Vang Vieng, Laos: Remembering to Slow Down and Savor Life

Life was hectic in the city, and my job stress was wearing me down. The constant noise, the constant hurry, the constantly looming deadlines made me feel as though I carried a thousand pounds on my back. I decided to book a flight to the slowest place I had heard of, where I could finally relax because it would be impossible not to. And with my trusty Laos road map, I found the perfect place.

I enjoyed a few celebratory lunchtime Beerlaos in the Bangkok Airways departure lounge before takeoff and catnapped deliciously the entire flight. I was jolted awake by a nightmare about a missed deadline that coincided with the landing in Vientiane airport, the glorious afternoon sun shining on the runway and straight into my eyes, reminding me of my vacation. I couldn’t help but smile.

The tiny airport greeted me like an old friend, and immediately an eager, young taxi driver offered to take me to my bus. His careful driving had me to the station a bit late, and I hastily paid him the tiny sum (plus a tip which caused him to break into a huge smile) and jumped on the comfy, almost empty old vehicle to begin my four hour ride to Vang Vieng.

The bus ride was quiet and peaceful, and slowly rattled loose the stress and anxiety I wanted to leave behind in Bangkok. I arrived at my destination just after dinner, pleased with the languid town and the emptiness that the low season promises. I was almost alone while wandering the streets to my hotel, save for a few friendly children and droopy dogs. The sunset I passed was my favorite yet, and the lone kayak gave me an idea for the next day.

The graceful receptionist (“Sam” per her English nametag) at the Inthira Vang Vieng guest hotel, checked me in, and showed me to my comfortable accommodations, full of dark Laotian-carved wood, maroon tapestries, and traditional paintings. It was the perfect place for a weekend retreat from hectic city life, so I nodded my approval. As Sam turned to leave, I remembered the kayak. “Do you have a kayak rental?” I asked her. “Yes, you will like? Tomorrow, 8am, drop off?” Again, I nodded my affirmation and it was set.

I turned in early, and awoke early as well to be dropped off down the river with my kayak. Mist was still rising off the karsts as the hotel helpers put the vessel into the water.

I paddled languorously down the river, waving to children, saying hello to buffalo. I stopped where I wanted, with no deadline to rush me, and no boss to question my actions. I flowed with the river, and watched my stress float away.

Unlike in the city, I had no deadlines, and could savor my time and notice my surroundings, stopping to look at blue water caves, and follow streams.

I came upon a man fishing while a woman watched two little kids play, and they motioned me over. I beached my kayak up onto the bank, and though we could not share any words of a common language, they shared their rice with me, and I shared my fruit with them. We smiled at the boys playing, and sat quietly watching the river before I was on my way.

When my trip in Laos was finished, I had almost no regrets, and left feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to take on the world anew. My only wish would have been able to speak with the family on the river bank that so kindly shared a lunch with me. Before the next trip, I will definitely learn how to speak at least a bit of the language with a Lao language course, so that I can better connect with the wonderful people that taught me how to savor life again.

Even when raindrops started to fall (one of the few downsides of low season), they felt refreshing instead of annoying, and I noticed how they broke the silence with their pitter-patter falling.

Happy traveling!

