Halfway through the first month of the new year, time has escaped me in India - thus my belated new year reflection.
I thought 2011 was monumental for me, but never did I dream of the things that came in 2012.
I welcomed 2012 with my English teacher friends on Koh Chang (Elephant Island) in Thailand. I finished as the only foreign teacher in Sriracha at the end of February. I frolicked around SE Asia for two months; immediately I knew it wouldn't be enough travel time. My parents crossed the world to visit, I moved to Isaan and fell in love with the place, I pushed myself to learn and grow as a teacher, writer and individual. While the final months teaching seemed long and daunting, I survived by planning and obsessing over my current long-term travel which began in October with my sisters' visit to Thailand. I've wrapped up the year in Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, and finally rang in 2013 with my dear friend in India.
2012 was the year that I realized traveling for me was not just a hobby and certainly not a vacation. It is my passion. It is a lifestyle. The 9 countries I visited in 2012 have stretched, twisted and opened my mind in ways I didn't know were possible. I discovered just how fulfilling and enlightening it is to learn about and integrate myself in other cultures.
The long-term budget traveling that I am doing is not a walk in the park. It's exhausting, challenging, frustrating; the hauling of the backpack, lack of stability and home and the endless bus and train journeys can be frankly, quite miserable.
At the present moment, I've been living from a backpack for three and a half months, but in a sense I’ve been on the go since I left America in 2011. I never dreamed that I'd be so content with so few possessions and such instability. As I am writing this in 2013, amidst the most undetermined part of my travels, I wonder if it's possible to be any happier than I am in this moment.
Although 2013 has many unknowns, 2012 brought me the greatest gift of life yet – direction and meaning.
Thank you to my family and friends for sticking with and supporting me, for anyone who actually takes time to read my ramblings and, of course, to 2012 in Asia for changing my life.
Happy (belated) New Year to all!
India has quickly captured me heart. Everyday here is inspiring and worth writing about, but I'm also enjoying focusing on reality and less on social media. Currently relaxing with new friends from around the world in the majestic Hampi, India. Look out for stories from India soon, but who knows as to when.
|Standard sight on the beach in Goa, India|
|Incredible guesthouse owners in Bangalore, India. |
What a welcoming treat it was to begin my journey here!