Why I Travel - An Ode to Tiger Cave Temple

Dear Reader,

It has been too long. Since I last posted I have traversed the jungles of Thailand, traveled on countless planes, and explored Parisian streets with love songs singing in my ears. And now, I find myself at a dining room table, covered by a plastic floral tablecloth, high above the city of Geneva, Switzerland.

It has been a unique experience shifting back into full time backpacking. I feel tired, a bit woozy, constantly as if I’m fighting a bug, yet nonetheless ever enlivened!

My shift back into a 55L pack has been about self care, about remembering why I chose this lifestyle, and seeking out the moments that remind me why I travel.

One of these moments occurred without warning.

As I dragged my butt out of bed at 6 AM in Krabi, Thailand, to take a tour my friend had booked for us without my consultation, I felt unsure, rushed to get food, and anxious about a very steep climb on tired feet.

I did not anticipate magic, restoration, or spiritual awakening. But ya’ll that is exactly what I found.

My time atop Tiger Cave Temple brought my soul back to life.

As my group of temporary travel companions trekked back down the 1,260 steps,

I stayed to write in solitude.


As always, I feel it is important to share my raw and unedited words with you. I believe in real moments, in imperfection, in rain that drenches the ink on your paper, or wind that steals your breath away.

I believe authenticity and honesty truly empower. For, the more we are able to share our true selves the closer we step toward self love and self acceptance, not only as individuals but as a community.

So, without further adieu, here are my messy, beautiful, imperfect words about why I travel, written atop Tiger Cave Temple.


It is odd

to write in ink once again.

My pen protests,

begging me

to stop,

and take in

the wonder before me.

This

is why.

This is why

I travel.

For incense filled temples

for prayers,

whispered to the wind.

For views,

blurred by tears

of wonder.

Mouths agape,

hands on chest,

awestruck.

I travel for

bare feet

on sacred ground.

For unmatched spirit,

for blessings chanted

to the gods.

I travel for,

stray dogs

loved unabashedly by strangers.

For sloppy journal pages

and too many words to write.

I travel for,

moments that ask only for gratitude,

moments when my heart screams:

“Thank you!”

I travel for,

families in heaps

on tile temple floors.

For fathers

who nudge their children

to make room, and

for children

who refuse to move

from heaps of love.

I travel for

thieving monkeys,

and steps that make your head spin.

I travel for

moments of entrapment

unwilling to release you

from their beautiful power.

This is why I travel.

This is why I live.


If I’m being 100% honest I would do Thailand different next time. I would spend more time in one place, I would move slowly, I would go totally solo, I would spend my time with elephants, in rainforests, and on sacred ground. I would prepare more, so I could stress less.

But, my time atop Tiger Cave Temple was unchangeable. It was a moment painted by mother nature herself, laid out by the universe just for me. I was overwhelmed with energy, spirit and love. My pen moved a million miles a minute, as my eyes focused away from my paper on the lush landscape in front of me. All my stress, all my wishes for change, faded away as I was reminded why I travel.

So, here’s to taking the good with the bad, to trusting the universe, and keeping your heart open to inspiration. Because ya’ll, those magic moments make it all worth it.

And as I welcome those moments of magic, I learn how to Cultivate and create them; and all of a sudden they are around every bend!


Also, if you’re anxious to get in on a little bit of the Tiger Cave Temple Magic check out this super short, pretty imperfect, video of my Thailand highlights (PS probably watch it in HD so my phone video looks as great as possible — haha).

Or, these images…

Ya’ll know words are my expertise, but I hope you enjoy a little photo and video magic too!

Sending love to each one of you, may you embrace your moments of magic and create the life you love. May you write your own poems with tear filled eyes and remember why you travel and why you live!

Happy Holidays,

Annalise