An Open Letter of Gratitude

My time in Thailand isn’t over. In fact it’s only maybe halfway over. And despite knowing that I’ve been feeling this sort of “end of an era” sentimentality and it’s stemming from the fact that the majority of the people who have made this experience for me are leaving.

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Firstly I would like to take a definitive stance on the quality of the Fall 2016 Chiang Mai OEG orientation group, and that is this: you all fucking rock.
So if you were a part of that rollercoaster week, thanks for making it the most memorable of this trip. And if you were part of that orientation and I haven’t singled you out by name know that you still hold a seriously special place in my heart. (I really, really mean that) We were a beautiful little family and seriously I have so much love for every single person who jumped into this with me. Love love love. 
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And because I want to be better at letting people I love know that I love them I’ve complied a bit of a list of some of the people I’ve met–the ones I’ve had to say goodbye to— the ones who truly made this experience for me.
Emma, I had the pleasure of sharing a harrowing first trip to Pattaya with you and you are so inspiring in your dedication to growing in harmony with the world and living a truly authentic balanced life.
Bri, Liv, and Ari, I can’t imagine this Phrae family without you. Phrae will be a dimmer place without your light. Liv, you can make anyone cry from laughing. Bri, always managing to handle even the most difficult Thai situations with a sarcastic comment. You are both the definition of a dynamic duo. Ari, you are always down for fun, and there wouldn’t be a party without you.
Lauren, You are inspiring, intuitive, beautiful inside and out.
Betty, I didn’t get to see you nearly enough. You are bold, fearless, and not afraid to tell it how it is.
Margaret, you exude constant positivity, and could have a conversation with literally anyone.
Laura, I am distressed that I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time with you as I wanted. You are one of the funniest people I’ve met on this trip and never afraid to be completely yourself.
Courtney, you have the wittiest one-liners and are possibly the most easy-going person on this trip. Thank you for putting a smile on everyone’s face that you meet.
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Kim, thank you for showing me what it means to be a strong woman. For being fun, authentic, and incredibly wise.
Lauren, you are someone who is so genuine and have an unparalleled appreciation for the little joys in life.
Will, you are possibly the most enthusiastic person I have ever given henna to. You two to me are the definition of what it means to be a partner.
Eliza, I can hardly put into words what a beautiful person you are. You exude light and authenticity and just being around you I feel like I see more beauty in the world.
Char char, my heart in Phrae, someone who shared bachelor nights with me and many bottles of wine. You are one of the funniest, genuine people I’ve have the pleasure to call a friend and you are so beautiful inside and out.
Alex, I can’t imagine a life in Phrae without you. You are possibly the best sport about absolutely everything (Albeit some surly commentary). And great taste in music and really long jokes. Everyone in your life is incredibly lucky to have a friend like you and I’m so happy I’m included in that.
AJ, I can’t help but think fate put us together as roommates in the beginning of this journey. Your amazing humor and attitude have changed the way I look at the world. You are one of the smartest people I know.
Annie, even though you were in my life long before we went to Thailand I’m so glad we got to do this together. Thanks for convincing me to apply. I can’t believe I’m going to to continue with out you but I can’t be more proud of everything you’ve done and everything you’re going to do. Everyone needs a friend like you in their life to tackle spicy food and to always know when to give up and splurge on a nice hotel room.
I’m lucky enough as well to have a quite long list of friends that are not leaving quite yet and I can’t bring myself to write about all of you yet because our adventure are not even close to being over.
I came into this program with a lot of judgement. You’d hear me say “oh I’m doing that typical post-grad teach in Thailand thing”. And what changed my mind wasn’t myself, it was everyone else. I didn’t meet dozens of people running away from “real life”. I met people who were striving to build an authentic life of their own. I’m not a writer and I’m prone to rambling so I think I should finish this little letter by saying that I am very, very lucky.
Creating happiness doesn’t really get any easier. But I’m working on it. And it really helps to feel surrounded by this much love.
Peace, Teacher Boo
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