When I found out that I was officially going to Thailand last year with my aunt, I was torn over it and I didn’t want to come AT ALL. I thought I was going to hate it and that my life was going to be over for six months. I was going to miss my other family, my friends, my home, the food and things that I like to have around me (you know, that stuff we have that’s not a person). From what I imagined about Thailand before, I thought it would be poor with people starving on the streets, very dirty and small. (It’s not like that at all though, instead of starving people, it’s starving dogs, there are always people cleaning up litter, even where the cars drive, and it’s actually pretty big where I’ve been and so developed!).
But after we came, and even after I spent a couple of weeks here, I still didn’t like it and I wasn’t having very much fun.
I didn’t realize it then, but I was making it hard on myself and telling myself “this sucks,” and time was going by really slowly. Then, I finally decided that I should just let go and actually try to see through missing everyone and everything that’s different from what I liked back home, and try to see what else was here in the place I was now spending six months.
I let go of some of my negativity by thinking positive thoughts and writing in a journal, I had to take a step back from what I was feeling about missing everyone, but that doesn’t mean that I made myself not miss home, because I do. Instead, it means that I wanted to see what is over here in Asia and what I can find to like about traveling, and inside, I know I still have something to look forward to when I get home and can see everyone again.
Right now, I have only one month left of my journey (five months out of six!!) and time has actually gone by quickly–faster than I expected! When I look back at how I was acting, and what I was feeling before I left, I see that my life was not going to end by coming here like I thought. Now, I knew before coming here that my life was not literally going to end, but when you’ve lived in Florida your whole life, it’s kind of scary to think you’re going out of the familiar. In the end though, something good will probably come out of traveling and later in help me in life as I grow older.
Now, I look at this like it’s a long vacation where I still have to do school work and I can’t have my whole family here with me; I now get a chance to get to meet new friends, and be everybody’s friend. Although, I did only have one kid friend in the beginning, M whose parents blog at GotPassport.org, but getting to know her was great and let me meet another one of my friends, Birdy, and knowing that there are other kids who are from America also living in Thailand made me feel a little more comfortable. I also had my aunt’s friends who are some really great people who also made me feel more comfortable and had fun with me even though they’re adults!
Yes traveling is scary, sometimes uncomfortable and sometimes even painful to know that you’re not opening presents on Christmas with your family, but that’s what my friends are for who are also traveling in the same places. Getting to travel is like getting the chance to know what another life is like, which I think a lot of people should get the chance to have, especially if they have been in one place their whole life.
Knowing that I am going home in a month leaves me so very excited to see my family and get to show them what I have done. But, it also leaves me sad because I have enjoyed being in Asia for the most part (those long bus rides are SO TERRIBLE, I much prefer trains!) For the last month I’m going to be in Cambodia, and I’m going to try to make it last.