The secret is out. After a near $900 40-hour trip halfway across the world, I am back in the good old U S of A. I had to keep it on the down low because it was a surprise for my sisters.

Thailand didn’t turn out 100% the way I wanted it to. Maybe not even 50% the way I wanted it to. That doesn’t mean it was a mistake. I had goals for my time there that I didn’t reach – most of which I didn’t even have the chance to start on. But I also had experiences and lessons that I never expected. My first 2 months and my last couple of weeks there were some of the greatest times of my life. Any of the bad stuff was worth it for that – even if it didn’t seem like that when it was happening. I love Thailand and am grateful for my time there. Even though I was worn down and lonely by the end of it all, leaving was still really hard to do. I felt ready to leave, but probably could have stayed just as easily. I was ready to come home, but would’ve been OK to stay away a little bit longer. But I didn’t have the time, money, or energy to fight with myself about it. Everything was feeling forced and that isn’t how things should feel when you’re in as beautiful a place as Thailand. Staying in Thailand would have been partly to feed my big huge ego and to satisfy expectations that other people had of me. Maybe even to satisfy expectations that I just think other people had of me. And that is just plain crazy. So I took my own advice and decided it was time to come home. No drama and no big deal required. 

Sometimes I don’t know how to feel about it. I still get sad, or confused, and get jealous of the people I left in Thailand. I can still feel lonely when I’m surrounded by my friends and family but be so happy to be around them at the same time. I also get excited and hopeful about making plans for the future and the things I can do with all the stuff I learned over the last four months. I don’t doubt the decision to come home, and I have no regrets about anything that I’ve done (well, either no regrets or 100% acceptance). Thailand wasn’t perfect but something in me feels like it all went the way it was supposed to go. And in the end, I came home to surprise my sisters and share sister laughs with them, hug my Mom and Dad, hold my nephew and kiss his cheeks, catch up with my best friends in person, and take back control of my health and money issues that need some fixing. Any decision that allows me to do these things can only be right.

I originally had a big long post going about the things I learned from my trip, but I’ve since reconsidered. There’s really no big epiphany. No “5 things I learned” list. As we know, I’m a personal person and the small subtle changes that took place inside of me are personal and I don’t want to ruin or devalue them for myself by over-analyzing. Some things can’t be explained and some things just don’t need to be.

So now that big huge ego of mine has been deflated back to regular size as I find myself crashing at my parents house while I waitress and figure out my next steps. On to my reading, writing, cash-making, nutrition-ing, beach bumming, family friend filled summer. If you end up on Cape Cod in the near future, come on by.