The Alarm Clock Incident

I’ve been backpacking for a long time now and I was reflecting upon my very first day. What if it had gone differently?

Walking around the Khao San Road in Bangkok I bump into three english girls on my first day. I’d booked myself on to a day tour to Kanchanaburi and after realising that we’d be going the same way for the next couple of weeks they decided to do the same tour. We all got on great and I definitely felt at ease. This travelling business seemed easy. We spent the day together, I said goodnight and that I would see them tomorrow.

I wake up and look at my watch. The tour bus left an hour ago. I’d set three alarms and even left the tour company my room number. Turns out I hadn’t set the alarms properly and I’d got my room number wrong on the form. I was gutted.

This is where my head starts to hurt just thinking about it. What would have happened if I’d woken up. Because I had over slept I was a day behind. But imagine if I’d gone. I would have travelled with those girls but then I’d never have got on that bus in Chiang Mai and met the guys I travelled round South East Asia with. I would have been on that boat that capsized and killed five backpackers in Halong Bay. I may have decided to stop travel writing. I might never had had that surfing accident. I’ve met hundreds of people on my travels. I may have never met any of them.

One incident. One insignificant moment changed the course of my life. A butterfly effect. A sliding doors moment. Even though I would love to see how differently my trip would have turned out I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve had such a great time and made some incredible friends.

I hate cliches but they all fit. Everything happens for a reason. Don’t have regrets. Don’t eat yellow snow.

My advice: think about it, pause for a moment and move on. Don’t dwell and forget to live.

8 Comments

  • Matt

    August 13, 2010

    This post rings especially true to me right now mate. It’s hard sometimes to accept that things happen for a reason, but it’s often best to let fate play its role in life.

  • Nancy

    August 13, 2010

    Wow. Yeah. Wow. I absolutely love this! You have no idea how much I relate to everything that you have written here….and for more than just my travels.

    Bravo!! Brilliant!!

  • SpunkyGirl

    August 18, 2010

    I loved this post. We have two options in life. We can look back and regret miss opportunities or decisions, or we can relish in the wonderful things that have happened because we went another direction.

    I’m a glass half full kind of girl.

  • Sofia

    August 25, 2010

    Great post! It’s crazy when you start thinking about those things, how one small tiny little change would have completely changed your life! That’s why I believe that everything happens for a reason.

  • Andi

    August 29, 2010

    Very powerful post my friend! I’m not a religious person, but I strongly believe in that everything happens the way it’s supposed to happen. So happy you’re here still! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Angela

    October 9, 2010

    Wow! Great story!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I agree, everything happens for a reason!

  • Annie

    October 14, 2010

    Definitely a great post! I think about this a lot and although sometimes it’s hard to remember when things don’t work out the way you planned but then you just have to think about all the good things that happened because of the decisions you made.

    Love it!

  • rebecca

    May 6, 2014

    3 alarms and your room number… really what are the chances! that is fate!

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