“Journey is learning”—this saying must have been heard by many of us, especially when going solo has become the world’s travelling trend. On the ground of that, the Dream Maker seminar, organisedin celebrationof TK park’s 11st anniversary, has brought together three avid travellers of different ages namely Kanchana Phantutecha (Pa Paew), Nat Suppawathee and BhanuManeewattanakul, to share their experiences on the topic of “Dream for Life-Long Learning: Learning from Journey” to seek answers on what we might get from taking a journey.
“Pa Paew” and Her Answers after Retirement
Pa Paew or Kanchana Phantutecha, a 63 year-old woman, started her solo travelling after retirement. Her passion for travel has been hatched since young but mostly were family trips during weekends. Until retirement, she decided to explore the whole wide world on her own, giving simple reasons that she still has good health and is free of burden. Most importantly, she has dreamt to visit the historic places she used to see only in TV or read from books. Luckily, her family didn’t stop her from fulfilling her dream.
Her first trip was within the country. She started from the North before shifting to the neighbouring country, Myanmar, where she said it is her favourite because it is rich with culture and history. Not before long, her travel expanded to Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan and she has a plan to visit Russia soon.
For woman at this age, travelling alone needs special cautions, for example, avoiding participating in dangerous activities. But for Pa Paew whose aim is to visit museums and historic places, this should not be a problem. She liked to share her travel experience with friends and family through Line application. Her son used to publish her story online using headline “My Mother Retired to Become a Backpacker” and recently, she had created her own page entitled “Pa Backpack” to help people at the same age to follow their dreams for travel. To Pa Paew, what she has learned from the journey is to contemplate the past and pass it on to the younger generations.
Live Like a Wolf in Japan (To Come Back Happier)
88 days in Japan under WWOOF project (a worldwide project that allow volunteer workers to work in farms in exchange of accommodation and food) has given valuable experience and meaning of happiness to Nat Suppawathee, the writer of “Live Like a Wolf in Japan”. After seven years of working as a copywriter, Nat decided to resign from his job and began his journey in search of the meaning of life.
His motivation didn’t come from the boredom at work but desire to meet new people and gain new experience. Nat adores Japanese people for their devotion and hard working. Living with the Japanese allowed him to learn their way of life and be able to adapt their good qualities such as attention at work and desire for learning to himself. Plus, he had chances to exchange opinions about meaning of life with travelers from around the world.
When back to Thailand, many thought that he would live a simple life in a farm somewhere upcountry. But they were wrong, Nat returned to his work because he has discovered his answer—every work has its own value and brings different hardships. Being aware of this truth, Nat chose to get back to work because he knew that he was good at it. Eighty-eight days in Japan has brought him back to work as a happier person.
He Travels to Understand Life
If googling the name Bhanu Maneewattanakul, you may have found that he is a talented writer, journalist, photographer, critic and keen traveller. With long experience of writing documentary, Bhanu has been travelling around the world, accumulating knowledge and experiences from place to place before transforming them into books and understanding in life.
Bhanu travels alone and with friends. Before each trip, he would prepare himself by doing research and asking friends and foreign travelers to seek cheap tickets and accommodations at good price. He also prefers infamous places like China and India which were not so popular among Thai travelers many years ago. To him, it’s been challenging to get to the destinations and convey his impressions on each trip through letters and photographs.
What he loves the most about travelling is meeting with new people and sharing experiences with them. He reckoned that these people are live evidence that were not recorded in books. He also learned a lot from journeys. When travelling alone, he learned how to solve problems at hand and if traveling in pair or group, he learned how to share and live compromisingly with others.
For the three travelers, their purposes of taking journey might be different but all of them insisted that journey is not the only way to learn about life. It is just a way we use to find answers to a lot of questions that we might have in our head.
What about you? What do you think would take you to the answers at the end?