It's been a while old friend. Yet here we are again. Today is my last full day in Mae Sai before embarking on a jam packed tri-country journey. I'm not quite sad to leave this place because I will be returning to Thailand in April to live and work for a year in Chiang Mai! So things don't seem so "final" like they did when I was leaving Belfast.
I will catch a bus to Chiang Rai tomorrow, Fly from there to Bangkok (maybe get a manicure and treat myself haha) then Fly to Dublin early on the 16th! I can't wait to be met by Corneilus and Hannah and my other chosen family members who my heart has been beating for these 6 months.
I feel like a different woman. Trials, tribulations, reflections, glee, acceptance, dreaming...all these little experiences compounded into a better understanding of myself and the ones around me. The friendships I've made here have truly surprised me. Hugh and I have grown so close in our friendship that we will live in a house together in Chiang Mai when we return for work in April. I'm excited to share a space and new memories with him. Who knew that us raggamuffins would bond like we have over these months. And the sweet, heartfelt chats with Ann, Hannah and Jody are ones I will hold dear to me forever.
It will be odd being back in the "west" and seeing how the pace of life really differs from this slow, balmy world.
On top of that, I'll be flying back to America to visit more friends and family (which is something I never thought I'd do in the next 4 years!).
This teaching experience in Mae Sai has pushed me to limits I never knew I had as well as opened me up to accepting other things I never thought possible. I was a Blue woman leaving NI, feeling alone, frightened, unsure and just devoid of my authentic cheer. And here I am on th eother side of that fear and loathing; stronger, happier and excited for the life I'm living.
I cannot wait to continue this ongoing chapter of travel, work, loving, living, growing.
Here's to rising to new heights.