When you live abroad, you often think about those you’ve left behind at home, family, friends and a completely different way of life.
I love living in Thailand, it’s only been 10 months but it feels like a new home. I miss my family but I wouldn’t change what I’m doing because I love it. Yes there are down days of feeling home sick, but I can’t think about that too much, because my family are happy for me. I know they miss me, my mum tells me all the time, but being away just isn’t the same. Sometimes you just want a hug or to complain about your day. Don’t get me wrong, I can do that over Skype, but the 7 hour time difference is such a pain, there’s no opportunity to ring home midweek.
Weekends are great, I can catch up with family and tell them what awesome things I’ve been doing. Driving around Northern Thailand, visiting waterfalls and having a crazy school week at work.
Inevitably, the time comes where you need to go home and see your family, when Skype just doesn’t cut it any more. That time came for me this Christmas. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere but England for Christmas. I’ve heard stories of trying to find a restaurant that does an English style Christmas dinner and it just not turning out right, not feeling like Christmas at all.
Walking past the biggest shopping centre in Chiang Mai and seeing a huge Christmas tree is lovely, but it just didn’t feel right. It should be cold and rainy at Christmas, shops should be full of people buying last minute presents and the house should be lovely and warm by the fire, drinking mulled wine and wearing slippers! Not walking around in shorts, t-shirts and sandals or swimming in an outside pool. I mean I love it, but it just didn’t feel like Christmas at all. Even with the school Christmas play, singing Christmas songs with my students or exchanging gifts with them, making Christmas stockings for the class or decorating our class Christmas tree. It was enjoyable but I knew where I had to be. Home.
Around came the dreaded 13 hour flight home, losing 7 hours and trying to adapt to a change of scenery, catching up with people, whilst also conquering the horrendous jet lag that had suddenly grounded me to my bed for 3 days.
Going home was great though, you only realise when you do how much you have at home and how much people really care about you.
My parents dropped me at the airport and we all knew the hardest part was coming. Saying goodbye. Knowing that it’s probably not going to be until next Christmas before I go home again, it’s hard to say goodbye and have a year to wait to receive another hug.
Have a really emotional goodbye, horrible seeing my family upset because of something I have chosen to do, but I know they are proud of me for what I’m doing, despite the fact they probably hate that I’m going away again.
Coming back to Thailand, I saw everything in a new light. I thought I’d be more excited to come back but it felt so strange. I guess that’s because I’d just been home, my flat no longer felt like my new home, more like a holiday.
The longer I’m here, the more I get used to my new way of life. I still miss home but I know I will never get this opportunity again. So for now, I’m happy, I’m content, I’m living an awesome life and I’ve never felt better in myself! Here’s to the rest of my adventure Teaching abroad!