I thought I’d take a quick break from the health updates to let you know my own update…
I’m at the airport in Seoul, Korea traveling back home to Thailand…and I almost didn’t get on my flight!
I’ll tell you what happened but first you’ll get a a brief back story…
I spent a few months traveling around America:
- leaving Thailand in March
- 1 week in San Diego (great to see my sister, her family and friends!)
- 1 month in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico (hanging with my buddy Max)
- 2+ months in Denver (staying with my sister mostly and my brother)
- 1 week in Austin (for Paleo f(x) and to hang with my friend Kevin)
- 1 week in Tucson (with my parents in their new home)
…and a few stops along the way at intentional communities (like the Savannah Hermitage) in Arizona and New Mexico.
After canceling my hernia surgery
(and deciding to heal the hernia without surgery) I decided it was time to get back home to Thailand…so I booked a flight, downsized, packed up and made my way back home.
Everything was going relatively smoothly on the trip…
Van from Tucson to Phoenix…check
Flight from Phoenix to San Francisco…check
Flight from San Francisco to Seoul…
Here’s where I hit a potential disastrous snag – a problem popped up out of nowhere…
I had checked into my flight online, made it to the gate and waited to board.
As usual, I was one of the last to board (because I prefer not to stand in line) and, when I got to the gate, the staff asked me to go the desk and share my boarding pass and passport.
The woman looked over my passport and asked if I had a vaccine or negative COVID test certificate.
They were going to check my documents at the gate – just before the plane takes off?!
(And, as they keep changing the rules, I had understood that I would be asked for the paperwork when I got to Bangkok – where I could get the test on the spot.)
The woman said I couldn’t board without the certificate. She asked for them over and over again.
I was freaking out on the inside – and it showed on the outside. I kept saying I didn’t have it and explained what I understood the rules to be…
…so she reluctantly printed my boarding passes, asked me to sign a paper (which I didn’t even read – whatever to get me on that plane!)…so I signed…
And I was on the plane!
So here I am writing this story in Seoul (with a 15-hour layover)…hoping that I can get into Thailand…
Wish me luck!
It wasn't easy but…
I made it to Chiang Mai, Thailand – and I'm back with my beloved Amphika, Poom, Mom, Khai Wan and other amazing friends!
How did I get in? Well…
As you left off above, I had 15 hours to kill in Korea before boarding my flight to Bangkok.
So, rather than twiddle my thumbs, I took a nap, found an all-you-can-eat buffet, and set up shop for the day while taking frequent breaks to move my body.
In that time I was able to piece together a document.
So, when I went to board my flight, they again pulled me aside and asked about my vax or covid test.
This time I was prepared. I presented the document to them on my phone. They were confused and asked if it was my vaccine certificate. I said no, it's a negative PCR test.
Good to go!
I thought it would be clear travels from there.
I arrived to Bangkok, Thailand just before midnight and I was speed-walking through the airport hoping to get to my hotel to rest just ASAP.
But immigration had other ideas…
They saw my entries and stays in Thailand over the past 4 years and they had questions. The woman passed me to a man who asked me what my intent was.
I said tourism.
He asked again.
So we played this "game" as he sort of lectured and reprimanded me for 15 minutes or so.
I was worried he wasn't going to let me in. It happens. I've heard stories from others being denied and having to fly back to where they came.
But lucky for me this guy got out enough of his emotional baggage and let me go.
One night in Bangkok and I was on a plane and in Chiang Mai the next morning.