It’s the first time I’ve traveled alone for an extensive period of time. Once, in college, my cousin couldn’t get time off from working in London, so I traipsed off to Scotland by myself for three days of majestically broody Edinburgh sightseeing. Then there was the time I wanted to get away from work stress in Singapore and packed off to Koh Samui for a week of fasting and meditation. Even when I did the summer internship in Paris, I brought my gay best friend along as a roommate.
This time I’ll be in Koh Samui for four whole weeks by myself.
I wouldn’t have remembered that I was traveling alone – after all, there’ll be 39 other devoted yogis meeting me in Koh Samui – save for the luggage boy who carried my suitcase up three flights of stairs at the Bangkok airport hotel. He asked, “You come Thailand one person?”
It made me feel like Miranda in one of the later seasons of Sex and the City, trying to buy an apartment alone and continually fending off questions like, “Will your father be co-signing the deed?”
“No, it’s just me,” was her steadfast answer.
This time, it’ll be just me. And I think it’ll be kind of glorious. No social engagements to “stop by,” no work meetings to attend, no family obligations to guiltily neglect. Just plenty of time to practice yoga, think about lofty yogic principles (“Nothing is what it seems. You make it something with your mind.”), and figure out how this year and a half of “finding myself” will culminate.
Today, I start my vegetarian experiment. Tonight, I’ll meet my stranger roommate (yeeps, haven’t had one of those since freshman year in college) and the other urban hippies who have come all this way to do what I’m doing for whatever reason makes sense to them. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be getting holier by the day on a rigorous boot camp schedule of 7am-9.30pm.
And now, time for an overdue hot yoga class (after the gluttony of Xinjiang) and some sunbathing by the pool!