Where do I even start?
September 29th: As if cramming as much clothes, shoes, toiletries, and comforts of home into one suitcase and a backpack wasn’t stressful enough, trying to shift those six extra pounds around in order to save myself $100 was the cherry on top of the cake.
It was a quiet morning on my end because I knew talking to my parents about anything would be just enough to break down the dam and release the tears. I hate goodbyes in general, but to say “see ya later” to my wonderful roomies and support system was painful.
A TSA officer actually asked me if I was okay as I made my way through the line. Did I really look that awful? Yes.
The flight to LA was sprinkled with tears, but as the first leg of my journey ended, I felt a sense of calm set in. This was happening. And it was going to be good.
Fast-forward a few days, a few flights, and a few miles to October 1st—my birthday. Between the jetlag and distance from loved ones, it was hard to remember that I was turning a year older (totally fine by me.) I spent the day exploring with new friends and was so sweetly surprised with dessert and singing later in the night. Decision to come reaffirmed. The people I’m training with are incredible and I am so thankful to have met them already. We spent the night singing, dancing, drinking buckets, and getting to know each other better. Cue the next day’s hangover and one of the absolute best birthdays yet. 23 wasn’t my best year, but I’ve got very good feelings about 24.
This blog would run on forever and totally lose your attention if I gave the details about everything I’ve seen, done, and ate in the last three+ weeks. Highlights include: feeding elephants (I could write a separate blog on this alone), playing with puppies in the ocean, exploring temples, trying new food, making new friends, experiencing cultural events, and learning the basics of teaching ESL.
I’ve hardly had a moment to catch my breath, but I’m loving every minute.
The days are long and sweaty, but I can feel myself easing into my new routine. One more week of the TESOL course before heading to Krabi to teach English to 13-17 year olds. Two of my good friends here are in my school, another in my town, and many more sprinkled nearby. I’m not looking forward to going our separate ways, but I am excited to travel around the country visiting everyone in their new placements. I’m ready to settle into my new home and establish a routine. I’m anxious about getting into the classroom, but eager to see if this whole teaching thing is for me.
This past weekend provided another reaffirming moment. Staring out at the glowing city lights contrasted against the vastness of the sea, I felt this calm sense of belonging. I’m surrounded by beautiful people from around the world, exploring my new home, learning more than I could have dreamed, and feeling like I’m on the brink of something special.
I miss everyone at home (and my big, comfy bed), but life is good. I’m not sure what the future holds right now, but I’m looking forward to finding out.
More to come. Cheers!