I was once asked “what is your favorite thing about America?”. I don’t remember who asked me that question, but whoever it was, i can’t thank he or she enough. That simple question changed my life completely. To give you some background, I am not American. I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. When I was 14, my parents sent me to a boarding high school in Northern California. They didn’t stay with me. It was just me, myself, and I in a country where i didn’t know the language or understand the humor. Fast forward to junior year in college, i was asked that very question, “What is your favorite thing about America?”. Well, after 7 years, you’d expect that i’ll have an answer, right? It could be the food, the people, a location, or just the weather. But no! I didn’t have the answer.
I realized how i’ve taken time for granted. I didn’t take advantage of my limited and precious time in this country. I was on student visa and my time in the U.S. is good as long as i was in school. I realized that i had just a little less than 2 years left in this country before i could be kicked out permanently! and then that’s it? I would leave America without ever getting to know it? i swore to myself that no matter how busy I was or how lazy I felt, i must do at least one cool thing every weekend… whatever that meant. I was never more motivated or passionate in my life.
Then my adventure began.
What was the first weekend trip? The lost sunken city, which is also the very first post on this blog.
It was an early saturday afternoon, perfect day, slightly windy, and amazing sun. I sat on this rock right above the ruins and i just sunk deep down into my emotion. I couldn’t believe that i was there. The place was amazing but more importantly, i was so happy because i did it. It was that very moment where i felt like i started living instead of just existing.
I know…dramatic, right? it’s just the sunken city… it’s not like i climbed the tallest peak in the Andes, sailed across the globe, parachute down from a space station or anything insane like that. But it didn’t matter because, for me, it was a great adventure. I understood that very moment that adventure doesn’t need to put your life on a line or test your endurance. However, adventure is the feeling that you get after you’ve done something fulfilling and satisfying. If it makes me feel content, happy, and fulfilled, i say that it was a worthwhile adventure. Forget being the first at something and comparing yourself to others accomplishments. This life is for you and whatever takes your breath away is worth doing. That’s my definitely of adventure. That’s what i meant when i say “this is so cool”.
There was no turning back for me after the sunken city. Google was my best friend, and i compiled a list of things I wanted to do. I went on a solo backpacking trip, climbed the tallest peak in the lower 48 states, climb a sand dune, and, of course, started this blog and built online relationships with some of you on wordpress, instagram, and facebook. Sharing these experiences with you have been so joyful. Every likes, comments, emails, and messages i get from people just elevate my spirit. I feel like this blog is my little National Geographic. haha. But in all seriousness, thank you for reading. It means more to me than you think.
So what’s my favorite thing about the U.S.? Can I answer it now? Well, i have to say that i still don’t know. The more i see, the more i want to explore. I guess i wouldn’t know until my last day in this country. I’ll give you an answer then…whenever that day is. But until then, i’ll be doing something cool every weekend.
What a wonderful and thoughtful post! And it is truly a great way to live life – savoring all the good moments that we experience wherever we are.
Thank you Pam!
Thanks for sharing your story! I had no idea that you were from Thailand and trying to make the most of your time in the US. You are doing much much more than most people who come to visit. Your story is very inspiring. I’ve lived in the US my entire life and have only recently started exploring. You’ve definitely inspired me and have given me lots of great ideas. I am so thankful to have found your blog! Keep up the great work and happy exploring 🙂
Thank you so much for all of your comments and for reading! I really appreciate it and it all means to me more than you know!
I love this post! You totally sum up why I get such a high off of traveling and exploring new places – having adventures, whatever they may be. Thanks for sharing!
thank you for your comment! every time after i come back from a trip, all i want to do is start planning for the next one! haha