Bangkok or Bust

I’ve spent 30 months in the Kingdom of Thailand – far longer than I ever anticipated. In that time I’ve worked primarily for anti-trafficking NGOs along the Burmese border region.  When I wasn’t doing that, I was traveling with my camera and teaching English to pay the bills.  My last NGO experience – one I imagined was going to be a perfect fit – ended up severely gutting me and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disillusioned with the entire sector right now.


So what next? Return to America? Head to grad school in London? Continue living in Chiang Mai – a city I love and feel completely at home in even if I was feeling a bit stagnant? Or bite the bullet and move to Bangkok City? I’ve always been a big advocate of change, challenge and getting out of one’s comfort zone so I chose Bangkok. I’ve always loved the Big Mango.  I know living in this mega-metropolis will not be the same as visiting. I expect challenges and frustrations. The heat alone is suffocating. I am out of my comfort zone again which is not an uncommon place for me to be anymore. I’m fortunate to be with my best friend. I know there is strength where we overlap. I’m in a city of possibility. Anything can happen here.  Anything.  And so it is June 2013 and I find myself living in a five bedroom house with three Africans who keep me on my toes and entertain and engage me on a daily basis.  My day-to-day life is not unlike an episode of New Girl only better, funnier, multicultural. I’m fortunate to land in the city with a house full of individuals who embrace me like family. Big gratitude to Abishai, Angel Ishmael and Christin Gloire. You guys rock.

The future is uncertain. Even when you think you know where you are going, you often end up somewhere else. But perhaps you end up where you were always supposed to be. This year has humbled me in many ways.  It’s kicked my ass and presented me with challenges I didn’t foresee.  Do I shirk them or rise to meet them? I’m on my feet. My gloves are off. Welcome to a new chapter. A new chapter that forces me to move forward.  Forces me to grow, to change, to adapt. Vivre maintenant!


8 thoughts on “Bangkok or Bust

  1. Noel: good to hear your news. Way to go! Thinking of you always. Love and friendship, Kathy Fielding

  2. You will ROCK it girlfriend! You always do. Keep on keepin’ on my dear!!!
    Stay safe, have fun. and be good! (Like my “worldly” motherly advice?!!).

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence Maloney! We’ll see if I rock it or if this city chews me up and spits me out. Only time will tell. Thank you for the worldly motherly advice. It is always welcomed!

  3. Hi Noel I am in Blkk til Friday, I’d love to meet If possible. My thai # is 093-756-9048 I’m in the Khao San area. ;)) ami

    Ami Ellenberg

    Sent from my I Phone

  4. Noelle
    Watching you unfold is like reading a really good book…..I saw stay always with what you love and how your heart leads you….because in the end living an authentic life will be worth so much more then what you could have earned in a life time. Your stories will make your old age seem rich……I saw keep the story interesting and don’t look back…..if you domwe are always here for you dear!! ILOVEYOU Suzanne

    1. Awww, Suzannne, thank you so much for this. The transition hasn’t been an easy one but I know I’m here for a reason. Thank you for your support, kindness and love. I just miss you to bits and hope everything is going well in your world. Wish I could’ve been there for the big tada! I love you too and I would really love to Skype sometime! xoxo N

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