It is amazing how quickly perspective can shift through travel. Over winter break, I was lucky enough to travel around Thailand for three weeks. My brother is teaching abroad for a year, so my mom and I had the perfect excuse to visit him and the wonderful country.
The trip was split into three legs: the first week was spent in Kanchanaburi; the second, we visited Phuket and the Phi Phi Islands; and the final week, we stayed in the province where my brother lives and teaches, Thung Song. All the places we traveled were so different and had endless things to see and experience. All aspects were beautiful in their own way: the sights, the people and the culture.
There was something to be learned during every experience, whether it was learning how to cook traditional Pad Thai, hearing life lessons from a wise Buddhist man, figuring out how to communicate without language or seeing how the less fortunate live. One thing I found most interesting and inspiring was how happy Thai people are regardless of their living situation. I met some of the happiest people I have in my life, and they lived with so much less. One of the most rewarding lessons I learned was not to stress over the things I cannot control. Thai people are unbelievably happy and relaxed. Every day, you will hear “Mai Bpen Rai” which roughly translates to “Don’t worry.” People of Thailand go with the flow and never stop smiling. The trip was a reminder to fill my life with positive energy and people.
I am so grateful to have been able to see part of Southeast Asia with my family. I have countless memories I will keep throughout my lifetime. The country was so colorful, exciting and alive, and my travels reminded me to continue to see the world.