I am safely back in my own bed at my home in Bangkok. This little trip was supposed to be a time where I could evaluate the next steps, step back and see how things were really going for me. I didn’t do that as I expected. Instead. I rested. I relaxed. I met 6 other travelers and spent almost every waking moment with one or the other of them.
Then on the trip home I listened to myself, to what I had been saying about my life in Bangkok. And that answered so many of my questions.
A few things stood out.
1. Staying with my hosts has given me a deeper appreciation and understanding of Thai culture than almost anyone I have met.
2. The commute holds me back from a lot – if not all – of my typical relaxation techniques.
3. Because of the stress of #2, I was more worn down than I realized.
4. Every time I forget to spend a few extra hours each week with my farang friends, I forget how wonderful it is for me. Those 4 days were a heaven of not explaining myself to anyone.
5. Travel and exploring is like a drug to me. I am not ready to settle into a “normal” job anytime soon.
6. Travel and exploring and the high that comes from them always outweigh the incredible number of unseen and often scary momentary stresses and disasters I stumble into.
7. When you are the foreigner, spending time with other foreigners is not a rejection of the local culture. Rather it is an opportunity to feel normal again. I will never again criticize the Asians I know stateside for not embracing American society and staying close to their fellow foreigners.
8. As stressed and fussed as I can get in the moment…I adapt pretty quickly. I refuse to minimize that skill because I wish I was more graceful in my adaptation.
9. I like meeting new people…in the end. In the meantime, I initially dislike about 75% of the people I first meet. If we are friends now, there is a very good chance I didn’t like you at first.
10. I love the randomness that comes from my farang life here with the funny third culture I create with my friends.