I'm now facing the awkward situation of explaining why there is a ONE MONTH gap between this and the last post I did on Thailand after having been so keen to document my ATYAP (Australian Thai Youth Ambassador Program) adventures. For reals, I only got about the first two days of the trip - before any of the real fun even started - and then just abandoned the entire blogging venture with zesty enthusiasm. I'm sorry. Wait, no I'm not. Looking back, I think I made the right decision because it was only then that I really could embrace the experience wholeheartedly. I've always been the type to inhale my food rather than savor it. It stands to reason that that same attitude would carry over to my blogging style.
Previous Thailand Posts:
Plus, when faced with the prospect of free time in Thailand with a large bunch of fun-loving, adventurous university students, would you rather a) hole yourself up in the hotel room to do some blogging or b) get out there and see what Thailand has to offer in terms of food, culture and adventure?
Only complete nincompoops would choose Option A yas?
Alright, good, awesome. I reckon that's enough explaining myself. NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT THAILAND Y'ALL.
Maybe it's a good thing that I left the blogging till after the trip because I think I've got a clearer picture of how to set out these blog posts. Looking back, I would say our adventures fell into two distinct blocks:
- A three week block of teaching in the province of Ubon Ratchathani with nights spent going to the markets or hanging out as an ATYAP family
- A jam-packed week of ambassadorial activities in Bangkok combined with your typical touristy things
There were also other little day trips or overnight retreats sprinkled throughout such as the two days we spent meditating at the International Forest Monastery or one-day adventure through Ubon which I might also dedicate one-off posts to. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you probably already have a bit of an idea of what I got up to (I'm so sorry for the photo spam guys - I tried to limit myself, I really did). I guess that's partly why I felt okay with abandoning my blog. It was just easier to update people on other social media and as I'm always saying anyway, the blog is mostly just a record for posterity.
|Source: Official Facebook page for the Australian Thai Youth Ambassador Program|
I might stop here and dedicate separate posts to the different aspects of the trip because I'm mildly OCD and like categorising things. Before I sign off though, I just wanted to say with one hundred percent sincerity and earnestness that ATYAP truly was THE BEST experience I have had in my 20 years of living. The things I saw, did and felt during my month in Thailand changed my entire perspective and understanding of myself and the future. I met so many wonderful, beautiful people and I honestly think that part of me will be forever saddened by the fact that it is over and we will never get to re-experience any of it.
Uggh I'm depressing the fuck out of myself just by writing this. Let's move on guys and get to the fun stuff. I'll have enough time to reflect in the very last post I do on ATYAP.
Next up: Teaching in Ubon Ratchathani and the joys of living with 34 other university students