January 7, 2009
I’m currently sitting at the airport in Bangkok, awaiting my flight back to the States. Actually my first flight of four today….good times.
I thought I’d be happy when this day came, excited to see my family and friends and return home after being in Thailand for 5 months. But, things don’t always work out as planned. I’m hopelessly sad and want nothing more than to turn around and go back to my apartment in Bangkok, unpack my bags and forget that I was ever supposed to leave. As I’m writing this, I’m blinking back tears thinking of the goodbyes I’ve said over the last 2 days.
Returning to Bangkok after traveling to Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia for 3 weeks was quite odd. As I went up to the penthouse suite in my apartment complex, instead of being greeted by Nina, Courtney, and the miscellaneous array of people that were continuously at the penthouse, I was greeted by a whole new group of exchange students. Walking down the long driveway of the Rattanakosin, it still took me 15 minutes to make it to the end, as I continuously stopped to talk to the new exchange students. But there was no Anne back from a shopping trip at Platinum, no Esben to make a squash date with, no Dave to talk about our next book exchange, no Katy to shout “Kattyyyy Babyyyyy!” at, no Nina and Courtney to stand and talk to for 30 minutes before we realized we actually had to be somewhere 20 minutes ago.
The hardest part was saying goodbye to my Thai friends. I would love to come back to Thailand (like next week), but I know it will be a while before that happens, and I have no idea when I will next see my Thai friends.
Saying goodbye has never been so difficult for me, and I can only be grateful for this profound and incredible experience I’ve had. I know I’ve evolved as a person and I’ve met people who have taught me so much about the world around me. Although I have had negative experiences while traveling through SE Asia, they are completely overshadowed by the positive experiences I’ve had in Thailand, and the wonderful people I’ve met.
Texas, here I come!