Why did you join? Was it to better yourself? Or better a community? Well yes and yes. Travel has always been a fantastic way to better yourself, and when you return you have stories that inspire and fascinate. Through some of these stories you encourage others to travel and the chain begins, each traveler shares their story and from that everyone benefits and everyone learns. Bettering the community? I can only hope I affect the whole community where I am stationed but I imagine that it will end up being one person or a small group that I inspire and that most certainly will be enough. I joined so that I could see through new and refreshed eyes, for though I love my home, both Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico, life was hitting a standstill and becoming routine. May I never go back to being the bitter bartender closing one restaurant and opening the other the next day. May I never be the server having to force out laughs, or repeating the same question 150 times a day, “Black beans or refried?” May the next time that I hear mariachi music be on the shore in Mexico, and god forbid I sing another franchise happy birthday song. When times are rough, and they will be. Think of the anticipation you had before coming to Thailand. Think of how you anxiously counted down the days before you left and eagerly stashed away the money hoping to eat every Thai dish imaginable. Think of how proud your family is and will be when you complete your service. Think of the next journey, but remember to enjoy the day. Count your blessings for they are so obviously in front of you and remember, it may be a bad day, but it’s a bad day in Thailand.
At what point does one say to themselves, “It’s time to change?” Maybe a during tough relationship, financial crisis, or just finding yourself tired of the monotony of daily life. Now I wouldn’t say I was looking for change but I definitely needed it. If you are close to me you know I have joined the Peace Corps and am currently working through my TEFL certification, and come January 3rd, should all go according to plan I will be in Thailand beginning my new phase in life.
What was it that drew me to the Peace Corps? As many know I love travel, since I was introduced to it by one of my dear friends I have found the thrill to be exhilarating. Peace Corps has offered me a wonderful opportunity to find more purpose within my travel, while in Thailand I will be a co-teacher in EFL. I can’t wait to meet my future students as well as my future coworkers. I hope we have plenty of travels together when we are off duty, and even more wonderful successful triumphs at the work place.
Are you scared? Yes. A new country is always a bit nerve wracking but it’s part of life. I feel like life wouldn’t be as satisfying as it is if we didn’t do things we were kind of scared of. The comfort zone is no place to live.
Why Thailand? Land of 1,000 smiles sounds pretty welcoming right? I won’t sit here and lie but I have a pretty solid RBF (resting bitch face) and maybe Thailand will change that. I’m not certain about that theory but the food’s is definitely going to be amazing,
What are you going to miss? Friends. But that’s obvious. Food too, as a little fat kid I’m going to miss the wonderful saturated fats that the US has to offer; Taco Bell, Twinkies, Wawa, Flamin Hot Cheetos, and any other pastry.
All together I am excited for this change and it’s following journey. For now I have to prepare and just get my mind in order.
Miami fully represents the idea of life in color. Bright hotels paint the streets, flashy cars don the road like jewelry, sparkling lights and palm trees dress every corner. The people were (for lack of a better word) pretty, it can only be described as walking into the pages of a fashion magazine. If your searching for a land characterized by glamour, you would benefit from booking a one-way ticket to this trendy vacation spot. Despite the excitement, the lights, the beat of the club music reverberating through your bones, the pulse of the city lies in the most unsuspecting of places.
Place No. 1: The Front Row Seat of a City Bike
“Let’s rent bikes” she said. It was 90 degrees outside when this horrendous statement was uttered. I was about to sarcastically respond with a firm “no” but when I saw Shannon’s face, I realized she was serious. I begrudgingly went along with this plan. After three credit card swipes, numerous failed attempts at dislodging the bikes from their ports, and help from amused bystanders, we were finally riding in style on our city bikes. We decided to ride up and down ocean drive on a winding path. To our left, we saw the glowing row of restaurants, hotels, and shops. To our right, we were graced with a beautiful view of ocean for which this drive was named after. At times, it was impossible to decided where to look first. The wind, which was nonexistent when walking, suddenly swirled all around us as we weaved between throngs of people. Of course, there was some racing (when is the last time you raced someone on a bike?) and occasionally, I lagged behind (you would too if you couldn’t decide what to look at).
It gets better though, as we were riding the sun was going down, staining the sky with so many different colors. As the sky went dark, the street lamps came on and the ocean became a distant roar. By the time we returned the bikes, we were sticky, out of breath, and filled with newfound freedom. The crazy thing about this experience is that it left my heart feeling so full and light. Talk about a juxtaposition. I promise you that this is a feeling you all need to chase down, no matter what. I’m recommending you try a bike.