Sawadee ka! I will officially be moving to Bangkok, Thailand in just a few short weeks. I am feeling all sorts of emotions regarding the big move and have also been really busy with last-minute travel preparations, spending time with loved ones, etc. Anyone close to me knows that I’ve always felt a strong desire to spend a significant amount of time in Southeast Asia, and I am beyond excited that I have this incredible opportunity to pursue my professional passions in Bangkok. This will be my first time living abroad, and I can’t wait to see how I grow both professionally and personally through getting out of my comfort zone.
These next two weeks before I depart will be pretty jam-packed, and some things that I have done to prepare for my travels include:
- Booking my flight – I depart on June 15th and will have a long day of traveling ahead! My first flight is around 12 hours, then I’ll have a 3.5 hour layover, and then onto my next flight which is 8.5 hours. I’ll land in Bangkok around 12:30am on June 17th.
- Arranging my cat’s travel – yes, my cat, Steven, will be coming with me to Thailand! Even though it is pricey to bring him and there’s LOTS of paperwork involved, I can’t imagine parting from him for a year. I’ve had him since he was a kitten, and he’s been my support system through the past 5 years or so. He’s not going to be happy traveling for roughly 24+ hours, but I think at the end of the day, we’ll both be glad to be together in Thailand! Since my cat already has all his vaccines, my first step was to apply for the import permit at the airport in Thailand. Then, I contacted the vet to help with getting the international health certificate. I’ve also been thinking about how to make him as comfortable as possible during the flight and travel time, including bringing a travel liter box for him. Steven has only been on one flight before (Nashville to NYC), so this will certainly be an interesting journey!
- Preparing for the hot climate – Bangkok is hot, hot, hot! I’m used to warm, humid weather in Nashville, but not necessarily year-round heat. I made sure to get a pair of comfortable walking sandals and have been looking at the best work-appropriate clothes that will hold up well while commuting in the heat. There’s also monsoon season to consider, which will start in July pretty soon after my arrival.
- Locating an apartment in Bangkok – It was harder than expected to find a pet-friendly apartment in Bangkok, but luckily, I did find a studio apartment that is budget-friendly.
- Securing my visa – Asylum Access Thailand has been super helpful with the visa process and has made it pretty streamlined.
- Packing – I’m trying to just pack the necessities with me, aka what I can fit in a carry-on suitcase and checked luggage. The rest of my belongings I’m moving out of my NYC apartment and shipping to friends in Nashville. Lots of boxes to take to UPS!
- Submitting my two-weeks notice at my current job
Thank you to Shauna and the Lumos committee for allowing me to embark on my travels so long after the original timeline (and after some modifications – from Tokyo to Bangkok). Also, I’m so grateful to Dr. Ken Spring and Dr. Stepnick for their encouragement throughout this process.
Thank you to my friends and family for following along during this new journey to Thailand. Me and Steven will talk to you all soon virtually once we’ve arrived and settled in 🙂