Guest Contributors, Monthly, Photography, Stuff We Love, Travel

Itchy Feet Now in Thailand

I’ve had itchy feet for as long as I can remember.  From road trips around the west coast to flights from Hawaii to the mainland to visit family, I’ve been traveling almost on a somewhat annual basis.  It’s no wonder now that I have itchy feet when I stay in one place for too long but I think my penchant to travel has taken me on a new journey even I didn’t anticipate.

Here is my home:

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Lovely, isn’t it?

You may ask why I decided to leave everyone’s definition of ‘paradise’ and I could simply reply, “itchy feet” but I know it’s a bit deeper than that.  I had my first taste of international living when I studied abroad in Japan back in 2008 – another great place to live – and I still say I left a piece of my heart there even till this day.  I don’t think I was as ready as I thought I would be to take that leap outside of my comfort zone, so I had my fill of Japan after my year was complete.

Fast forward to 2015, an opportunity arose after a rather challenging year and my husband and I jumped for a chance to live in Thailand for a change of pace.  When I finally arrived in Thailand in December 23, 2015, I didn’t have an “a ha!” or “eureka” moment proclaiming Bangkok to be my home but my first few days there was my testing-the-water-out phase.  I was fortunate in that I had people ease me into my new life here and I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel at all.  In fact, I spent the first days venturing with my husband and best friend and then we went on a week long road trip to Northern Thailand for vacation.

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When we returned, everyone had a routine but me but I started to learn about my new home through baby steps.  One of the things I had a hard time adjusting to is the really humid and hot weather in Salaya.  Even though we are centrally located near the market front with food vendors, I still had a hard time getting over the heat and just making my way to get food or supplies.  My next challenge was communicating what I wanted and picking up simple phrases to help me get by.  I had to relearn to count and say greetings like “hello” etc.  Not only that, Thai language is really tonal like Chinese so I had to really pay attention to get the tones right and repeat things in my head because I’d forget what I learned very easily.

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It was tough at first, but having the mindset of, “I’m going to be here for a while, so I have to learn it eventually,” was always in the back of my mind.  It’s not like Japan where I had an end date and also had previous experience learning Japanese – I earned my B.A. in Japanese Studies, so it wasn’t quite starting from scratch.  Here in Thailand, I barely knew how to talk but the realization that I’m absolutely illiterate really dawned on me and was a definite barrier to picking up the language faster.  Now that I’ve been here a solid three months and I’m still learning, I still take baby steps to get ahead and if I, at least, learn something new that I didn’t know the previous week, I’m solid.  Yes, I’ve encountered some complications along the way but I would have no matter where I go or if I had stayed home.  I figure, in a new location, I may still struggle one way or another, but at least it’s on my terms and I can explore a new country and learn something that I would never have picked up back at home.


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3 Comments

  1. We are all so proud of you and your accomplishments. Small town girl taking the plunge and jumping right into the expat world. Good luck on your new adventure. 🙂

    • Thank you, Carolina! I honestly wouldn’t have been brave enough to explore if it weren’t for your help and guidance.

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