Updated: Jun 12
To begin I should tell you travelling looks easy right? Well there are the ups and downs. I want to share with you all in this post the good and the bad of travelling as a young woman and as an English teacher in Asia.
I am in Thailand and I am here teaching elementary kids in a town outside of Bangkok. For my experience of travelling here to Thailand and teaching it has been an adventure thus far. I have learned a lot about change and that things are unpredictable. I came in with a plan that I would teach in Bangkok for a year and then it all changed. I wanted to teach kids, that was my plan. My other program was having me teach all levels and it was more one-on-one. I didn't want to continue with this. I changed up my course then and tried to find a new path I could pursue, whilst staying in Thailand if I could. I was determined. I found a new program and here I am all settled in my new town. When I write this it sounds like I have it all together, but trust me I went through a lot of emotions in the first month of me being here. I thought everything was going all wrong and I was in new country all by myself.
What I have learned about myself in Thailand is that I have grown a lot in my character and just with my confidence. I have improved on viewing life as more of a journey filled with lessons, rather than a destination. I have just simply been following my intuition and my gut and I have had so much ease with travelling because of this mentality. I pushed through all of these hardships I encountered in the first month and to the best of my ability stayed positive. Going in with this mentality in new situations in general and especially in new situations abroad has brought me growth in numerous ways. I can say now that I am extremely proactive and can think on my feet in many ways, I am more spontaneous now and more open to new experiences because of this.
Here are some things I have learned:
I now am able to quickly learn how to adapt-- whether that is a new language, the food, customs, or just ways of life. I trust my intuition more and more everyday. The more I keep following it, the more good it brings me. It has brought me very meaningful friends, trips around Thailand, and just new experiences filled with fun. It is hard to explain it in words, but my intuition has grown to be so strong that I can just go by what I feel and I find the cheapest ferry, the cheapest and best coffee. I can go through new places with ease and just an open mind that I will find something I can enjoy and will just go with the moment.
There are some negative things that will happen, this happens anywhere in the world. When you are abroad though your emotions tend to be heightened because it is all new and unfamiliar. The best thing to do in these situations is to just take a moment and breathe. I like to ask myself some questions to check my clarity. For instance, I have had many language barrier stories that I could tell. Every time you could view these barriers as negative, however this really helps no one. You will most likely frustrated or scare away the other non-English speaker from your anger and then you won't learn how to communicate with them. I take this all with patience. I use pictures to communicate with people on my phone or apps. There are so many language apps and they have been very effective. It is important to try to communicate with them. They might not always try back with you, but this is where I have found I have grown a lot. I am just fascinated by when I reflect on the conversations I have had with people all over the world.
What I have noticed is that there are always two types of travelers. There are the positive travelers and the negative travelers. There are the positive ones who take the time to reflect and just be open. If something goes wrong they say "wow I can't believe I have gotten to travel here" or "I might have got extremely lost, but I met a friendly local, or found a unexpected restaurant". "I remember when that happened and it was frustrating, but is best to laugh it out and now it is even funnier". These type of responses are the image of a positive traveler. The negative traveler will find a way to make any situation negative. Their experience wasn't good enough, they took the wrong route, or their plan for their trip went all wrong. The weather wasn't what they wanted and the attractions weren't worth it or was a nightmare because it didn't follow your itinerary. The list can go on as you can imagine. Those negative travelers will find a flaw in every trip and will be less open to adapting and getting the most out of the place they have traveled to. I have noticed this and I have decided that it is always up to us what kind of traveler we want to be. It is always our choice to be positive or negative. It is up to us on how we view the situation- whether it is good or bad, whether you are travelling or just in your home country. You always have that simple decision and that power to claim "Do I want to live life with positivity or negativity"?
I choose to be that image of a positive traveler and just to fill my life with positivity.
Stay tuned for more blog posts :)