When I first touched down in Thailand three and a half months ago I felt weightless. I could hardly contain my excitement as I prepared for the adventures that awaited me.
It’s no secret that I struggled to feel enchanted and balanced in Vietnam and Thailand promised a new culture, a new story, new friends, and a new beginning.
Despite the ease I predicted, as my journey through Thailand progressed, I became anxious about my work performance and frustrated by the constant distractions around me.
Everywhere I turned a friendly backpacker offered an invite, I often shared rooms with friends, and I met a man who occupied more of my mind than I wanted to allow.
I constantly pushed others away, fearful that they might distract me from my purpose and my mission.
I was closed.
But this time, everything is different.
Landing in Thailand again ten days ago, my eyes welled with tears. While for over a year I struggled to cry even when I desperately wanted to, entering Thailand I was overcome with emotion.
Instead of feeling the weightlessness of what awaited me I felt heavy over what I left behind. I found home in Indonesia and leaving it I yearned for something to hold onto.
In many ways arriving here felt less like the beginning of a chapter and more like the end of one.
Now, in Southern Thailand’s mythically gorgeous Andaman Sea, backpackers no longer surround me. Friends aren’t meeting me for dinner or tempting me to go out dancing. There are no distractions of ornate temples or busy markets or endless cheap street eats.
For the first time in a long time, I feel lonely.
Families build their sandcastles by the sea. Groups of friends chat over phad thai and beers. Couples hold hands as they watch the sunset.
Watching them reminds me how much I miss my family. They remind me how good it feels to share laughter with friends. They remind me that even though I fight my desire, I’d really like to fall in love again.
They remind me that I am in fact alone.
Yet here on my own I’m feeling more connected and alive than I have in as long as I can remember.
Every day I wake up early, I run on the beach, I practice my yoga, I give myself Reiki, I progress in my passion, I explore the island on a scooter, and I watch each sunset like it’s my first and my last.
My god it makes me feel so good.
I feel aware of who I am, why I’m in Asia, and more importantly why I’m on this Earth.
I feel flooded with peace and calm faced with obstacles that once terrified me.
I feel indescribable gratitude for everything that surrounds me and everything that at times feels painfully far away or out of reach.
I feel like I’ve finally broken down my walls and opened, knowing that I love myself enough to accept what I deserve.
Most of all, I feel like me.
The same, but different.