business shuffle business precision business flavor business verde business intergrity business gratis business epic business anchor business clearance business eastside business corporation business feature business cellar business plum business divine business pronto business carnival business east bay business dodge business prestige business razor business atlantic business husky business remarkable business fighter business quantum business courier business construct business sparkle business rainforest business falcon business lightning business blod business downtown business curious businessafter businesss alvage business overnight business captive business amazing business abundant business designing business blender business imagine business just business surreal shoppinghusky shoppingnations shoppingremarkable shoppingfighter shoppingquantum shoppingpeach shoppingpresident shoppingsparkle shoppingrainforest shoppinglightning shoppingdowntown shoppingraven shoppingsalvage shoppingpriority shoppingmystical shoppingpermanent travellightning travellowprice travelmeasure travelmillions travelmystical travelnations travelnature travelnobel travelnormal travelnorthamerican traveloffline travelomega traveloneday travelouter travelpickup travelplatinum travelplum travelprecision travelprestige travelpriority travelpronto travelquantum travelrainforest travelraven travelremarkable travelrhino travelsalvage travelscribe travelshuffle travelsleuth travelsnapshot travelsouthbeach travelsparkle travelsunflower traveltopsecret travelurban travelyankee legalagenda legalcupcake legaldodge legaleastbay legalescrow legalgecko legalglory legalguerilla legallimited legalmystical Interior Designer Web Interior Designer Web Interior Designer Web Interior Designer Web Interior Designer Web Interior Designer Web Interior Designer Web Interior Designer Web Interior Designer Web Interior Designer Web Personal product Sell Products Online Marketing Product Product Research Analyst Product Research Facilitator The Food Products General Products Beauty Products Business beauty product skin care beauty salon product online product Marketing Products to Advertise online shop originals Product New Products Products Definition gigi hadid Web Hosting Themes The Best Savings Rates Shop Personal Loans Chiropractic Tables Skin Care in Centrum Cher Client Women's shoes Solar Installation Medical Weight Loss Clinic The Benefits Of Moving Insurance Online Dating Group Auto International All Medicine Reviews Fashion Clothing Style Management Consulting Real estate Fishing Games business dollars business stick business sonic business widget business folder business gun business rex business duck business cache business groove business worth business omatic business gang business visual business battle business kiss business orama business member business dish business request business echo islandst automotive guideto automotive goodday automotive automotive techo healty happy food food with cheese word class education higher education guide line education educational deal guide line education wedding pose shopping and news for men shopping best travel video travel web portal vip travel us travel visa my wedding light business gram business pipe business body business back business charts business dragon business roll atlanta home loans SEO Marketing Asian Beauty Products Business Information Center Nest Cam Indoor Nice Wedding Photographer channel girl Photoshop free room girl Skin Care Products Living Room Decoration Home Inspection Tips General Products Marketing Products Online Business Opportunities asia miss Infographic Design Baby Healthy Baby Accessories baby sexy Baby Furniture Baby Clothing Baby Products Baby Shop hi movie talk hi movie sex hi movie comedy hi movie sexy hi movie room hi movie show Online Home Inspector hi video movie hi vide ogood Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Online Shirt Shopping Shop jewellery and bags Online Shop Accessories Shopping Fashion Style Natural Health Magazine Bedroom Designs interior design ideas bedroom Premature ejaculation Health Tonics Herbs Natural Health Magazine Electrical System Vehicle The Shop Bulk Online Premature ejaculation www.777chat.info www.777good.info www.twshowkiss.info www.twtalk080.info www.twavtalk.info www.twshowlove.info www.twavsexy.info www.twavroom.info www.twavmovie.info www.twsexy888.info www.twsexyadult.info www.adult506.info The Legal Adviser www.twavshow.info www.twavnice.info www.asia222.info lawyer Legal advisor The Lawyer Portal good tube Personal product Sell Products Online Marketing Product Product Research Analyst Product Research Facilitator The Food Products General Products Beauty Products Business beauty product skin care beauty salon product online product Marketing Products to Advertise online shop originals Product New Products Products Definition Food Products Financial Products General Auctions operating systems product activation Product Keys Product Key Finder Heating Systems Home Automation Home Automation System Building Supplies Building Designer Building Consultants Bathroom Accessories Appliance Repairs Equipment Hire Extensions & Additions Floor Coating Products Furniture Removal Garden Maintenance Garden Designer Interior Designer Interior Decorating Kitchen Design Landscape Construction Landscape Design Project Management Landscaping & Gardening Patio Cover Installations Tile Suppliers Home Access Control Home Alarm Systems Home Intercom Systems Home Security Card Access Plumbing Installation Home Entertainment System Home Improvement Mistakes Home Improvement Leads Home Improvement Tips Home Improvement Grants Home Improvement Stores Home Improvement Projects Green Home Improvements Marketing strategy Marketing Concept Affiliate marketing Smart Affiliate Marketing Strategies Best Affiliate Marketing Networks Best Affiliate Programs Digital marketing Internet Marketing Services digital transformation Seo Web Marketing Web Marketing sex dictionary sex diseases sex education film sex facts for teenagers sex health tips sex medicine for male sex