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Out into The Wild—Week One

The Pilgrimage of Chelsea

As I sit here writing this, I am eating breakfast outside my hotel room. It’s a rainy morning here in Bali, which makes it a tad more beautiful and exotic. There is a monkey nearby eyeing my papaya, I’m tempted to throw him some but know they can be ruthless and relentless. A monkey bit me yesterday for some banana while I was touring the famous monkey forest here in Ubud. That being said, if I die from this bite, I want the world to know that Kevin didn’t mean it. Yes, I named that monkey Kevin. And If I end up being patient zero for some sort of planet of the apes take over then I’m sorry guys, but it was all worth it.   

This all started with a wild itch a few months ago, a real burdensome of an itch. I wanted to travel, see new places and things, but was faced with the unruly dilemma that I couldn’t get anyone to go with me. It wasn’t a difficult decision to decide to go alone, but of course, I felt some pressure from my family who worried as a woman I would most definitely be “Taken.” Maybe I was a little scared but I sure as hell wasn’t going to let fear hold me back from anything. Still, as my father dropped me off at the airport, his last words besides I love you were something along the lines of “please don’t make me get all Liam Neeson on some fuckers.” I’ll do my best.

Bunk mates from my hostel off Koh San Road, Bangkok

The task at hand is simple; travel to Bali, Thailand and Vietnam alone for six weeks. Get uncomfortable, quote Eat, Pray, Love, make new friends, and be happy. The last bit being the most important. It’s not easy to do the things we want to do, to do what makes us truly happy. I was ready to take action.

 I’ve set out into the wild and I plan on coming home a little more wild myself.

When I landed in Bangkok a few days ago, I was more overwhelmed than I thought I would be. That city is big, fast and chaotic and I almost began to regret my decision to travel alone. Simply crossing the crosswalk is a life or death situation. I knew I needed to find my flow and quickly or else have a panic attack and cry alone on my bunk bed in the hostel I was staying at. As I wandered around Koh San Road, I was greeted by endless people trying to sell me shit. One thing caught my eye and it was a crazy cheap massage. That day, a young Thai man by the name of Pai most definitely saw my boobs, but also gave me such a great and wildly awkward massage that I finally found my groove. I had found comfort in the city.

Lily pond at the Saraswati Temple, Ubud

From there I made a few new friends, saw some temples, and ate some delicious food. I decided to jump over to Bali for a few weeks before heading back to Thailand and checking out Vietnam. It hasn’t even been a week into my travels that I already can’t imagine going home. Being out on my own these last few days has already shown me so much about myself, I can see why traveling can be so addicting and why so much growth happens. I’ve set out into the wild and I plan on coming home a little more wild myself.

The Grand Palace, Bangkok

I will be writing a blog post about my travels over the next six weeks, stay tuned my friends!

Chelsea xx

More from The Pilgrimage of Chelsea:
Vietnam is Drowning—Week Five
Howling on Phi Phi—Week Four
Back to Thailand—Week Three
Never Leaving Bali—Week Two

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Photographer of the week: Alexandra Côté-Durrer