Wounded Warrior

 

Last year, I found myself face down on the ground, hesitant to stand up. How did
this happen, one may ask?

 

Well, my best friend and I decided to take a trip to Thailand. When we got there, we headed North to explore my personal favorite town, Pai. As we arrived we rented a moped to cover more ground. Everything was going great and we were having the time of our lives.

 

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Until the accident happened.

I was driving, and she was on the back. We were going down a gravel road and the tires lost traction and slipped. We went flying off the moped. My adrenaline was going faster than Usain Bolt at the olympics, and it took me a second to process what had just happened. So there I was, laying in the middle of the road.

When I did finally stand up, I glanced over at her and she was fine. Instantly I was filled with relief. I felt fine too, until I looked down at my right knee and could see straight to the bone. It was by far the nastiest thing I’ve managed to do to my own body (so far).

What happened next was truly incredible though. The locals rushed over to us
and took total control of the situation. Mind you, they spoke minimal English and neither of us speak Thai, so the communication was a little iffy, but that didn’t matter to them. This family had a small first aid kit in their car and managed to rinse my knee and stop the bleeding, while some of the others sat on the curb with my friend to calm her down. They didn’t care who we were, what we looked like or where we came from. Those people just saw that we needed help and they gave us exactly that.

They got us to the nearest hospital, where I got 8 stitches in my leg and 3 in my arm. The quality of care was nothing compared to what we have in the US, but it was better than nothing I suppose.

After that, I continued the trip. Yep, I was down to only one functioning leg at the time, but I guess that’s why I was born with a backup.

A few days went by, and we were in the Phi Phi Islands. They had a travelers medical center so I went there to get my wound cleaned. The doctor there decided to take out the stitches because he said they were done so poorly. Here’s a visual

 

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The doctor cleaned me up real good and sent me on my way. I stopped for a drink and found a place to sign up for an early morning boat tour of the islands for something awesome to do the next day, crippled or not.

The next morning, as the sun was rising, we took off and sailed to paradise. I wasn’t supposed to get my leg wet so I thought I was going to have to miss out on all the fun….

Luckily, I was wrong.

The tour guide was truly a saint. He took duct tape and a plastic bag and tied that shit up right to my leg to keep it dry. It actually worked! So him, my friend and I spent the majority of the day cracking up, soaking up the sun and enjoying the perfect day in the most beautiful place in the world. Now I see why they call it “the land of smiles”

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That’s us!

At the time, I was a little embarrassed by my stupidity and tendency to behave recklessly. But I’ve realized more good has come from the experience than bad. I was able to meet some of the best people imaginable, share my story with the world, develop into the fearless female backpacker, learn to handle anything that may happen on the road, and more importantly, pay it forward.

 

I’m from Orlando, Florida. Therefore, tourists from all over the world visit our city year-round. From that day, I’ve made it a point to always take care of our foreign visitors they way the citizens of Thailand did for me, even if it is something as simple as helping with directions.

I’m all healed now, but I have plenty of body surface area for more scars.

Thanks for reading!

-Erin

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