Yesterday marked exactly one year since I embarked on my first long term adventure abroad. One year exactly since I boarded a plane at Heathrow airport with my boyfriend and said a tearful goodbye to my family. One year ago today that I landed in Bangkok and explored more of what Thailand has to offer. One year has gone by; the plan was 6 months abroad so I never thought we would get to mark this occasion.
It’s crazy how fast a year can go, and it’s amazing to look back on the amount of things I’ve done over the course of this past year. I’ve moved abroad and become an expat in a foreign country. I’ve travelled more of Thailand in one year than I have in my entire life back home in England. I’ve moved into two different apartments in Chiang Mai. I have my own swimming pool and gym to use every day to my heart’s content. I’ve become a Teacher and taught some truly incredible children for the past year. I’ve made friends. I’ve become confident standing up and speaking in front of people. I’ve learnt all about the Thai culture and even learnt how to speak some basic words in Thai. I’ve become a blogger and written all about my travels and experiences. I’ve washed, fed and ridden an elephant. I’ve swam in waterfalls, hiked through mountains, ridden on the back of a motorbike, visited and donated to a Thai hill tribe, felt lost, felt homesick, felt amazing, happy and content all in one.
I’ve achieved so much just in one year, it feels incredible. This has shown me just what it means to achieve your dreams and so much more. You hear people say, “I wish I had done that when I was younger”, or “you need to settle in the real world”. But this is the real world. I’m exploring it as much as I can, I’m living my life to the full and I have no regrets. I’m 23 years of age, I’ve seen so much and yet I’m hungry to see so much more.
Chiang Mai is an awesome place to live, there’s so much to see and do, you’re never too far from being able to explore your surrounding areas and it very much feels like home now. The time has come where I feel like I’ve done so much, it’s hard to find new things to do and see. So we have made the decision to move. Having now travelled much of Thailand, I’m itching for a new country and a new culture to explore, so a move to Bali in Indonesia is very close to becoming our reality.
I’ve had an amazing year. My first teaching experience has been more than I would have hoped for. I didn’t think I would find something that I would love to do for the rest of my life. Standing up in front of 25 students and teaching them for a year is an amazing achievement, one that I will always remember. I wish I could pick the kids up and take them to a new place. They are the highlight of my job and it has been great getting to know each of them. We played games, we’ve had parties, we’ve grown and learnt together and it was very hard to say goodbye.
Moving to Thailand and becoming a teacher here has been the best decision I have ever made. We’ve explored a new culture and found a job we both enjoy. Teaching will be my future but for now, I want to carry on exploring the adventurous world we live in.