Laughing in Luang Prabang

My friend Heather made me laugh so hard the other night that I thought I might crack a rib. You know that kind of laughter when you're both gasping for air with tears streaming down your cheeks and after ten minutes you're still in hysterics even though you're not sure why. There are only a couple of people in this world who can make me laugh like that and I can now add Heather's name to that short list.

Today I say goodbye to Luang Prabang - to the golden sunsets, the quaint-coloured doorways, the temples and orange-robbed monks - and to a small group of people who have become my family here in this sleepy town.

When you move to a foreign land on your own - where nobody knows you, nobody owes you, nobody needs to have anything to do with you - and you somehow manage to find a tribe. When you are able to gain the acceptance of complete strangers - who invite you into their homes to share meals and ideas and life. When they love you and your often-neurotic ways not because they're blood-related and feel obliged to do so, but because they choose to. When you find yourself falling off a couch from laughing so hard with a girl who you didn't know at all six months ago, but who has become a friend you'll now treasure for years to come. Well, it makes you feel like you're an okay human being, you know? That you're doing something right with your life. That the world, no matter which corner you land in, is a wonderous place.


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