A Whirlwind Romance

Meet my friend, Aung Aung! (Photocredit to Hannah Boeck)

Meet my friend, Aung Aung! (Photocredit to Hannah Boeck)

Myanmar is the country you fall into bed with and wake up the next morning thinking “I don’t really know your name, but I think I could stay like this forever.” The initial attraction smacked me in the face the moment the plane circled in for landing. Myanmar is a country of immense, dramatic landscapes: sweeping arid plains, mirror like mountain lakes and vast blue skies. The incredible natural beauty of the country captured my attentions, but it was the people I met along the way who kept them.

Myanmar gets a bad rap, mainly because of a lot of unsavory things done by its government. But not all governments represent their people, and my experiences were overwhelmingly positive. Being able to trust a stranger to carry your bag and not run off it, or a hostel owner to let you use their shower when you aren’t a paying guest creates an amazing feeling of camaraderie that transcends the usual roles of tourist and local and allowed me to make friends with people I would have been wary of speaking to on a trip anywhere else in South East Asia.

Being comfortable to put myself out there not only opened up new friendships, but also new experiences; naps in the back of horse carts, 5 am climbs for sunrise atop an 11th century temple, walking across a floating rice paddy. I could write a million words about Myanmar, but really this post just comes down to one: Go.

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