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En Route to Bangkok

Here it is, the maiden voyage of the blog and this adventure.

I’m sitting in Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris, France, waiting to board a plane bound for Bahrain, which is my last stop en route to Bangkok. I’ll be spending the spring studying at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Sitting on the precipice of adventure has always been a curious thing to me. I spent many months in anticipation of this trip. Looking forward to it has made it difficult to do homework and write my stories all of last semester. I’ve been kept awake at night with dreams of the vibrant culture, chaotic city, and the profound impact I hope it will have on me

Now that it’s here, however, it’s a difficult thing to grasp. Growing up ski trips evoked a similar pattern for me. I would look forward to a Saturday of skiing all week until Friday night, when I inevitably questioned if I wanted to go at all. I never could bring myself to admit it to anyone, and besides that I always found that I was glad I made myself do it in the end. In the meantime I felt guilty for not reveling in the joy that I always felt should have been present. It just seemed to be one moment of softness, when the realization that staying behind is easier, more comfortable, and more familiar. It wouldn’t push me.

I’m glad I’ll be boarding this plane in a few minutes.

The journey really began about two weeks ago, when my father and sister dropped me off at the train station in Whitefish, Montana. It’s been long, and it’s been wonderful. I spent a day in Washington with my buddy Chase, a good man and a fierce friend. After that I spent about 10 days in New York City, and those ten days proved to be far more involved and transformative than I anticipated. It was beautiful, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. A great way to ease into this adventure, and a excellent opportunity to re-anchor my priorities in life away from the ebb and flow of my normal day-to-day callings back in Montana. That’s one of the things that I suspected would be good for me on this trip, and my time in New York forced me to plunge headlong into that. It was there that I found several things I was looking for, and a few that I was not. I’m taking all of them with me, in a permanent way.

It will be humbling and yet self-empowering, I hope in a way that can be channeled into something productive. It’s my dream to be a long-form journalist, writing internationally about social, economic, political, and cultural issues. I hope this trip will help me understand if I’m cut out for the lifestyle, if I’m capable of what I’ve been gearing my education and training towards for the past couple years.

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