Hello from California!
Wow, it has been a week since I returned home from Bangkok… and I still cannot believe that I am back. Every day, I have to remind myself that I can no longer just wander outside and explore Bangkok with my friends, and let me tell you – it is weird! Everything is too clean, too orderly, too structured! No more crazy taxi rides, no more street food stands, no more canal boat rides to internships, no more Bangkok / Thailand / Southeast Asia. Just going to stores and realizing that I can actually understand what everybody in the room is talking about is so strange! Just the other day, I went to go get some dinner with one of my hometown friends, and I was caught off-guard by the fact that the cashier actually understood what I was saying and initiated some small-talk. I know, it sounds stupid but it happened! Wow, so this is what reverse-culture shock feels like.
Thailand seems like a dream. That’s strange isn’t it? It feels like nothing has changed… but that’s not true, is it? Everything has changed… same same but different, you could say. This time last year, I was so excited and so nervous to begin this adventure… and now, it’s all over. I remember wondering what would be waiting for me in Bangkok. Bangkok! This time last year, I knew absolutely nothing about Bangkok, let alone Thailand! Little did I know, I would have the time of my life. I ended up meeting some of the most incredible people, with whom I shared some unforgettable experiences.
Truth be told, I still haven’t processed what happened over this past ten months. Wow – I can’t believe I did it! I survived ten months in Bangkok! Ten long, unforgettable months. This experience left me inspired to see as much of the world as I can throughout my life. It sounds cliché, but that’s why it’s true, right? I’ve fallen in love with the thrill of diving into a new country and culture, and crossing paths with people who share that same desire to embrace this world for all it has to offer.
If this study abroad trip has taught me anything, it is that I have the power to design my own life. I have met so many people throughout my trip who have changed the way I look at the world, and have caused me to question the structures of my own life back home. I have learned so much in these past ten months about myself, the world around me, and my place in it, and it has been truly invaluable. I may be done with my year abroad in Thailand, but the journey has only begun!