Day 26: Goodbye Thailand!

Our departure day has arrived! After our many adventures, flights, and change of plans, we will be making our long trek home. Our day started very early, and we were out by the beach at 6am to take a long tail boat back to the mainland. We were greeted by a beautiful sunrise. It seems that Thailand wants us to remember it well because it has treated us to some great views the last few days. After everything that has happened this trip, every good experience is considered a win and our goal is just to get back to America. This sunrise was a great start to our journey home.

After getting to the pier, we grabbed a taxi to the airport. We got to ride in one of the truck taxis one last time. It was pretty cool to get to have another authentic Thai experience even on our last day. Again, it was a beautiful morning, and we got to enjoy the fresh air while taking the last bits of Krabi in.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get through the morning without any bumps. For some reason, my ticket was not confirmed so I had to bounce between counters and eventually just buy a new one to get on the flight. We are so happy that we will never be taking another Air Asia flight. Even though we appreciate the cheap prices (usually around 50 USD) we have taken 6 flights with this airline in the last two weeks and have had our fair share of drama. I honestly would have paid anything to get on that flight- the goal at this point is just to get back to America! Our flight was very smooth and Randy was waiting for us right where he always is outside of terminal two. He actually was waiting for us in that spot the last two weeks, waiting for our call that we were coming back early. What a great guy:)

After we got back to Randy’s, we were treated to one last delicious Thai meal complete with mangoes and sticky rice! They would have been so ashamed with how we have been eating. I will always remember Kun Pa’s cooking very fondly when I think of Thailand. I only wish that I knew what it was so I could try order it at a restaurant! We had the afternoon to finish packing and rest our eyes. Laura hasn’t been back to America for almost 6 months and has most of her things from London still, so it was interesting to watch her try get all of her things into her bags under the 50lb weight limit. She made it!

Right before we left, Kun Pa and Kun Mae performed a string ceremony for us. It is a traditional Buddhist ritual that they use to keep good spirits with those wearing the strings and the bad spirits away. They were wishing us a safe trip, good health, good fortune, and good grades in college. (We all will be needing the spirits with us in our last year of college, let’s be honest!) They ended their wishes by asking us to come back to Thailand to visit. Their eyes shone with tears and it was so touching because their wishes really were sincere. This family has taken us in as their own daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and cousins and have shone us nothing but love since we have arrived. We all really have a second family and home here in Thailand.

As we said our final goodbyes to the family, our hearts were really heavy. It wasn’t until this moment that I truly experienced a bittersweet moment. Even though I am so excited to get back to America and my people there, I will really miss Thailand and all of the special people I have connected with here.  It is pretty amazing that we have such great people on both ends of the world both bidding us farewell and waiting excitedly for our arrival. We are so lucky and so so thankful!

We stopped at a gas station to grab a few of our favorite Thai treats and then made our way to the Chiang Mai airport, our second home in Thailand. We all got to get one last bear hug from Randy and held on extra tight as we said goodbye. We can’t say enough how thankful we are for the experience him and his family have given us.  They all hold a special place in our hearts!

After checking in, we were treated with the surprise that we got to sit in the Bangkok Airways lounge before our flight! They had free snacks, coffee, and good wifi so we were so pumped. We are not sure why we got to be there but did not ask any questions. We are going our good fortune continues for our next four flights back to Minneapolis!

We are at the Chiang Mai airport now and will fly to Bangkok, then Dubai, then Chicago, and finally Minneapolis. We have about 36 hours of flying and sitting in airports ahead of us so we are settling in with Game of Thrones and our iPads! We are hoping for smooth flights because we can not wait to be back!

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