Adam and Corinne talk about scary experiences, sad things and culture
We are Adam and Corinne, in our late 30s, together nearly 13 years and married in Las Vegas in 2016. We have always travelled together and love to go as often as life will allow. We are currently working on making travel a more permanent venture and moving away from conventional life. We started vlogging and blogging in 2017 to document and share our experiences, that is when Jamesyboy Experiment was born!
Adam and Corinne answered three questions for us that we thought would be helpful, insightful, or entertaining for fellow RTW travelers as part of a series of guest posts!
What culture has resonated the most with you?
Thailand was always somewhere we had dreamed of going, talked about often and listened with envy to those who had been. Jan 2017, we booked our flights and boom, June was soon here, and we were thousands of feet in the air speeding our way to Bangkok.
Would this trip live up to all the hype?
How would our experience be?
What would Thailand evoke in us?
First impressions were a crazy bustling city, crammed with traffic and people all vying to get somewhere but, despite this crazy busy atmosphere, something really stood out, the people had time to smile. Welcoming, friendly, helpful people. Drenched by a monsoon downpour the staff at our accommodation greeted us with umbrellas, gave us towels, welcome drinks and their faces simply beamed. It didn’t feel contrived but real, genuine.
The Calm is Always Present
Throughout our stay in this beautiful country this warm and friendly vibe just oozed. We met locals who willing helped us when we were stuck, included us when we showed an interest in their daily lives, locals who wanted to enjoy a beer with us in the evening and so many Thai people who wanted to wave, smile and say a few words in front of our lens as we vlogged our journey. Coupled with the kindness of the people is the calm that this land emanates. We have travelled to a few destinations in Thailand including city, countryside and island and the calm is always present.
Even in the sweaty, busy, smelly metropolis of Bangkok there is calmness running through its veins; maybe it is the practice of Buddhism by so many here, that contributes to this strange but wonderful feeling.
The next thing which smacked us straight in the face was the delicious food and great markets. Street food is what we fell in love with. There are so many delicious treats on offer, from fruits, drinks, savoury dishes and sweet. Vendors wheel their carts through the streets and set up stalls during all times of day and night. Often having perfected one dish, this is served up with speed, vigour and a huge smile, in exchange for only a few Thai Bhat. It never gets tiring trying all the delights and there is always another delicious surprise not more than a few steps away! The markets in Thailand are extensive, offering all kinds of wares, at more than reasonable prices and quality. We fell in love with these too and crave their very nature now we have experienced them.
We haven’t experienced all the cultures in the world, but so far Thai culture resonates with us the most. Thailand is a vibrant country. Thai people seem to live a simple and fulfilled life; their kindness, peacefulness and welcoming nature is second to none, something that put a definite mark on our lives, will stay with us forever and confirmed the life we want to strive for now.
Describe the scariest moment you have had whilst travelling?
Some years ago, we travelled to Nice in the South of France to celebrate our birthday (yes, we share the same birth date, although different years). We love dining out and decided to celebrate our actual birthday with a meal in the old town. It was a gorgeous evening, so we chose to dine al fresco. We chose an Italian restaurant in a cute courtyard which was bustling and alive with people.
“My Throat Feels Itchy”
The evening was going well, we had ordered wine, tucked into our starters and were eagerly awaiting our main course. Both of us had chosen gnocchi, myself four cheese and Adam pesto. When they arrived, we began devouring these perfect pillows of loveliness. Almost done, Adam looked up at me and said, “my throat feels itchy and I am a little hot”. We both thought he may have an allergy to something, so he left the restaurant to get my antihistamines which were back at our hotel. Not more than five minutes later he reappeared in front of me stating he didn’t think he could make it to the hotel and had returned to me as he felt much worse.
I looked at him and was shocked at what I saw.
Within those five minutes his eyes had swollen, his lips had swollen, and he was complaining that his throat was closing. Deep inside I was panicked but knew I had to remain calm. I called over the waitress and tried to explain what was happening, there was clearly a language barrier, but she understood enough to know she needed to call an ambulance.
The ambulance arrived in what felt like record time and we were soon whisked into the back, sirens sounding, speeding through the streets of Nice. The paramedics soon got a line in and were administering drugs. All the time Adam’s condition worsening, me holding his hand and trying to reassure him. We arrived at the hospital and Adam was whisked away on a stretcher, through a door with a dozen people surrounding him.
The door closed, and I was left sitting in the reception area, frightened, alone and with no information.
The hospital was in the centre of Nice and all types of characters came and went while I waited for news on Adam. It seemed like hours had passed. Finally, a Dr came through the same door Adam had been whisked off through and beckoned me over. He showed me to a row of cubicles, pointing at the end one. I rushed over and peered round the curtain. There Adam was, sat up on the trolley, drip in his arm, eyes and lips still puffy and red but a lot less so. Never had I been so grateful to clap eyes on we him. Phew…. he is alive.
What he had experienced was a life threatening allergic reaction to pine nuts, true anaphylaxis and I honestly didn’t know if he would make it. If we had not called for assistance when we did, or the ambulance had not arrived so swiftly, maybe he wouldn’t be here today. That day was the scariest we have had whilst travelling, exacerbated by the language barrier. Thank you to the French healthcare system who saved Adam’s life and the waitress who acted so promptly to call for help.
What is the saddest thing you have seen while travelling?
The saddest thing we have seen while travelling must be the slums by the side of the roads in Goa. The poverty is extreme. Tarpaulin draped between trees with families camped up under them, children and adults scantily clad, sanitation non-existent and animals sharing the same space.
The divide between rich and poor is huge.
The realisation that people must live in these conditions is stark. What made this experience surreal was the huge billboards which towered down, not more than a few metres away, their advertising space occupied by extremely wealthy western companies trying to subliminally occupy the minds of those who view them.
Thank you, Adam and Corinne! Be sure to check out their blog and social media channels!