Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The End of an Era

This past weekend, my closest friends in Thailand gathered in the university town of Khon Kaen for our usual escapades. This time though, it would be our last weekend all together, as two of my best friends are leaving the semester early to travel before their September flights back to England. Bidding them a farewell has marked the imminent end of a very important era in all of our lives.

Last October, we arrived in Thailand as strangers and created steadfast friendships as like-minded recent university graduates looking for an adventure. Although a few of our close friends left after the first semester, a remaining five of us from our original cohort stuck around to build a nice little life for ourselves in Isaan. Not only will our routine be altered with the departure of two of our own, but their leaving has reminded me that the rest of ours is not too far off, either.
With two months of the semester left, this chapter is coming to a close. Although I will travel for many months after the semester ends, at ages 22 and 23 years old, it is getting to be time for all of us to go home - at least for a while.

Over a frozen gin-lychee concoction, we pondered where life might take us next. Many of us who share the love of living abroad have potential plans to return to a foreign country. Thailand has merely been our first step in the post-grad "real world" and in an effort to live a life that we love. 

The question was raised whether it's possible to have a dream job. For most of us, teaching is not a dream, but rather a route of achieving happiness from other sources - ie: living in Thailand. I can only wonder if those who claim to hold a dream job are making other life sacrifices in order to hold such a position. It seems that life can never be a complete dream; it's a matter of juggling the different pieces of the puzzle and making choices based on what you regard as important. At 23 years old, I don't have a plan mapped out, I am not building a career for myself per se, I am not saving for retirement and I don't have a dream job in sight. But, I am trying to make the best of this one life I have. Life is really just a roller coaster ride on the quest to find bliss, isn't it?

Thailand has been the most monumental experiences in my life to date for so many reasons, but perhaps the most significant being that it represents the beginning of the continuous pursuit of happiness that is life.

1 comment:

Lani Cox said...

Sigh. I understand. The hardest part of being an expat is seeing friends come and go...