It is with great pleasure to introduce myself, team!
I’m excited to be leading the Southeast Asia semester with Pacific Discovery for my third time. Currently I’m laying low for the holiday season, starting the thoughtful and relaxing process of packing light and started brushing up on the different languages we will be exposed to along the way.
I’ve spent over two years traveling in Asia; from Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan to Singapore and Malaysia. In all of my many travels there, I have enjoyed working on service projects in small mountain villages along side locals, young and old, ridden my bicycle at the break of dawn while baring witness to workers coming back from long nights in the rice fields and sharing laughs with ladyboys at karaoke bars into the late hours of the night. I have traveled far and wide around the colorful, vast continent and feel so very privileged to share this experience with you!
After taking a small break from traveling non-stop for the past three years, I find myself in the big island of Hawaii part-time and part-time visiting friends and family in my homeland of the long leaf pine, North Carolina; where I really enjoy visiting my baby nephew. I’m constantly searching for that sweet balance between rich cultural experiences and health and wellness while traveling in order to live out a deeply rooted goal of mine of sustainable travel, hoping that it helps individuals on the trip feel grounded and have room to stay curious about their new surroundings. These new places and cultures require a lot of self trust and openness. They require flexibility, as well as groundedness and I believe, whether you bring those things with you or not, you will soon find, during, or sometimes after the trip, that they will or have come back with you.
My suggestion to you is to pack light (there are plenty of cheap clothes that are fashionable and functional there), make sure you can carry your bags on your back, don’t forget the reality of MOSQUITOS and, please, come with a couple of simple intentions for yourself that will add depth to your experience. Maybe that looks like making goals around your electronic usage or to come with a list of questions to ask locals we meet or maybe it’s to simply observe what everyone around you is wearing on their feet; but whatever it is, I have found exploring little details like these can be a way for you to start taking your experience into your own hands before we even get there. What do you want to get out of this experience? How do you envision your trip going? Let’s love that dream out!
I am so looking forward to meeting each and every one of you and I’m super jazzed on showing you around places that are so dear to my heart! Until then, chok dee kaaa (good luck in Thai).