In my third year of university Heather and I packed up our suitcase and travelled to Japan, Hong Kong, Bali and Thailand. It was the first time I had left North America and it was a big step for me in my travel life.
Over the years I have often used this experience as a motivator to remind myself that when I get the chance to try something new I should step out of my comfort zone and do it.
Travelling exposes you to the chance to meet different people but what that trip also showed me is that it can also introduce you to the culture.
While travelling on our around the world trip we participated in various festivals in Canada and other countries.
The one that most took my breath away is called Loy Krathong – Thailand’s Festival of Lights. This Buddhist festival runs in different cities on different days and is highly spiritual and based on the idea of clearing out bad luck.
This year the festival started on November 17, 2013. In November 2011 I had the good fortune to experience this unbelievable event with my family.
In the evening we sat in on the meditation chants of several Buddhist monks for about one hour. We then went outside on a rainy evening and sent lantern after lantern into the sky.
Later that same evening we made our way to the river where we set off a small raft with a floating candle alongside locals. The intention is to send your bad luck downstream therefore giving you a new start These rafts held lotus flowers , banana leaves, candles and incense. It was an incredible scene to watch unfold under a dark sky. It’s an event I highly recommend that you try to partake in at least once in your life.
Two years have passed since that ceremony and the memories of it are still fresh in my mind. That’s the real value of participating in something like this. The memories of an incredible night live on and on.