THAILAND….. One week to go!
It’s so strange, staring down my last week in the USA once again. I’ve done this 3 times before in the past two years, (always leaving for Prague), and yet it never fails to fill me with wonder, excitement, and most of all, a desire to pursue the moment, saturate myself with every bit of my family, friends and familiar life while I have it. Wandering through lively Pike Place Market with the smell of fish and saltwater filling my nose, drinking steaming lattes with best friends at our favorite cafes, smiling at Seattleites grinning their faces off at yet another(!!) sunny day in the Emerald City…these are among the millions of reasons I have to love home, and love it I do.
But in a week, I travel. I travel because leaving the familiar and embracing a new life, new land and new culture makes me stronger, smarter, more alive and awake to life. It’s an addiction I can’t cure, and have no desire to. It leaves me breathless, in awe of the world and gives me a great appreciation for both the differences among people, and similarities we all share. I travel not only because I seek an experience out of the ordinary, but because these are the experiences that are so important to help me grow as a person, learn about myself and the world and my purpose and place in this crazy thing called life. I believe this is why any of us should travel- to seek ways that we can leave behind a positive impression, however small it may be, in exchange for the positive experience we receive. To build lasting connections with people we never would have crossed paths with if we hadn’t exited our comfort zone. To let new perspectives, experiences and relationships change you, and bring you into the global community. From wine tasting in Moravia with a lively group of Czechs to learning to cook Sicilian specialties with my lovely Italian host family and having one of the most inspirational conversations of my life with a Dutch man on a train to Berlin, these experiences have led me toward the path I’m on today.
Which involves a Thai visa, volunteer commitment with an eco-tour company, a one-way ticket to Thailand and a plan to find a teaching job when I arrive. Yep, I would have thought it was pretty crazy a year ago.
I still think it’s pretty crazy.
But luckily, that’s kind of the best part.