Three years ago today, I was anxiously sipping champagne on a surprisingly luxurious 18 hour flight, en route to Bangkok, Thailand.
Looking back, I think this must have been somewhat of a ‘Quarter Life Crisis’ because just after my 25th birthday, I found myself with a college degree but unhappy with my job and searching for a change of pace. Without any serious commitments to hold me back, I started paying more attention to that ever-present travel bug living in my head.
A few friends had told me about their experiences teaching English in China and Korea, where they were able to live and work in another country while still finding time to travel. ENLIGHTENMENT. After doing a little research of my own, I found an organization that offered a semester-long program to teach in Thailand and decided to go for it.
Because of my background in graphic design, I was placed in one of Bangkok’s most prestigious high schools, teaching Photoshop. My students were all so bright and talented and spoke almost perfect English. I was beyond inspired by their creativity, finding more similarities than differences between us. Of course there were a few wild ones, but I expected that…
Living in the heart of the city, I was overwhelmed with sensory overload. Music, food, swarms of people, CRAZY traffic – vibrant sounds and colors pouring in from every direction. I never got used to the locals blatantly staring and taking candid photos of me, but aside from the paparazzi, I loved being thrown into this completely foreign culture, challenged to find my way around, and forced to make new friends. Traveling alone will most definitely reveal your true self.
Needless to say, Thailand was a once in a lifetime adventure that I’ll never forget. I met amazing people and stood before unreal scenery, never to see the world through the same eyes again.