They say if you really want to get to know a place, speak to the locals. How they live
will show you the place’s real culture and atmosphere.
This is why on every trip, Miss Universe Thailand 2019 runner-up Miriam Sornprommas makes it a point to chat with local people she comes across in each city, so she can really get to know the place. “When I travel, I try to really get to know the people in that country, especially local people, because I want to see how they live, what their culture is like, and why their architecture is the way it is. I think it helps me better appreciate the place. I love talking to people, so when I travel, I want to exchange views with people. Before I went to London, UK, my friends who have lived there for a long time told me that the people weren’t friendly, but my experience proved otherwise. They were friendly to me, or maybe that’s because I always greet people and strike a conversation with them, even with bus drivers,” said the beauty whose friendliness is reflected in her big smile. Because of this positive attitude, on every trip, she always gets memorable stories.
Miriam said her curious nature and thirst for cultural knowledge in various places could be from the fact that she’s half Thai, half American, and since childhood she’d had to adapt to both cultures so she could feel at home in both countries. Today, she can feel like a real Thai when in Thailand, and when she’s in the US, she can live just like an American. Learning different cultures has helped her open her mind to different people. To her, speaking to local people is like getting to know the way of life in that country, and that’s the fun in travelling.
“I spent four days in Maldives and I was almost sad because even though the place was simply perfect, from the sea to the resort, there were no people and no culture. It was just too perfect but lifeless. It’s different from taking a walk in a small village in the Netherlands, which I really loved. Even though it’s just a small country, its people learn the best things from other countries. There are not many cars because most people ride a bike, so they are healthy and happy. Another nice thing is that everyone, young or old, can talk to each other. I spoke to children who were around 10-15 years old but they seemed to know a lot about their country’s history, and they were very mature. This reflects the quality of their education. There’s not a lot of gap between the old and young or the rich and poor — everyone seems like family, and I think it’s really nice.”
The Miss Universe Thailand runner-up shared her travel experiences. One of her favourite places is the Netherlands, and she’s also interested in many other countries, such as Brazil and Italy. Her dream destination now is Tahiti, an island in the Pacific Ocean, with unique way of life, culture and language. She feels that it would make a trip of a lifetime.
Beyond learning about cultures, Miriam also loves exploring nature. As a Chiang Mai native, she is passionate about trees and mountains, but she’s also a sea lover. Therefore, seas and mountains are always on her travel list.
“I love nature, both mountains and seas. I love things that are greater than me. When I look at the sea or the mountain, I feel really small, and for a moment, I feel that we’re all insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but at the same time we’re all important. Nature helps you discover who you are and heals you when you are down. As a therapist, I can see that spending time in nature can help people find themselves, because it’s peaceful and you can let go of your stress and anger much easier. For children, the freedom that nature brings will encourage them to be more adventurous,” she said from experience.
It can be said that travelling has helped her understand this world and its people better, and also inspires her to do great things for society. She believes that great things await on every journey, from beautiful memories to new friendships formed while travelling. The experience itself is a long lasting gift that will be cherished for a lifetime.