My friend, who is somewhat newly moved to Thailand, was reflecting on what it’s like to be an expat: the culture shock, and then the struggle of not wanting to complain and feel culture shocked. As I walked to work, I thought about how much I had changed since living abroad.
I feel good.
However, if you’d have told me what my life would be like if I moved back to Thailand before I did it, I’m not sure I would have returned.
I know now why we can’t see in to our future – doing so prevents us from ever meeting up with it.
First of all, let me congratulate you on making a good choice. Going to Vientiane Laos for your Thai visa run is like competing in the Hunger Games. By contrast, heading to Kuala Lumpur is like taking your dog on a walk through the park, sometimes there are unsure moments, but overall, it’s a breeze.
What has haunted me since we’ve left Cambodia is all the stuff I gave away, all the stuff I left behind. My mind tosses and turns like a salad, over and over again, remembering this particular thing or that object that I miss. Because when we left, we left thinking we were going to the United States. We left believing we were never returning or not returning anytime soon.
During one of the darkest moments in my adult life, I failed to reach out. I didn’t really tell friends and family what was happening. I think part of the reason was I couldn’t explain it, I couldn’t get my hands around it, but mostly I was ashamed.
This time around, I didn’t make the same mistake. True, the circumstances were different, but when I spoke with my friends, they became lifelines tethering me to a balloon of hope. Our conversations were reminders that: I was not going crazy, my situation was insane and that I was loved.
Our biggest worry when we moved into this apartment was space. Will we have enough? Where was everything going to go?