Well, here we are. We have come to the part where I am home, and people are asking me questions on how it was. It is difficult, impossible really, to find an appropriate response to “how was your trip/time away?” How do you explain 6 months of living in another culture on the other side of the world? I am at a loss for words to be honest. Even finding the “right” words for this blog is feeling tough. My last month blinked by so quickly and in my last couple of weeks I was showered with so much love (and gifts) I am still in disbelief. I didn’t expect to get emotional but walking away from my final Muay Thai class, I couldn’t stop the tears. The kindness and generosity that I experienced, throughout my entire placement but especially in the final weeks, made me re-realize just how blessed I was to have had this experience.
The weekend after I got home, my partner and I were sitting on the beach on Pender Island with our morning coffees when I saw a plane ascending from Victoria. Watching it climb into the sky felt surreal because it feels like just last week as well as a lifetime ago that it was me on the plane setting out on my big adventure of moving to Bangkok! I am now writing this final blog in sweatpants with fireplace ambience on my tv. It is so good to be home. I wondered if it would be tough acclimatizing to Canadian weather again, but I loved it from the second I landed and I am still (vocally) in awe of how beautiful the fall leaves are! This is my home, but I will always treasure the time I spent living in my studio apartment in Bangkok. I will miss the friends I made and the foods I ate.
I want to thank everyone that has supported me throughout this experience, those in Bangkok, those back home, fellow interns, etc. For future CAPI interns that may be reading this I have included some tips below. You are about to embark on an incredible experience, grasp the good and the bad equally and remember your fellow interns (and Robyn) are a great source of support as well. Additionally, feel free to reach out to me! I am happy to help in anyway that I can.
Here are some tips that I learned throughout my journey:
- Don’t force yourself to be super positive all the time. Its okay to have “negative” feelings such as loneliness and homesickness. Accept/welcome these with self-compassion rather than with shame/guilt, it is all part of the journey.
- Its okay to miss your life back home while simultaneausly loving your life away. This can feel confusing at times.
- Bring some comforts from home/make your new apartment feel like home. (I brought a stuffed animal, pictures of loved ones, and fairy lights!)
- Sometimes you will feel super empowered and on top of the world, and some days you will feel the opposite.
- You will learn so much about yourself and this will be as incredible as it will be tough.
- Think of the time difference as a blessing not a curse. Victoria will be asleep by the time you get off work so use these evenings to start new hobbies or get back into forgotten ones.
- Have fun and try to stay present, it will be over so soon!