End Of An Era & Reflections On 4-Years In Thailand

By December 31, 2016 No Comments

(Wat Phanan Choeng – Ayutthaya, Bangkok)

“What are you going to do for work?” my father asked.

“I don’t know” was my reply.

My dad immigrated from Hong Kong along with my grandparents at a very young age with barely any money. They worked menial NYC factory jobs to better themselves and turn the “American Dream” into a reality. They sacrificed endlessly to achieve this.

“When are you coming back home to the US?” was my mother’s response.

Again I replied with “I don’t know” – Could be after 1-year or 5-years? Being the firstborn of 3-sons, my mom and I are very close. My personality takes after hers (she’s a realtor and is great with people).

This was the conversation I had with my parents when telling them of my plans to move to Thailand on a 1-way ticket. The answers I gave were not the the ones they wanted to hear – but they were honest. And with the limited amount of information I had at my disposal at the time, I really didn’t know what to expect.

End of the year is always a bit emotional for me to reflect on as it coincides with the day I submitted my resignation from a corporate career path and into the unknown – but this time it’s a bit more special as it marks 4-years living abroad. When I left, only the 1st year was planned for. The 3-years after have been a crazy, unexpected twists of pleasant surprises. It’s still mind-boggling and feels like it was just yesterday.

My world has shifted dramatically. My definition of normal is working from a cafe, not a cubicle. Boarding a plane every 1-3 months on average. Having complete control over my health, well-being and living environment.

I don’t take these things for granted and grateful everyday for them. But if you asked me what am I most proud of – it’s not the # of visa stamps or the professional achievements – it’s the person who I’ve changed into today and the personal growth. They say “your vibe attracts your tribe” and the people who come into your life are a direct reflection of the energy you put into the world. I’ve lost count of how many special people have adopted me into their tribe.

I’m fortunate enough to have experienced a wide-range of diverse places & human experiences – which have transformed me into a completely different person. But there’s one special place that has had such a huge impact and would like to express my sincere gratitude, love & respect for – Khob khun krup Thailand, Thai people and the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It’s been an honor to be a guest in your beloved country.

ขอขอบคุณ ภูมิพลอดุลยเดช.

For the past 4-years, I’ve always kept an apartment here no matter where I traveled to. It’s been my home-base and provided consistency & grounding. Being around Thai #Buddhism & culture has helped me grow exponentially. Concepts like “sabai-sabai” (relax, take it easy) , “jai dee” (good-hearted), “jai yen-yen” (calm, cool-hearted), “greng jai” (consideration) have brought me perspective & gentleness into my every-day life.

Leaving here is bittersweet. For sure it feels like a significant chapter is coming to a close.

After spending a few days in Bangkok & getting blessed by a monk, I arrived safely to Canggu, Bali which will be my new home indefinitely.

I’m still learning, but have gotten better at embracing the “I don’t know’s”, the unknowns and trusting in the universe. Life is a dance between setting intention, working towards it – and at the same time, not holding on too tight, letting go and keeping an open mind. You’ll never know where you’ll end up. But the journey is worth it. 😉


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