Fuck. Just reading this makes me want to give myself a giant smack in the head. I know I shouldn't be wallowing. I don't have the right to sit here and mope about the ATYAP experience coming to an end because well, I was lucky enough to even get the experience in the first place. And this is why I'm writing a post instead of confiding in other people - because I can already imagine their metaphorical eye rolls and justified lack of interest. But even knowing all this doesn't stop me from curling into a ball on the couch and trying to pretend I'm anywhere but here.
|Photo credit: Thomas Da Jose|
I went through a similar period of dissatisfaction after coming back from Korea. I wrote (and this is an exact quote):
You can't help but feel like you've left something important behind. And I was only away for ten days. What's going to happen when I leave Australia for a year?Well this time, I was gone for an entire month. And the post-travel depression has been amplified twenty times over due to the nature of my trip. I set off from Sydney with 35 strangers and a month later, I landed back here with a family. I'd grown used to the constant presence and company of these beautiful, hilarious and inspiring humans. We'd taught together, lived together, karaoke-d together, mafia-d together and struggled uncoordinatedly together through the painful but fun torture that is Thai Dancing. When we were bored, we'd knock on each other's doors (which were right next to each other). There was always someone or a group to go to the night markets with you or someone who'd lend you a bucket when you had to do your laundry.
|Photo credit: Samithy Heng|
|Photo credit: Sharon Ung|
I had such an immersive experience in Thailand as well. Before all the touristy stuff happened in Bangkok, we were practically living and working in Ubon Ratchathani. We had a routine and even though, at times it exhausted me so much I could barely drag myself out of bed to get down to breakfast, it was fulfilling in a way nothing else ever was. If we didn't live in the world we live in, if money wasn't an issue, if I didn't have to worry about what I'd be doing in 5 years time, I would have stayed in Ubon and taught for another 6 months as Teacher Cindeeyah from Australia.
|Me and my shadow, Mac, who I mentioned in the previous post. Turns out that the awesome Sharon Ung managed to get a photo!|