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!