A Brave Soldier

Plain of Jars Cave - Laos

A little while back, my husband Stu and I were travelling through Laos. We visited the town of Vang Vieng, where we decided to check out some local caves. And by “we”, I mean “Stu”. I, like many people, don’t like dark, cramped spaces. But I went along, thinking if it got too hairy, I’d just bow out and wait outside.



We got ourselves a local guide, who, unaware of the vise-like claustrophobia that was choking me when we were not even one minute into this cave, trotted ahead explaining this and pointing out that. I realized this was a do or die moment for me; I could face my fear and just deal with this damn cave, or I could bow out and wait on the sidelines, lungs full of oxygen but spirit completely deflated. So in I went.

Deeper and deeper we trekked, passing cool carvings and water pools along the way. But I didn’t really notice anything except how deep we were going into this huge rock.

After walking for forever, we came up to a river. Our guide told us that if we waded through the river, we’d reach a waterfall.

Well, I thought. We’ve already come this far. If I’m gonna die in this cave, I may as well go out with a bang.

So I rolled up my pants and off we went.

We waded towards the waterfall for a bit, but soon realized that we would need to go up to our necks in water to get all the way there. Without a change of clothes, we decided to turn back. But by the end of it, I spent over two hours in that cave with no daylight in sight. Stu said I was a brave soldier, and an intrepid warrior. But really, I was just someone who was scared out of my wits, but who did it anyway.

Scared out of my wits. Did it anyway.

If those first five words were always followed by those last three, what a different world it would be.

This is me, wading into the river in the cave. Don’t I look thrilled? 😉

Fahrin Kermally