Learning through Failure

Learning through Failure

Attempting to tube the Arrawaddy River

Sometimes in life, we don’t achieve our goals. It isn’t always the greatest thing to experience, but it’s part of growing up, and progressing. Here is a story of a fun failure in Myanmar.

After taking a 24-hour train ride from Mandalay to Myitkyina in the north of Myanmar, my friends and I found a lot of dead ends. We heard the word "no" a lot. No there was no longer a boat from Myitkyina to Bhamo. No, we can’t go to the Minsunn Damn. No, no, no. But, no, I wasn’t frustrated.

After all the nos, we decided it was time to try to do something silly. The Arrawaddy River runs right next to the town, and with the sun beating down, what else is there to do than tube? All we would need to do is find a shop selling tires, buy some tubes and hit the river.

After heading from shop to shop, we found that no one would sell tubes to tourists. Though you are allowed to rent mopeds in some cities, no one was willing to sell us tubes. Even after giving up on the idea all together, and deciding a nice ride up the river would suffice, no one would allow us to take a ride on their boats, even while offering lots of Kyat. Our only option was to go and swim with the children in the area of the river where most people bathed.

Though it was a failed attempt, trying to tube in Myanmar was a good time. We traveled around a city, interacted with locals and ended up having a blast. I guess hindsight is always 20/20.