Well over a year ago we sat down with a lot of ideas for a trip around the world, starting in Southeast Asia. We started to piece it all together slowly, but surely.
We saw all the pieces coming together, one by one, over many months. Our travel schedule took shape as a puzzle does: we laid out all the little pieces of our many destinations, activities, and timeline. How would we ever fit so many pieces together? We sat down and took a look. It didn’t take long before we saw how two or three edge pieces locked together. We would become diverted by colored pieces that logically snapped into place. Yes, we tried to make pieces fit together that really did not belong together. Bit by bit, the puzzle of our travel schedule took shape.
What about those pieces that from early on that can’t be found? Everyone swears those pieces are lost and usually they’re not discovered until almost all of the other pieces have been put into place.
The tradition dates back to the 14th Century, and we would have hated to miss it. It was a bit like the missing puzzle piece: a piece that needed to wait until we arrived to click into place.
The section of the puzzle that was Luang Prabang needed time to take shape. Our friends, Cliff and Ruth, who would be joining us, corresponded with us from New Zealand about places to stay and travel arrangements. We never got to the piece about what to do for the 14 days we’d be together in Luang Prabang.
On one of the last days, we headed for the ticket office to visit the first botanical garden in Laos, Pha Tad Ke.
With each place visited, with each memory stored, we created a seamless, beautiful picture. If we stood back, we couldn’t even see the fine lines of the puzzle.