2016 Recap: Hello from Thailand

It’s been almost a whole year since I updated this thing! Oowee.

Lots has happened since my last post in January–life’s been moving fast! But I finally feel like things have settled down enough to give this site some time again. ♥


Revisiting my last post, I can’t help but smile & give myself a lil pat on the back for all I’ve accomplished this year. After the New Year I set intentions for 2016, and I can honestly say I accomplished all of them.

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  • to unlearn a lot ✓
  • to obliterate my comfort zone ✓
  • to embrace my Year of the Dreamgirl ✓✓✓ (lol)

Let’s do a little 2016 recap:


Unlearning:

After spending a lifetime feeling pressured to live up to the expectations of everyone but myself, I resolved that this would be the year I ignored all that and did things for me.

The kind of things that may not get my family’s, friend’s, employer’s, or society’s approval…but that felt right for me.

Getting comfortable with not needing outside reassurance to make personal decisions has been a slow but freeing process. It’s enabled me to be bold in my pursuits, with the pleasant discovery that even those who disapproved before will usually come around if you stick to your guns and go after what you want. Determination and passion tend to be contagious that way–but I would never have figured that out had I not just gone for it!

Which leads me to…


Obliterating my comfort zone:

I’m writing this in my bedroom in Ban Ta Klang, Tha Tum district, Surin province, Isaan, Thailand (whew!).

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mi casa!

I’ve been living in Thailand since June 2016, and now teach English in this small village to all grades (K-12).

This was the kind of life adventure I’d dreamed about for yearss. But when you’re living on society’s “expected” timeline, when is it ever a good time to drop everything and move to a place where you don’t know anyone or speak the language?

After high school, I went to college…because you’re supposed to.

After college, I got an entry-level job…because you’re supposed to.

After the entry-level job, I got a career-worthy job…because you’re supposed to.

And then I realized at the rate I was going, my life would be one long string of “things I was supposed to do.” And is that really a life at all?

So I decided to start living. Thailand was the first major “thing I wanted to do” in a long time, and it didn’t get much approval from others at first. My employer thought I was crazy lol. My family was confused. My friends are pretty dope themselves, so most of them were pretty supportive actually. But many were also confused and wondering why I’d leave a good job & good life to pursue something so random.

But having decided already that the only opinion that mattered was mine, off I went!


I got to Thailand at the end of June, and spent a week traveling through Bangkok, Koh Samui, and Koh Phangan with a friend.

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Then I went to Hua Hin for a month of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) training through Greenheart Travel. Made a bunch of amazing teacher friends from all over the world, and had a great month of learning to teach English + cultural excursions with a fun group of people.

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elephants

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lotuses

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graduated
…And soon enough it was time for us to part ways and go to our different placement sites!


Embracing my year of the Dreamgirl…

In an effort to “obliterate my comfort zone,” I was very relaxed about my site preferences when speaking to our placement team. I pretty much said I’d go anywhere, trusting that life would give me whatever I need to grow.

Looking back, I was maybe too relaxed–because they took that very literally and essentially placed me where no one else would go lol. So I’m teaching in a teenytiny village, with elephants in my backyard, and not even one 7/11 within an hours drive away (the Thailand standard is about two 7/11s per two minute walk lol). So this is unlike anything I could’ve ever anticipated.

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(yes that is an elephant walking the school grounds…)

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I wouldn’t have picked it out for myself in all honesty, but it’s definitely an experience! And even if the rural village life isn’t exactly my cup of tea (once a city girl, always a city girl!), I’ve grown to love all the people I’ve met here.

More importantly though, living off the map (like, literally my village doesn’t come up on Maps lol) has given me so much time and space to look within and really get in touch with myself.  I haven’t loved every aspect of rural living lol…but I can say it has benefited my awareness and personal development to a major degree.

But more on living and working here later.


Oh, and the Peace Corps thing I had as one of my 2016 intentions? I applied, interviewed, and got accepted! Such an awesome moment, and really an honor for me.

But ultimately, I decided not to do it after all! Upon further reflection, it felt more like another one of those “things I should do” than a thing I really want to do. I’m proud of myself for honoring my commitment to be serious about only the things I’m really passionate about–even when faced with a “prestigious” opportunity.

So there’s my round-up! It’s been a busybusy year, and I never would’ve guessed I’d be here doing this had you asked me this time last year.

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blessings on blessings on blessings!

Now that all the transitioning has settled down…back to musing around on this thing!

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Let’s chat later..

 

– ♥ Sade

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