Here we are, Day 107 out of 184.

11 more Fridays, 47 more work days, 7 more volunteering shifts, 2 more watercolour classes, 1 last visa run, and I really don’t know how to feel.

Maybe I should start this by documenting what my life logistically looks like right now.

Monday to Friday is pretty standard going to work and then coming home. Work is always different because one moment, I am sitting behind my computer at my desk, and the next, I am in a classroom of 15 6-year-olds singing the alphabet and then I find myself attempting to carry a box of avocados up 4 flights of stairs and then ending the day by planning a field trip or fundraising event. Every day is different, every conversation says something else, and every feeling does not feel the same and that’s when I realized that nothing is the same; nothing is forever. No day has been the same as yesterday; the feeling of excitement, lonely, happiness, and sadness they all feel different and never alone.

Saturday means volunteering at the health clinic, going for a waterclass after, maybe running some errands or going to see another part of the city.

Sunday means sleep. Maybe another adventure, but mainly sleep.

I spend my free time writing, painting, reading (yes, Mom, you read that right), occasionally cooking a simple meal (yes, Mom, you read that right, don’t faint), I think (a lot), I write lists of all the things I have learnt so far, I started making a list of everything I will miss, I oil my hair, I look at photos from last year, I miss my friend, I worry I am going to forget something, I plan a trip and get excited about the future, I make monthly collages of photos, I drink water (not enough tho), I call my mom, my brother, I write a letter/postcard and I listen to music while eating a mango.

And that’s how I spent my weeks. I remember, before leaving for Malaysia feeling so weird; I would be asked, “How are you gonna spend your weekend?”. What an odd question, I thought; indeed, I’ll have homework – oh, wait. No homework, no papers to write, no discussion posts to cram. I actually have time to do other things. What an odd concept. While living in Victoria, my weekends were filled with studying or hanging out with friends. In Vancouver, my weekends were spent working, volunteering, and visiting family. But here it’s just a little old me. There is no one to visit on the weekends, no premade plans of hanging out, and no assignments due weekly. So it was definitely an adjustment to make. But I am so grateful for it because this time has shown me other things I love to do. I love to write – I am so very terrible at writing but I really like it. I enjoy reading now; I think I’m good at watercolour painting and sit with my thoughts now.

I find it pretty freaking cool that you can feel at home in different places. I remember the feeling of home I felt within the first couple of weeks of living in Malaysia; I felt at home because I looked around and saw people that looked like me; I saw representation. I heard people speak South Asian language, I heard laughs, and I saw myself in the different lives I observed. I felt at home driving around the roads of Langkawi, a small Malaysian island off the coast of Malaysia, I felt at home. But mainly because Langkawi reminded me of Fiji, the country my family is from; I think, in a way, it helped me connect with my roots, being an islander living in a tropical country. I felt at home because I think I felt connected with the nature around me.

I think home is not a place but rather a feeling within yourself. I think home is where you feel peace and safety in a place or with someone. I think to myself what a gift it is to find a home within different places and people – I feel genuinely grateful. And I am looking forward to seeing my ‘home’ and ‘home people’ back in Victoria/Vancouver/Fiji.

So as I am sitting at the dining room table on the day that this is due (oopises), I can’t help but wonder – am I a different person? Everyone always talks about how much they change after a trip like this and how much growth they go through – and I don’t know what has changed. I know I am different but in what way? Maybe this is a thought to be continued when I come back home. And is a good different? what is a good different? to be continued …. (also known as clickbait for my next blog – be sure to keep checking when I post next)

So today is Day 107 and so far I have taken 3,117 photos so far, spent 72 days at work, been bitten by so many mosquitos, missed a lot of friends and family, made several new meaningful friendships, got three new piercings (to be more), said goodbye to two new friends, finished writing in an entire journal, went on my first solo trip, bought a selfie sticks and so much more has happened and so much more will happen within the next 2.5 months and I am excited.

So did I tear up writing this? Yes, yes I did. Am I sad to be thinking about leaving? Yes, yes, I am. But am I excited to see everyone back home? Yes, yes absolutely.

All I feel right now is gratitude. Grateful to be here and to be able to reflect, understand and grow. Grateful to make mistakes be forgiven, and learn. Grateful for everyone back home. And grateful for scalp treatment for anti-hair loss.

Favourite Food at the moment: Malasa Thosi

Favourite Drink: Iced Nescafe from the red food truck outside the school

Favourite Song at the moment: All Mine By Brent Faiyaz

Currently Reading: The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom