It seems surreal, almost as if it didn’t happen. As if I simply imagined or dreamed that I went to this all sorts of awesome country filled with contradictory beauty and development. If it wasn’t for every one’s pictures on Facebook or my family and friends probing me about my Thailand trip. I could probably convince myself that it all was indeed one very awesome life changing dream. But it was real. It really did happen. I was in Thailand.
Having gone on academic abroad trips before, I anticipated certain group dynamics, emotions and culture shock both during and after the trip. However, I don’t think one can ever really prepare for the slap in the face that is reality upon returning from such a life changing trip. Thailand was a deeply spiritual journey for me and I was determined to return back to the flow of life with serious focus and enlightenment. Only my ambitions did not take into account the ridiculous power of jet lag. As I fought through the 5pm sleepiness and the 3am restlessness, I scrambled to get myself organized for class and work. This seemed to consume all my energy and focus so when someone asked me how my trip was I was only really able to respond, “awesome”. I wanted so badly to express how amazing Thailand was, but I was unable to articulate my experience. I’m still unable to articulate it. In fact, alongside my extreme fatigue, this past week I felt annoyed and agitated. I was annoyed with myself because I couldn’t’ clearly describe the impact the Thai culture had on me. I was annoyed with my friends because they lacked the perspective to fully appreciate my stories or understand my personal growth. I was annoyed with myself because being annoyed went against whole growing experience from this trip. I wanted to be back in Thailand where I felt centered and at peace.
Thankfully, once I got over my awful jet lag and mini self pity party, I was able to refocus and regain that peace. I love checking my facebook newsfeed to see someone has posted facebook pictures from Thailand. I love going back and reading through my journal and reading every one’s blogs. It’s almost as if I’m reliving the entire experience again. I may not be able to put into words what exactly I learned on this Thai adventure, but it’s pretty cool that there are 17 other people who can look at a picture and know exactly what I want to articulate!