The countdown has begun: 16 days and I board a plane to Chicago, from Chicago to Tokyo, from Tokyo to Bangkok. And in Bangkok – I stay.
Through a series of unexpected events, I don’t have a job right now which is a blessing and a curse. I have more than enough time to prepare, and plenty of time to worry. Lord. Have. Mercy.
Staying with some friends for these 5 weeks of pre-departure, I’m relearning how to feel at home in someone else’s home. After living in the same house with various roommates for three years, moving into someone else’s domain was daunting. My new roommates are easygoing, very American and relaxed. I doubt I’ll feel quite as at-ease in the home of my host family in Bangkok, and that is on my list of worries.
Other things, I’ve been preparing for include keeping my mouth shut. Not my strongest point, but necessary when I move into a hierarchical society. Also, giving up my independence (to a degree). As this is a warm culture with family at the center, I have been told that the concept of a young woman walking the streets would be cause for concern on the part of my host-parents. Here, I come home at 8 pm or 2 am, and no one worries. There, I will need to relearn a new type of accountability so as not to worry my “parents”. I may even have to give up the hope of going solo for the day (one of my favorite parts of traveling).
One more thing I’ve been preparing for: Running. Between the heat and the pollution in Bangkok, I don’t expect to run outside too often. That said, running with people has become such a regular part of my life in the past 6 months I don’t want to give it up. A friend at IUPUI told me about the Hash House Harriers. Check out the link – from what I hear and the chaos that is the site, I have high hopes that this will be a fun group!
Check back soon for another update on the pre-departure musings.