A $1,259 Bowl of Mango Sticky Rice

The seat selection map for my flights as I attempt to get window seats.

Let me start off by saying, buy your tickets early folks!

What was my goal this week?
Since I’m almost done my academic career, I wanted to gift myself a trip that wouldn’t break the bank, as I would like to go somewhere in the Summer of 2024. After hearing about the adventures and experiences a co-worker had in Southeast Asia, I have been keeping an eye on travel deals to Thailand. I was especially recommended to try all the delicious food like green papaya salad and mango sticky rice! To motivate myself into going, I booked the time off of work months in advance, just in case. My goal this week was to pull the trigger and decide if I was going to take a trip or not.

Well, I can proudly say that I’ll officially be flying into Bangkok and exploring the country for 17 days in the new year! It sounds crazy for me to even say that!

How did it go?
A bit of a roller coaster, actually! I’d been eyeing flight for the last couple weeks, and my friend had told me that the prices are rather cheap for Thailand in their dry season, January to March. While $1,200 – $1,400 may not be a cheap flight in itself, the food, people, culture, and experience make up for it. Apparently, once you’re over there everything is very affordable and it would make for a budget friendly trip if I decided to do it.

The roller coaster part comes once I was actually about to commit. The night before, I was 90% sure I was going to buy this ticket the next evening. It was already relatively cheap and I didn’t think I wanted to risk waiting for Black Friday Deals.

Well, my warning to you all is to buy your tickets AT LEAST a week before Black Friday… because it is true: exactly a week before Black Friday, the prices go up by $500-700, minimum. I was at SFU Burnaby on Friday afternoon when I checked prices and my jaw dropped. The previous night, Thursday, was so much cheaper. And now, Friday before Black Friday, they went up to $1,700-$2,000. INSANE! I felt like my whole plan was ruined and would have to accept it wasn’t meant to be. But I felt like it was. I had such good luck prior with planning all this, that there’s no way it would be ruined overnight.

The moment I saw how much the prices went up for my flight. Uh oh!

How did I do it?
With the luck of the universe, I found a flight to Bangkok for $1,259. Surprisingly, this was one of the cheaper ones I’d ever seen, however, I would arrive at night and would be flying for 26 hours with layovers. I phoned my friend in a panic, the one who I would be going on this trip with ( 🙂 ) and asked for their thoughts.

While I wouldn’t have my original preferred flight, in the end, we decided that a few layovers could be an adventure for me and honestly, I don’t mind waiting a couple hours to save hundreds of dollars. I’m happy to even have the privilege to travel, so waiting doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

Not willing to risk waiting any longer, I bought my flight after calling my friend, right there at the SUB in Burnaby campus. I thought, “I have the money, youth, time, and opportunity. Why shouldn’t I.” This whole trip would be cheaper than another semester’s tuition: that’s a win in my eyes!

And I did it. I bought my ticket that night and still can’t believe it.

Comparing dates and times, and having this miraculous first option pop up. How lucky!

How do I feel?
Extremely excited but also scared. Naturally. It’s my first time making a big trip like this on my own. I am meeting up with my friend in Bangkok and exploring the rest of the country with them, but I am flying there myself since they will be there earlier than me. I think the scary jitters are a good thing; I like pushing myself to try new things and this is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. 🙂 For now, it still doesn’t feel real! I’ll be travelling in February and can’t wait for it arrive. AHH!

A picture I took walking down the halls on campus after buying my ticket. I was in disbelief.

Next week’s goal
It’ll be hard to top this week’s emotional coaster. But next week, I’m hoping to get into the festive season and go to the Christmas Market to help push through my final finals season!

Song of the Week

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