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The Gap Year Blog

What Thailand Taught Me

11 Oct 2019 17:10 PM

Stepping out of the airplane into a completely different city was one of the scariest moments of my life. Adrenaline kept me going despite my fear; but as soon as I left the airport, I could see that there was nothing to fear. Even if I was far away from my house, I was still home. Vaughan and the group made it easy for me to feel comfortable in this new environment. They were welcoming and excited to share this common experience with me.

The first day after our arrival, we ventured together to this new place and went to the Grand Palace. The magnificent architecture and the calmness that surrounded the area left me completely astonished. Nevertheless, it was not the gold or the decorations which I found the most breath-taking, but the people. The Thai people with just a smile or a vow can change your day. They are always willing to help tourists, like ourselves, despite the difficulty of communicating with them. When language, custom, and attire seem to pose impenetrable walls, we need to find new ways to communicate. I learned the importance of gestures in my time in Bangkok. A simple nod can mean thank you, hello, and even goodbye. I enjoyed watching how, in the temples, Buddhists presented the flower necklaces as well as other offerings to Buddha.

Everything I experienced in Bangkok from the historical aspects of the Thai culture to the taste of Pad Thai, I take as a lesson in the many ways in which we can transform the unpredictability of our encounters with others and the world that surrounds us into serendipitous moments of growth and transformation. Therefore, what I enjoyed most about Bangkok is the fact that wherever I am in the world, I can create a home with people I just met by sharing experiences, kindness, and love.

By Elisa Jimenez - Frontier South East Asia Trail Volunteer

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservationcommunityteaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!