In a matter of three days I’ll be off to the exotic paradise that is
Thailand! The first question I get from anyone that is aware of my study abroad plans is WHY THAILAND? Each and every time I stutter awkwardly as I try to compile an appropriate response that people want to hear, “it’s a good business program” “it’s inexpensive” or my most common response “it’s different”. Although these are all fine reasons it doesn’t remotely reflect my yearning to go there. There is a je ne sais quoi attraction that just draws me to that place and I think I won’t be able to figure it out until I’m there. To start of with is the idea of the Asia itself. I have never traveled to Asia and although this may sound ludicrous, it feels like it isn’t real. Sure I know information from history books, pictures from Google images and plenty of episodes of No Reservations but I have to see it for myself to truly grasp the reality of it. Instead of dwelling on why I’m going there (since I can’t figure it out), I want to focus on what I want to do while I’m there.
There are very specific dreams and fears that I constantly think about and somehow Thailand is the merging Mecca of these apparitions. One of the dreams that I can remember having since I was a child was riding an elephant. Thailand is a haven for rescued elephants and there are literally cities where elephants are a mode of transportation. I cannot wait to share with you guys the moment when this dream actually comes true. I’m not going to lie I will most probably breakdown and cry strictly from joy. A second dream of mine is seeing the Yi Peng festival also known as the festival of lights. Imagine thousands of paper lanterns flown into the sky on the backdrop of ancient ruins. It is a scene straight out of Tangled, one of my favorite Disney movies. But along with realizing dreams I have also want to conquer fears that give me anxiety just writing about. For as long as I can remember I have been terrified of snakes, and unfortunately for me Thailand is crawling with them. Before I leave Thailand I want to be able to be within six feet of them without completely losing my marbles and an ultimate goal would be to take a picture holding one. Anyone that knows me knows this will take a lot of personal strength, possibly one of most significant things I’ll ever do in my life. A second fear of mine is drowning hence why I don’t like the deep ocean. Thailand has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world along with some of the best scuba diving. It is absolutely crucial that I try scuba diving while I’m over there. I will be a nervous wreck the entire time but I need to prove to myself that I can do it. This is a motto that I hope to have through the entire study abroad trip, whenever there is something uncomfortable in front me I need to face it and overcome it.
So join me on my journey of realizing dreams, conquering fears, experiencing things outside my comfort zone and finding myself. For five months I will be studying international business in one of the best universities in the world! Chulalongkorn University. The school seems very professional, in fact I have a mandatory uniform, school girl skirt and all (can’t wait to post pictures and make you guys laugh). From what I hear Chula as the locals call it is located in one of the most modern urban areas of Bangkok, it will be a big contrast from my beachy Florida roots. Rumor has it that close to the school is some of the best street food in Thailand. I’m known to be a picky eater but again I’m putting this all behind me and moving forward. I can picture myself eating a cricket on a stick and chanting YOLO. I can’t wait to share the trials and tribulations that I will confront on the other side of the world.
Like the great Bourdain says, I write, I travel, I eat and I’m hungry for more.