Departure to Thailand

Departure to Thailand

Riding elephants, eating spicy food washed down with fresh mango juice, relaxing on pristine tropical beaches, zooming along the coastline in a motorcycle. I have to be honest, when I decided to go to Thailand to teach English, these were the thoughts that filled my mind. While there is no doubt truth behind these stereotypical, daydreaming-invoking images, I realized quickly that I had to take a more realistic approach to moving to Thailand. I’m choosing to approach it as a learning experience rather than a party-filled vacation, a serious job rather than a way to get paid to travel, an open book rather than one I have already written in my head.
That’s the way travel has always been in my mind: the most effective way of subsequently learning about the world and yourself through an immersion in fear and the everlasting appeal of the extraordinarily new.

The way I see it, life is about realizing what you want to do and doing them. What is the point of creating aspirations for ourselves if only to talk about them fleetingly? Nothing was ever achieved (arguably) by hoping, praying or wishing for them, they were achieved by trying. Yes, trying is terrifying in every imaginable way and whether it’s in relationships or work, the risk of failure is likely what holds us back. But isn’t that slight possibility of success a worthy motivation?

When I graduated college just last May, traveling always seemed like the logical next step for me. Applying for jobs close to home or even within the states honestly never occurred to me, at least not right away. I love my home of Madison, WI but most of the time I feel too comfortable, like if I stay here I will always wonder what life would be like somewhere drastically different, in an environment where everything is new, fresh, exciting. What better time than now to go out and do what I’ve always wanted to than right now? For me, and I’m guessing for most people, waiting only creates more excuses.

I am probably the most unfortunate person to have this insatiable yearning, however, as I crumble to a puddle of tears at the mere thought of saying goodbye to people and places I care about. I am deeply, sentimentally attached to things in my life, but they are also all I’ve ever known. All I know is the only thing more powerful than my will to stay if my desire to go.

The other day I saw a gif of Mindy Kaling in which she says to herself “You are not Mindy, you’re a warrior, and your warrior name is…” So I decided to create a warrior name that would inevitably empower me in all times of self doubt to remind myself that I am a wonderful woman who can do anything she sets her mind to. However, after much concentrated thought I realized my desired warrior name, the only warrior name I was ever meant to have, had already been taken by none other than Mindy Kaling herself. “Beyoncé pad thai”. Oh well, Mickey and Mindy are similar enough that I can borrow her warrior name, at least for the time I am in Thailand, it only seems fitting.

Warrior names and sentimental thoughts aside, I truly have faith in the experience of travel. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am not a religious person but I do believe in believing in things, if that makes sense. I believe that you should trust in experiences and allow them to change you, or not change you. How you approach life is going to affect how it approaches you, so I’m choosing to seize every opportunity that comes my way and letting that experience work its magic and teach me whatever it was meant to.

Safely in Bangkok, pictures and more posts to come soon!

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