I’ve been back in the USA for about a month now, which has given me the chance to look back on my time in Thailand and reflect on what it was that I actually did for 5 months. It may seem like I did a lot of traveling and sight-seeing, but that paints an unrealistic picture of what my life was really like. The mere fact that I was living in Bangkok (one of the most interesting cities in the world, no doubt) was adventure enough, although I probably took that for granted when choosing blog content. In fact, my best memories were the daily, mundane things that I didn’t even think about. Like walking to school everyday, exchanging smiles with the familiar street vendors along the way. Or standing face-to-shoulder with 50 people on a bus that should really only be able to accommodate 25. Or trying time and time again to conquer the “squatter toilet,” which would never fail to reveal itself at the most inopportune moments.
While I may have not mentioned them before, now that I don’t encounter those rewarding little adventures anymore, I realize how important they were to me. Enough so that now I am starting to question myself on how I fit into this world. It’s quite a strange feeling being thrown into an unfamiliar way of living all alone, slowly learning to adjust, only to be yanked right back out and into the old way, as if the new one never happened. I hate to say it, but you start to feel more irrelevant than you ever have before. Like you’ve lived a whole bunch in such a short amount of time, but you have to pretend you’re “the same” in fear of seeming snobby or too self-satisfied. I definitely fell in love with Thailand, and am seriously counting down the days until I can return.
I guess the only appropriate way for me to approach these feelings is to end this blog with a post containing some of my favorite scenes from Bangkok, and to encourage everyone who sees them to go abroad if they can. It was a ridiculous, revealing, overwhelming semester, and I can’t overemphasize how grateful I am to have been given this opportunity. You may have reservations whether or not you can because of this or that, but just trust me on this one. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.
Hopefully, this time in my life and everything I gained from it will manifest into some awesome contribution I will make to the world someday, but for now I’ll just leave with a shameless plug to my non-exciting, non-travel blog of my American exploits. Keep up with me at ALEXICON.TUMBLR.COM, and you can judge for yourself whether how truly “life-changing” my Thai experience was. Later, y’all!!!