I don’t even know how to begin to describe the last few days, besides that they have been pretty incredible. There’s been moments of “how the hell am I going to do this” followed by moments of “hell yes I can totally do this” and luckily the moments of confidence and joy have greatly unnumbered the moments of doubt. Thailand is a beautiful country from the very little I’ve seen so far and the people are just as nice if not nicer than what I was expecting.
It’s been so amazing getting to explore a little bit of Chiang Mai and the Thai culture, but the most influential part of these last few days has definitely been the people I’ve interacted with and been surrounded by.
First off, the people in my program have already impacted and inspired me so much and I can’t wait to continue getting to know them. Everyone has their own stories and differences but we also all have so many similarities and ultimately all came here because we wanted to do something we’ve never done before. I’ve had some of the most deep and real conversations with these people over the past 4 days and the openness and honesty of strangers who quickly became friends has made me so happy.
The Thai people have also already had a huge impact on me and I hope their happiness and joy will continue to rub off on me. There have been a few specific locals that have won my heart already and made me smile until my face hurt, and their kindness and willingness to just laugh and be light hearted is so refreshing.
I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that I’m living here and this isn’t a vacation and that when this month is up I will be moving to another town to teach kids English. Right now I’m just trying to live in the moment and enjoy all the wonderful experiences I’m having and continue to get to know all the people around me.
The language and the culture difference felt a little daunting the first couple of days but I’m beginning to feel more confident in my ability to negotiate unfamiliar settings and communicate the best I can. I was able to recognize landmarks and work my way back from a bar without the help of a map last night and today discovered a new vegan restaurant down the street and officially have a “fruit guy” with the best pineapple within 2 minutes of our accommodation.
Overall Thailand has already changed my point of view on quite a number of things and being around people with the same motivations as me has helped me to self reflect on a lot of what motivated me to come here and the drive that I have to make not only myself but the world around me a better place. I cannot wait to see all the things this adventure has in store for me and to continue to get to see Thailand, the surrounding countries, and experience all the lessons I have coming my way.