The Need for Conversation

Riding and chatting with new Australian friend.

Eric and I have been traveling for 47 days. We are settling into a routine. We’re solving problems. We’re trying new foods, seeing beautiful scenery, visiting ancient ruins and beautiful temples. We’re reading books and trying to stay current with the news. In other words, we’re making a “life” on a bicycle.

But….sometimes I feel bored, homesick, or lonely. I like people. I like to talk….a LOT…I like to teach. I like to listen. I like to learn. Luckily the past few days have filled those voids.

After ten days on the road, you can imagine my joy at having a Retired- in-Thailand-Australia cyclist join us for a morning ride and breakfast. It was our good fortune that the traffic was light and the morning was cooler than usual as we pedaled side-by-side at a leisurely pace and chatted away 20 km. If the conversation was not reward enough, the northern Thai curry he introduced us to,was the icing on the cake for a perfect morning. It was hard to say “see-ya-later” and continue the journey, but we knew we would meet again in two days for a ride with the Chiang Mai Sunday Cyclists.

Another opportunity to talk came from our current host. After about 40 days of hotels, and because there were Warmshower’s hosts in Chiang Mai, I decided to contact a host. I wasn’t exactly comfortable with the idea of staying at a stranger’s house, but I knew we’d had good experiences as hosts in Malaysia. I also thought this host could help with ides of where to stay and what to see in Chiang Mai. See the need for “conversation?”

Lovely hosts in Chiang Mai
Lovely hosts in Chiang Mai

We arrived thinking we’d stay only one night and then move to a hotel so we could take care of some business items: shopping, paying bills, bike repairs, photocopies, dumping more weight from our packs. But we connected so well with this host, and he insisted we make his house feel like home and generously offered us a key. So, here we still are. Even better, he’s organized a couple of guys to join us on our ride north to Chiang Rai. That is, of course, after we eat a great “eggs Benedict” at a local restaurant and check out some famous tourist areas.

Chiang Mai Sunday Cyclists meet the mayor.
Chiang Mai Sunday Cyclists meet the mayor.

A final opportunity for conversation was the ride with the Chiang Mai Sunday Cycling tour filled the bill. This group is a mix of people from everywhere: Thailand, Australia, England, Holland, the USA, Canada…It was great just to talk, talk, talk. As a matter of fact, were it not for my Garmin and Eric’s taking pictures, I could not tell you where we rode on Sunday or what we saw. But, I could tell you everything I learned by talking.

Our Sunday ride took us to a village with Thai children performing traditional music and skits.

Thankfully, this respite has filled my cup with conversation and my belly with food. I’m ready to ride on…