My time here spent in Thailand has been nothing short of amazing. I had this trip planned for nearly a year and was counting down the days until departure. About two months prior to leaving, I emailed Marina to cancel my application and give up my spot on the trip. I got scared and was overwhelmed with stuff going on at home; I felt like it was a terrible time to leave the country. I then realized that I’m traveling for me, I’m learning for me, and I AM going to take this time for me. I quickly emailed Marina back a day later and restated I would be able to attend the trip and to keep me on the list.
The timing of the trip could not have come at a more perfect time. While at home, I was worried about a lot of things that were beyond my control. Finals were going to happen, I was going to graduate, my relationship(s) with my boyfriend and a friend were falling apart one day at a time, and I was not taking care of myself. I was constantly taking care of other things and other people, I completely disregarded my own well being. I decided that traveling to Thailand would give me the opportunity and time to self reflect and really figure out what I am passionate about and how I want to live my life after graduation. Being away from home would push me out of my comfort zone and really force to me adapt to environments I am not used too. I was so excited but had no idea what to expect.
After spending three weeks traveling around Thailand, I have grown in ways that I never thought I would, and I have learned so much more about who I am as a young American woman. Being in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar faces and not having access to all the “things” I do when I am at home freaked me out a little bit. My open-mindedness and ability to feel a sense of comfort was tested. For a while, I was constantly worried about what was going to happen next but I got tired of asking questions and decided to just go with the flow. Eventually, the only thing I ever really wanted to know was what time I needed to meet up with the group, otherwise once again everything was beyond my control. Also, being in a group of people with such different personalities was really difficult for me as well. I am someone who has a small circle of friends and not being able to rely on those friends for the past three weeks was tough. I was forced to make new friends and create new relationships. I was forced to live in the present and accept everything that was happening day to day. Some days were more frustrating than others but I also had experiences I will never forget. In every moment I tried my best to understand why I felt the way I did and what triggered that feeling. There were days where I was really happy and there were other days I was super tired and everything annoyed me but I always reminded myself to have gratitude.
The challenges I faced over the past three weeks really helped me grow and understand a little more about who I am. Though I only listed a few above, there were many more. Some more personal than others and some so minor that people would probably question why I am even being challenged. With that said, I confronted each of those challenges head on and faced realities I never thought possible. I am so grateful for the time spent in Thailand and all of the wonderful people I got to meet. Working towards finding a balance between the mind and the body is really pushing me to reevaluate my own way of life. Challenges come in all shapes and sizes. Some grow from something really small and others are a complete surprise, but at the end of the day its all about how one acts and reacts when faced with challenges. Thank you all so much for going on this journey with me!