Returning to My American Dream

Things that I will miss desperately about teaching in Thailand 

  1. Respect
  2. Adequate planning time
  3. Free delish lunch
  4. Valuing extra curricular
  5. A “family like” community of teachers and a group office
  6. Personal Teacher-student relationships
  7. Compliments
  8. Freedom of choice for curriculum (minimal standardized tests)
  9. Gratitude
  10. Laughter

Things I actually miss desperately about Thailand

  1. Friendly Strangers & Smiles
  2. A deep sense of value and gratitude
  3. SUNSHINE
  4. The food- especially Som Tam and Tom Kha Gai
  5. MY STUDENTS & MY JOB
  6. Simplicity
  7. Surprises
  8. All of my friends/coworkers
  9. Adventure around every corner
  10. Mai Pen Rai attitudes

Things I appreciate about America

  1. Familiar faces
  2. Quality time with family & friends
  3. My doggie/other doggies I can actually PET!
  4. The emphasis of HEALTH, NUTRITION & EXERCISE
  5. Having a car and a kitchen
  6. Good wine & coffee
  7. CLEANLINESS
  8. Customer Service
  9. Good music
  10. Comfortable beds

A few months before I left Thailand I jotted down a list of things that I believed I would miss the most about teaching there. After being home in America for nearly two months I wrote a list of what I actually miss, not just about teaching there but about living there in general. I miss it every single day.

That doesn’t mean that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed my time home in America. I am grateful for the luxuries of home and I am astonished by how much our country truly has at its fingertips. I am beyond grateful for the quality time I have spent with people who I love sharing stories, meals, dance parties, copious amounts of wine and more than a few laughs. I love sharing about my journey, my life, and the magical slice of South East Asia that captivated my soul and stretched me to my limits both in positive and negative respects. Many people I talk to have preconceived notions about what it would be like to live there and I never hesitate to prove them wrong.

I came home at by far my favorite time of year, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Now the rose colored holiday glasses are rapidly being clouded with SNOW. It’s -8 degrees right now. That just sounds like a sick joke. The temporary high of being back in America is wearing off and reality is setting in. Just like moving to Thailand, there is definitely a “vacation” period filled with adrenaline, reunions, and FUN and then you come to terms with the fact that you actually need to adjust to life here.

Home for the Holidays _1

I read many articles about what it’s like to return home after traveling. I truly empathize with their authors because you return to something so dear to you, so familiar, and you realize that you, in fact, are the part of puzzle that is different. I believe that difference is something to be reverently celebrated; but regardless of my positive attitude, it’s still hard to realign my broadened mind and spirit to fit the confines of my own society. In fact, it’s impossible. Instead of running from that, I intend to use it to my advantage. We all have something to bring to the table and people who continue to positively progress in their lifetime never alter their experiences or passion based on their surroundings. They alter their surroundings by using their experiences and passion to move, inspire and uplift others.

I am excited to continue to pursue my professional writing. I am excited to embark on my new journey as a Team Beachbody coach. I am exploring and focusing on my passion for health, wellness and fitness. I have the goal to become physically, mentally, and spiritually STRONGER in 2015. “Only the mediocre are always at their best.” It is incredible how mentally rewarding it is to physically challenge your body. Now, I am beginning to realize how much more rewarding it is for me to help OTHERS reach their healthy lifestyle goals while simultaneously striving to reach my own.

Helping people feeds me in a way nothing else can, whether it be through teaching, writing, coaching or simply listening. I am excited to more fully incorporate my fitness and health into my blog and expand the subject matter from traveling, adventure and teaching. My aim is to create a well balanced, positive and meaningful lifestyle and share a little bit of every part of that on this blog. Balance is key for a happy and healthy life.

Honestly, it has been an eye opening experience to move back into my parent’s home and go on a job search which has proved to be much more tedious and difficult then I intended. I am waiting for the logistics and paperwork to clear so I can begin my substitute position at the school district in my hometown. This period of celebration, extreme change, readjustment, and renewal has been a great time of reflection on my life, my path, and my passions. It is incredible how fast your life can change and even more astonishing at how much control we have. Of course there are many things we can’t control, but we can always control our attitude.

As human beings, we tend to complicate life. If you want something, work for it. If you want someone, tell them. If you want to feel better, help someone else. If you want to give up, try harder. If you want to find happiness, never stop reinventing yourself. If you want to find your passion, never settle for any life that doesn’t set your soul on fire.

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