I made it. After basically 24 hours of travelling, a lot of movies (Hangover 2- not that funny, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel- meant for a mature audience, Running with Scissors- very funny, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part I-don’t judge) and losing an extra day in the process, I made it to Bangkok at 11:30PM on October 18th. Customs and getting baggage went incredibly smooth and we made it to the hotel around 1 in the morning. Voila!
But I would like to recap how I really got here. Not that any of you are particularly interested but when I am 80 and am trying to figure out how to use the interwebs that will probably move beyond the “cloud” to outer space, I will want to reread this and remember why I embarked on this journey.
It all began on a plane. In the fall of my senior year of college I was flying to Nashville to see my little brother at Vanderbilt when I had the pleasure of sitting next to someone on their way home to Louisville, KY from South Korea. He was teaching at a private school, making tons of Korean dough, meeting really cool people, and living the life. Having just gotten back from studying abroad, I was intrigued. It was this gentleman that got the crazy notion of teaching abroad stuck in my head. So stuck in my head that almost exactly three years after that flight to Nashville, I am now in Bangkok.
Since college I have been researching the who, what, where, when and why of teaching abroad. Specifically in Thailand. But nothing really struck my fancy. I wanted it all presented to me in a pretty package wrapped with a bow, much like studying abroad. Every time I googled there seemed to be a lot of steps involved as well as holes to fall through. Then in June of this year I found out a friend I grew up with was about to teach in Thailand. She was the one who told me about CIEE. This was the first time I found a program that I was comfortable with and that would help make it easy for me to figure everything out while I was working full time. The only problem was the deadline was in 48 hours. By the grace of god and a few other people, I got my application in, about 5 minutes before the deadline. In July I got in. And the rest is history.
Well not exactly history. Deciding to come here was not black and white. Although I knew deep down, this was something I had always wanted to do and always would want to do, there were a few other things that came into play. For starters, my boyfriend. I knew Thailand wasn’t exactly something he should drop everything to do with me, he had a great job and life to worry about. And honestly, I didn’t want to ask him to do that. This was my dream and not something to impose on him. But I am lucky because he is absolutely amazing and told me I should go and that he knew it was important to me. Mostly I am sure because he didn’t want to hear me bitch about not going and regrets. And lord knows I would have.
Second, I had a job. A really great marketing job. The perfect start to my career and the same job I have had since graduation. I wasn’t 100% positive I was ready to throw that all away on a whim. Luckily, because my job is so great and I work with such amazing people, everyone was supportive and basically told me I would be an idiot not to go. At the end of the day I am still only 24 and have plenty of working years ahead of me. So this 6 month break won’t kill my future. I hope.
Lastly, friends and family. The obvious. I have an amazingly supportive family and a great group of friends. I come from a pair of rather adventurous parents so I can partially blame my departure on their upbringing (that means you, Craig). Everyone was extremely reassuring and every time I doubted my decision, they would ease my mind and remind me of how quickly time would pass once I got here.
That’s it! That pretty much sums up how I left my job, boyfriend, friends and family to do something 8,651 miles away that has absolutely nothing to do with my career or so called life. But, you only live once, so you might as well make it worth while.