I’ve been home for more than six months now and I don’t feel how I expected to feel. When I first went to Asia, all I could think about was going home and how great it was going to feel being with everybody and doing everything I used to do. And even a few days before I got on my flight back home from Bangkok, I was thinking about how exciting it was that we were going home. But even then I already knew I was going to miss so many things I had learned to love. Like the amazing food I ate, the extremely nice friends I made, and all the places I have been, and the experiences I have been through.
Being back home now is a mixture of emotions. I’m glad to be back home and see all my family, but I do miss certain things. I miss riding on the back of a motorbike with all the Thai people pointing at my aunt and me saying “farang, farang!”, which pretty much means Westerner. I miss most of the food in Asia, however, it does feel really good to be able to now open up a large fridge filled with food instead of opening a fridge that is a full foot shorter than me and with just some yogurt, fruit, and water in it, which is all what we had in our apartment!
Honestly, the best things about being home is seeing family and being able to cook myself dinner instead of going out every single night. We didn’t have a stove at my apartment in Thailand, so that’s why it’s okay that the fridge was so small. Oh yeah, and I’m also really glad I don’t have to sleep on something as hard as the floor anymore, because basically I could sleep on the floor of my house in Florida and it would give me the same amount of comfort as my bed in Thailand.
Now, I go to public school and have a tight schedule during the week, so it’s very different compared to when I was homeschooled and had lots of time to do the things I enjoy most. I still take one class on the internet so even on weekends I have homework … and I never had homework when I did all of my school on the internet and with my aunt. I will still probably travel with my aunt, and I have more stories, but it’s a lot of work now that I am in public school full time.
Honestly, I don’t know if I’m too fond of going to a public middle school as a seventh grader yet, but I am glad that I have other friends my age instead of a bunch of adults surrounding me. Although, having adults around me was really fun when I was travelling because I felt more mature and learned how to act more maturely. Oh yeah, I can even talk about politics and the 2012 election, WHICH IS AWESOME! And besides, adults don’t laugh when you say “duty” like other people my age, so it’s great.
It’s been over a year since I first left for Southeast Asia and I really miss traveling. Of course, there are some things I don’t miss, like the long bus rides and having to take long rides on transportation to travel from country to country.
What I miss most is the energy Asia gives you. I can’t even compare it to America.
I think a lot of the energy comes from the people and the food though. The people there are so different when they interact with one another, especially if you’re from another country. The food, and how easy it was to find anytime-anywhere, also makes me miss Asia a lot. I used to walk 20 feet down from where I lived and buy a banana roti or fried bananas as an easy snack. As my friend Jodi says, food is what makes the world go round.
A lot of the things I think about now have to do with Southeast Asia, and I often think about how much I want to go back. I can’t believe I thought I wanted to be home when I first left. If I ever go anywhere else in the future, I don’t know if I’ll like it as much as SEA because I feel like there’s no way that what I saw there is similar to anywhere else in the world. Southeast Asia was my first travel experience and so nothing will ever take it’s place. When I grow up and travel, the first place I will go to is surely to Thailand. Don’t worry, I’m coming back my delicious pork and sticky rice!