lessons and visa runs
There’s a lesson in everything you do, or at least I believe there is. My recent visa run to Laos became more than a visa run very quickly.
Lesson 1: Be Prepared
Kyle and I started our visa run with a 4:00 am trip to the airport. Once all checked in we started looking around for a bite to eat and quickly realized that everything was closed. Duh, of course nothing was open! By the time we got checked in it was around 5:00 am. My tummy was grumbling and I was incredibly thirsty, but decided to stop thinking about my stomach as we were being served breakfast on the flight. Finally breakfast comes and guess what it is? Raw bacon on a white roll covered in butter, mayo and cheese. Gross and no thank you! Well I thought, “No worries, I’ll get something at the airport when we land”. No dice there either. We had to quickly transfer to a bus that would take us to the border of Thailand and had no time to purchase food. By the time we reached our hotel it was 11:00 and we both had gone 7 hours without food and very little water. Definitely not the end of the world, but not ideal either. We were both ornery, hungry, very thirsty and no fun to be around.
This brings me to Lesson 1: Be prepared. I’ve touched on the importance of being prepared when it comes to nutrition and still managed failed. Assuming that I would be able to purchase food and water at the airport obviously didn’t work out for us. When I get on a plane in two weeks you best bet that I’ll be packing some healthy snacks.
Lesson 2: Double Check
So we’re standing at the Thai border waiting to get our departure stamp, and see some people in the overstay line. We’re both thinking, “That sucks! How in the world did they manage to leave the country too late?”. Now it’s our turn to get stamped out of Thailand and all of a sudden we’re getting yelled at to move to the overstay line. We’re both incredibly confused since we thought we were leaving the country a day early. After a very intimidating border control agent took our pictures, collected the fine for overstay, and handed us a copy of our citations, yes I now have a Thai record, we realized our mistake in not looking at our passports closer. We somehow missed the fact that we should have left the country a day earlier. Call it blond, stupid or whatever, I call it being too confident in our memories and not double checking our passports.
Lesson 2: Double check. I’m someone who usually double and triple checks everything to the point where it gets annoying. Maybe it’s slight OCD, I’m not sure. This time around I managed to let go and failed. Therefore, always double check important dates and times especially while traveling.
Lesson 3: Leave your ego at the door
This last lesson of the trip, which lasted for 3 days mind you…so many lessons in 3 days, was a doozy.
Our hotel had a really nice gym. It was larger than most Snap Fitnesses and had everything you could want: machines, free weights, cardio equipment and a studio. So I took the approach of “Well I’m on vacation, I’m going to eat what I want and will work it off”. I’m not proud to say that eating commenced and I didn’t hold back. First, moderation is not my forte and I will be learning moderation in 2015. Second, that was a terrible approach to my nutrition and I knew better. The way I ate probably put me back a few weeks worth of training. Plus I could have enjoyed myself just as much if I would have exercised some restraint.
It’s our final night in Laos and we head to the gym. I’ve got this burning desire to push my workout to limit as a result of feeling guilty for eating everything. We walk over to the squat rack and Kyle goes first. He finishes his first set and now it’s my turn. I’m looking at the weight thinking that it’s going to be too much weight for me, but then I let my ego get the best of me and decide that I can squat that too. I did 3 reps, but didn’t get low enough into the squat. On my 4th rep I decide to go a bit deeper into the squat and bam, I threw my back out. I sat down and instantly was mad at myself for trying to squat too much weight especially when I knew it would be too much weight. I wasn’t able to bend over for a few days, had pain for over a week and couldn’t workout.
Lesson 3: Leave your ego at the door. I actually think this was a 2 lessons for the price of 1 kind of situation. It’s never a good idea to think that you can gorge for days on end and work it off. You should practice moderation, or in my case learn how to practice moderation. Not only did I feel my injury due to the physical pain, but I felt terrible for way over eating and then not being able to be physically active in any way. Lastly, you have to leave your ego at the door. If that little voice in the back of your brain is saying, “I don’t think that’s a good idea”, then you should probably honor that thought. My back is getting better, but I should never had injured it in the first place.
Just to recap: Always be prepared, double check especially important dates and times, and leave your ego at the door. I hope my lessons help you! I will definitely be more mindful of what I’ve learned while renewing my Thai visa in Laos.
Until next time,
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