Lesson #4: Remember Why You Came Here

It’s easy to get caught up being a tourist. Making my way through Thailand with 30+ new friends has almost been too much fun. I think everyone who has been a part of the “ATI Special Thai Program” can agree that what we thought was going to be three weeks dedicated to teacher training quickly became anything but. Instead it was a never ending blur of Chang beer and Hong Thong whisky, fantastic conversations of such intimacy that only the bond of traveling (or summer camp) can create, and a schedule so packed that sometimes we forgot to sleep.
Now I am in Tha bo, Nong Khai, Thailand and everything has changed. I live with one other woman from my program, Melanie, in a small guesthouse in our tiny doesn’t even make it on the map town, and I couldn’t be happier. As my bus drove at 15 miles an hour through rice paddies, past the Mekong river, and by more water buffalo than vehicles I was admittedly ready to scrap this whole teaching idea, call up my new friends, and hop our way over to the next beautiful island on our list. Luckily I didn’t.
I came to Thailand to teach, to push myself out of my comfort zone so that I could watch what would happen. I came to Thailand for the unknown, the discomfort, the thrill of things working when you didn’t know how they possibly would, the small moments, the connections you didn’t know you were capable of forming, the lack of communication, the discovery of new forms of communication. Ultimately I came to Thailand to try something new and now that I have made it all the way to Tha bo I am excited for that part of my experience to really take shape.

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