my children grow up, that was the best time of my life.
"And now, Joe, I am seventy-nine years old. I have my health, I feel good and I am in love with my wife just as I was when we first met. This is the best time of my life."
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