Moments after I last closed my laptop, I left my hostel to walk the streets of Penang in search of this famously good Indian food. As I walked, the rain persisted, pouring down even harder than before. Living on Koh Tao, I rarely know what day it is, and here was no different. Being Sunday as it is, most things were closed, and I found myself walking around in the pouring rain, on streets I've never walked, and an old Malaysian man, hiding beneath a large umbrella, asked me, "Why are you out in the rain? Why don't you wait until the rain stops, and then move?" A perfectly legitimate question, as it were. All I could say was, "I don't mind the rain."
As I kept walking, I couldn't help but think about that man's question. Why didn't I stay and wait for the rain to pass? Why was I walking, barefoot, through unknown streets, soaking wet, drawing confused stares from people hiding beneath overhangs and umbrellas? The answer came to me quite simply, and quite quickly.
I was walking in the rain because I could.
I was walking in the rain because I am a young, able-bodied, world-loving traveller. I am a few weeks shy of 22 years old, and I have done things people twice my age never even dreamed of. I was able to feel the rain on my face, see the puddles and small rivers it formed, smell it, hear it soak the ground around me, and in one, beautiful, glorious moment, I felt unbelievably lucky to be where I was, and doing what I do. Sometimes it takes something life-shattering for us to realize how really lucky we are, and sometimes, all it takes is an elderly man questioning your decision to wander strange countries barefoot in the rain. I walked on with the biggest smile on my face.
Not 10 minutes after I sat down at the only open restaurant within 4 blocks, someone set off fireworks.
The world is truly an amazing place.