My current home is on the 7th floor of an apartment in Salaya, an hour outside Bangkok. The city can be an exciting place of bustling markets, temples, galleries and street food. Yet I miss green things; things that grow wild and unrestrained. So do my children. So for my 30th birthday, we escaped to seek out forests and waterfalls.
Kanchanaburi was our base for the weekend, a 2 hour train ride from home. At the station, we had to walk onto the train tracks and climb up into the carriages, which had wooden benches, wide open windows and whirring metal fans on the roof. The train must have been at least 50 years old, and it didn’t appear that anything had changed or been painted since then. Despite the dust flying in, it was a great adventure. We watched the fields of sugar cane, corn, rice and mango trees fly past our windows and enjoyed the breeze.
In Kanchanaburi town we stayed in a bungalow surrounded by a fragrant flower garden and a swimming pool- bliss!
Early next morning, we caught the local bus to Erawan National Park, home to a 7 tier waterfall.
The water there is pale turquoise, with fish swimming in the shallows that like to nibble your feet.
Said to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand, there were quite a few people there, but with so many tiers there was plenty of room for everyone. We floated in the cool water, imagining we were leaves.
As we waited for the bus to head back to Kanchanaburi, Boo made piles of leaves, while Sunny made a little leaf man who he named “Steve”.
Sunny brought a small sprig of glossy green leaves back with him on the bus, holding it like a precious treasure. When we returned to the bungalow he made a bracelet from them.
Connecting back with the forest was literally a breath of fresh air for us after living in a smoggy city. The children’s creativity and imagination flourished, as they engaged with their natural surroundings.
No matter where we live, I feel it is so important for children to connect with nature; to feel the earth and see things grow. It’s like meditation. We can slow down and simply be in the moment.
Do you have a favourite place to connect with nature?