My First Christmas & NY Away, Best Ever Whilst Backpacking

I’d like to write an article to commemorate the amazing time I had at Christmas 2012. This may sound a way ago but for me it was important. It was my first Christmas away from England, and I was anxious to spend it with people I would feel awesome with. I had been on a 2 week trip to the unknown depths of Myanmar with a fellow traveller. Darren, from Ireland. We had spoke on how we may go home for Christmas and then return in the NY. We had spoke about it that much that whilst in Inle Lake, Darren booked his flight back. The way i do things, I always leave things to the latest possible, not wanting to plan ahead, be on a schedule.
We returned to Bangkok on around the 12th of December. Eager for some typical backpacker socialising, we decided to stay in Bangkok for a few days.
We stumbled upon an amazing bunch of solo travellers. They weren’t a bunch until we all met, but somehow it seemed fitting we would all come together. Everyone was fairly new out to Thailand, eager to meet new people. Where else to do that in Nappark Hostel. The most sociable hostel in Asia for me. Why? It’s not too full on party like that you can’t hear anyone or really get to know one another. It’s a bit personal, it looks very groovy and has a comforting feeling away from home all at the same time. Bangkok. The gates to South East Asia.

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We all gathered around the lounge mats drinking Chang and getting to know one another. As done many times by many backpackers. Drinking games followed. Some of the nationalities included English, Welsh, German, French, Belgium, Austrian, Brazilian, Canadian, America, New Zealand, Holland, Vietnamese and Finish. Whether it was that time of the year, Christmas, where everyone noticeably gets excited around the world. Whether you are enduring a white Christmas freezing but happy the fact that you have the ‘typical’ Christmas, or your are experiencing it a new country with a different climate, the Christmas holidays have an ability to bring people closer together. A celebration always to be celebrated.
Our group, just seemed to work. We had different characters which all complimented each other at the time. Myself, I was extremely happy. Recently got over a bad bout of food poisioning and flu in Burma, back to my beginning point in Bangkok where I had began travelling, and I had came across a group of people I felt awesome with.
After 6 days in Bangkok together, which consisted of the usual Khao San Road, drinking games, tuk-tuk rides and Thai Food, the time came where people continued and went. A bunch of us went to Koh Samet, to get some beach life, before making our way to the islands. Others, went home or drifted off. Darren unfortunately included.
I think what worked was that we had a good mix. More guys to girls, but everyone had enough personality about them to get along and be curious about one another. After what turned out to be a bit of a orgy in Koh Samet, very unplanned, most eventually made our way down to the islands. The group began at around 18, now there was around 8. However, the core people kept together.

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Koh Phi Phi for Christmas was fun. I particually got attached to everyone. Spending Christmas Day on Maya Beach was very special. The movie the Beach, everyones most watched backpacker movie. All be it, the concept of the movie wasn’t like my time then, but the beauty of Maya was.

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2 Full Moon Parties on Koh Phangan later, one including NYE, i felt going into the NY, our time was over. By then only 4 or 5 were together, and most people, including myself moved on to new things. No matter what it is, New Years Day, you always get that feeling of emptiness. The previous year has passed, the celebrations where everyone is involved are over, a new chapter. Still, in hot Thailand, this was no different. I remember feeling like it was an end of an era. And it was. Maybe for other members, their time during this period may not have been so special, but I know for sure, everyone loved that time. The people I made friends with then, I still ache to see again. Some I have. However amazing a reunion, time is time. And at that time, that Christmas, how it fitted so perfectly, for me, well that was the best time.

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