Today marks the end of my 12th week in Thailand. I originally made the decision to move abroad to a foreign country because I wanted to do something different and stand out among other recent college graduates, and I thought that teaching in Thailand would do exactly that. I was afraid that if I stayed in America I would fall into the same routine that many others fall into after graduation. Working a steady 9-5 job and living for the weekends are things that I actively opposed and eventually made a large impact in my decision to come here.
This teaching adventure has shown and taught me more about myself that I could have ever hope it would. Being pushed outside your comfort zone is truly the best way to learn about yourself and see how you respond in certain situations. Even though this transition to a new culture and way of life has been difficult at times, I am grateful that I have been given the opportunity to struggle. Even the simplest things like calling a taxi or ordering food have taught me more about myself and how I respond in certain situations than I ever could learn in America.
This morning the coordinator at my school asked the foreign teachers about renewing our contracts and staying for another semester. I have been contemplating, praying, and talking with my friends and family about the idea and possibility of staying here in Thailand for another semester or returning home to see what is in store for me there. I now have one week to finalize this decision.
Seeing and participating in my friends’ lives on Facebook has made it difficult to be away, but it has also clearly shown me that what happens at home will continue to happen even when I am away. You never realize how little things change until you leave. I have always felt this during my time away in college, but being thousands and thousands of miles away has proven this point 100%. Life continues and goes on even when you are not there, but when you return it will be as if you never left.
The decision to stay or go has to do with many factors: time, money, opportunities, and whether or not I am continuously growing. Whether I am in Thailand or Boston or Nashville, I always want to be in a position where I am growing in every aspect of life: mind, body, and spirit. Once I feel as if this is no longer true, I know that it is time to change and seek a new place for my continual growth. So, does this mean that I am packing my bags, boarding a 24 hour flight, and heading home? I’m not sure. I have 1 week to finalize my decision and essentially map out the next year of my life.