positions during pregnancy sex power medicine sex relationships Vibrators and Adult Toys sex pills for women sex relationships online dating business online dating catfish online dating elite Adult Superstore sexuality counseling sex facts and tips sex power medicine sex relationships sex related words sex pills for women sex relationships Free Online Casino Online Casino Games the best online casino games Winning Strategy Games Best Gaming Experience Play Online Casino Games Online Casino gambling Slots gambling The Best Online Casino Play Online Casino Games Play Online Casino Play Online Pokies Real Money Slots Online Slots and Casino Play Online Slots Real Money Casinos Play Slot Machines Online Real Casino Jackpot Party Casino Slots Real Casino Slots Apps sex dictionary sex diseases sex education film sex facts for teenagers sex health tips sex positions during pregnancy sex power medicine sex relationships sex related words Vibrators and Adult Toys sex pills for women online dating business online dating catfish online dating elite Adult Superstore sexuality counseling sex facts and tips online dating service sex good for health sex positions during pregnancy sex power medicine Home and Patio Decor Center Home Remedies The Best Smart Home Security Systems Home Design Ideas Home Decorating Ideas Best Home Builders Home Building Online Courses Home Builder Marketing Top Living Room Flooring Best Logistics Software Best Application Comparison Shipping Software Solutions Logistics Management Software Logistics Software Systems Software Developers Systems Software Developers Software Developer Education Most Popular Software Applications Technology Applications Phone System Software Information Technology Spy Phone Technology download Smartphone Spy Phone Technology Software Developers Systems Software Developers Software Engineer Software Developer Education Android Software Applications Most Popular Software Applications Cell Phone Monitoring Software Software Technology Technology Applications Best Application Comparison Shipping Software Solutions Wedding Ideas Virgin on Wedding Night find the meaning of wedding Wedding Websites Virgin on Wedding Night Wedding Planning wedding planning tips business plan Invest Your Money Online Services for Businesses public relations Small Business Trends social media facebook social networking facebook Tips Small Business Best Application Comparison Software Developers Software Developer Education Android Software Applications Small Business Marketing Most Popular Software Applications cheap ray ban sunglasses Travel Insurance Information Backpacker Advice Kitchen Design Patio Cover Installations tw girl asia chat tube Landscape Construction Landscape Design Cheap Hotels Travel Tips Travel Guides Travel Information Cheap Flight and Hotel Packages‎ Travel Insurance Cheap Hotels and Flights Best Restaurants Vegetarian Restaurants Hotels And Resorts Best Hotel Restaurant Travel Information Trip Travel Insurance Compare Cheap Holiday Travel Insurance Find Cheap Hotel Discounts Cheap Hotels and Flights Cheap Hotels Travel Tips Travel Guides Travel Insurance Find Cheap Hotel Discounts Addiction Causes Causes of Alcohol Addiction Causes of drug addiction Drug Abuse Information Substance Abuse Programs Choosing a Addiction Rehab Program Drug Rehab Treatment Information New Drugs Online Personal product Sell Products Online Marketing Product Product Research Analyst Product Research Facilitator The Food Products General Products Beauty Products Business beauty salon product stroke sony Ecommerce Marketing Strategy Ecommerce Marketing and Technology The Lawyer The Business Law Bankruptcy Lawyer Law Firms Legal Information Attorney Best Lawyers The Best Advice Lawyer Lawyer Requirements Lawyer Employment Law Reports Wedding Ideas Virgin on Wedding Night wedding definition quotes wedding definition of marriage find the meaning of wedding Wedding Planning Wedding Planning Guide Wedding Websites wedding planning tips Small Wedding Planning kitchen cabinet water damage waste disposal Patio Furniture glass shower home builders custom cabinets home theater systems floor plans blenders heaters switch fixtures lighting furniture electric fences glass kitchen carbon filters kitchen sink home improvement bed kitchen cabinets aluminum water filter houseplants personal injury health insurance bad credit loans fast cash advances cash advance loans insurance loans auto insurance loans for bad credit payday loan loans with bad credit injury lawyer personal injury lawyer personal loans online payday loan fast cash loans malpractice insurance brokerage firm injury lawyers Consulting immigration law business law accident attorney home builders car insurance consolidation loans fast cash online loan application cash advance companies payday advance instant payday loans application form apply now cash loan make money free money life insurance affordable health insurance mortgage structured settlement European Vehicle Market Vehicle Systems Electrical System Vehicle business autocar Online Drivers Car Education Online Drivers vehicle technologies electrical Auto Parts and Service technology supports autocar driver education requirements Online Programs Driver Education Auto Information Auto and parts Automobile Repair Shop woman lingerie Auto Parts Suppliers Auto Repair Shop Auto Body Parts Online Auto Body Parts apartments real estate luxury condos Commercial Property For Sale Commercial Real Estate Commercial property Apartments for rent apartment finder service Find Apartments for Rent Apartment Luxury Homes Real Estate Developments Mortgage Rates Best Mortgage Rates Free Online Dating Tips on Free Online Dating Psychology of Your Online Dating Partner Free Online Dating Services Free Online Dating Website Dating Site for Women Free Dating Site And Free Online Dating Making online dating sex dictionary sex diseases Drug Abuse Information Travel Guides Hotel and Travel developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web developers designer web Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers Find Web Developers