In February of 2015 I was going through a rather rough patch in life and got the idea that traveling to the other side of the world was a good idea. It was a way to escape, to run away from the daily chores of life in North America, the plans that everyone made but never followed through with, and to see somewhere new.
That idea involved not only traveling, but moving to Asia, Thailand to be specific, a country and continent that I had yet to step foot on.
Eight months later I found myself standing in the bustling lobby of a hostel saying goodbye to a friend who I had spent the last 3 weeks traveling with. She was the last person I said goodbye to in Canada before dragging my pack that held my life in it to the airport in Vancouver.
I landed in Thailand hopeful, excited, and a little more than nervous. After 24 hours of travel I jumped into my training straight away with only an afternoon to rest. I moved to a smallish city called Phitsanulok, home to the most beautiful Buddha in Thailand. It’s a government city, hoping to become a bigger city that attracts more tourists and acts as a hub between the north and south of Thailand.
I had only ever heard or read good things about Thailand. So many people loved it, so I left Canada thinking I’d love it just as much.
I moved to Thailand to experience adventure. I moved to Thailand to see and be immersed in a new culture, to get a better idea of Buddhism. I wanted to know what a simpler life was like.
I moved to Thailand to teach English, like majority of the foreigners living here do. I thought I would help shape a child’s idea of Westerners, be remembered as a small portion of their life, and help them learn English, which one day might allow them to travel more easily throughout the world.
I moved to Thailand so that I was closer to more countries and foreign cities so small trips could be made more often. I moved to Thailand to try new foods from their origin, and to see how other cultures live first hand.
I wanted an experience to shake me up, to allow me to learn to appreciate what I have more, to give me a better idea of what I like to do, to help give me some kind of pathway in life.
Moving to Thailand was the scariest and bravest decision I’ve made in my life yet, and so far I have no regrets about it.
I wanted to move to Thailand to learn more about myself, to learn more about other people who occupy this planet along with me. I wanted to make friends with people I wouldn’t have the chance to make back home, and I wanted to love a place like a home away from home.
I moved to Thailand for a lot of reasons. And in a way those reasons were good reasons, but I also moved for a lot of wrong reasons. I expected too much from this experience, for it to give me answers that I wouldn’t find here. But, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s been an experience which is all I wanted in the first place.
I experienced culture shock hard, I learned to value what I have more, and I learned a lot about myself in the process.
I may have moved to Thailand for good and bad reasons, but experience itself will never be a bad thing.