2019-20 Tytus, outbound to Thailand

Mar 16, 2020

This is my second journal entry, the outbound to Thailand, Tytus Simmons, from district 6950. As of now, the Corona Virus is causing us all stress. This unexpected turn of events has my trip cancelled, but this just goes to show that anything can happen while you are on exchange, either good or bad, it all counts to your experience. As of today, this is my last day with my second host family and I will be moving tomorrow. I have had some amazing experiences and I have had some saddening moments. Overall it has been eye opening and I suggest everyone who is interested to keep an open mind and be mindful of your decisions and others as well as they affect everyone. One of my best moments was spending a week with my Mexa on vacation with the family, a very memorable experience that allowed me to see what things to expect in Thailand and as well as be exposed to the culture. This also allowed me to practice my Thai as learning the language is an ever growing obstacle. While in Thailand I have to adapt to very different ways of living because here it is the exact opposite of the United States in most regards. It does take time before you adjust to all of the life styles here and it does take some open mindedness to accept these differences and adapt them to your personality. As much of the culture that you are learning, the people here who meet you are also learning and adapting to your culture. A good example of this would be an example with my amazing host family who helped me open up and who helped me speak a lot more Thai. They started getting me Western Food and I did not realize that for a long time and I was very humbled and happy at the thought that not only are they exposing me to their culture with their food and with their eating habits, but they are also helping me with comforting food in case the culture is too much to handle all at once. This just goes to show that no matter what you can enjoy your exchange wherever you may be. Lets talk about acceptance and being thick skinned in a sense, because in order to be an exchange student, no matter how much you learn and how much you know, being an exchange student makes you stick out, especially in Asian countries. Being here, every time I go out into the public, I get stared at, and that is just something you have to come to terms with and learn how to deal with on your own. This does not have to be a bad thing, however, you make what you want of the situation. You will get stared at, but some people will be brave enough to talk to you, and then you might just have made a lifelong friend, but you never know if you don’t try and this is how you could help yourself through exchange.

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