DavidRaciti's Travel Journals

DavidRaciti

 
What are the ethnic foods that you eat on a normal basis?

Italian, Chinese, Thai, Cantonese

  • 28 years old
  • From Delaware, United States
  • Currently in Delaware, United States

Chiang Mai, Thailand (first trip abroad)

This journal describes my experiences while in Chang Mai, Thailand.

Last Days and Follow-up

United States Delaware, United States  |  Aug 08, 2012
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      So this is a quick wrap-up to the explosive last part of my trip in Thailand. After recovering from feeling sickly I wrapped the adventure up in a fantastic way. I went to Doi Suthep (the main Chiang Mai temple that resides in the mountains) and also to a small village called Pai (a somewhat westernized town). On the way to Doi Suthep, I also visited two waterfalls and Chiang Mai university. In Pai, I went to a chinese village, hot springs, WW2 memorial bridge and Pai canyon. (All viewable in pictures) My camera was broken and I had to guess what the images looked like so I apologize for multiple pictures of the same thing and for poor quality pictures.

     Anyways the real mission of this entry is to focus more on my feelings at the end of the trip and my realizations since I have returned home. There is much to be captured and I am afraid that I might not be able to accurately account for all of it in this entry. While in Thailand, I was fortunate to have an awesome host family and even though I felt as though I appreciated them while physically being there, I do believe that since returning home my appreciation has increased immeasurably. Also, the whole concept of being in such a unique/different place than my own was not fully appreciated until returning home. There are key qualities that I do miss and wish were present in America. Without diving too much into it, I miss the genuine friendliness present in most of my interactions with people in Thailand. Maybe I miss how genuine everybody was regardless of whether it was friendly or not. One instance that instills geniune friendliness was my late night conversation with a random old Thai couple when I was walking home one night. Luckily, I found a nice resturant in Baltimore (where I will be staying) that encapsulates a little of what thailand was like. It is called Thai Arroy (yummy). I will be visiting that resturant probably more frequently than other resturants (The food still isn't exactly the same, for lack of certain ingredients). A few tips I have for people considering traveling to Thailand; go to a privately owned guesthouse (the interaction will be amazing), I would push you to go to ThaialandWow (my homestay's guesthouse), attempt to learn a little of the language (greetings, how are you, going somewhere, numbers), speaking the language is well received and most people really respect when someone tries to talk in the native language, and finally keep an open mind and don't be afraid to try new things.

    The above is not to state that I do not appreciate being home. Being home was a small breath of fresh air in a sense (Seeing the family etc). One reason I do enjoy being home is I feel that I have regained purpose. I think that is one thing in my own personal culture that I need (at least in my mind). I view myself as a tool (in a mechanical sense not the slang version of the word) and if I am not being used to build and create good things then I feel as if I am somewhat useless and it affects my mood. In Thailand, I believe I suffered slightly from this because even though I was doing a volunteer program, I felt as if I wasn't really needed. I think that this realizations opens a door to self-improvement. I should learn how to accept that I need not always be pushing myself to doing work or that I should re-compute what I view as important "work". Sometimes not be busy is okay, not having every single second of every single day scheduled or planned out. This is a concept that I have been working on for a while. I really would like to learn how to balance living in the present (something that the Thais are great at) and preparing for the future. Both are definitely needed to live a fully healthy life and that is one thing that has been demonstrated to me on my journey.

   Overall, my friends in Thailand have shown my the importance of showing undeserved kindness, generosity, and the importance of being calm in the utmost adverse of times. These are things I will be attempting to incorporate in my lifestyle permanently. Some of these teachings come from Buddhism (one of the most peaceful religons I have ever experienced in my entire life). Even though I personally claim myself as overall non-religious (not atheist or agnostic) but more of a perspective that respects everyone's belief as long as it focuses on bettering oneself, assisting other's in their goals, and never taking rights away from others or seeking to subjugate others, I think that every religon has things to be valued and learned. The is something that is hard for me to convey to others (especially certain people) for fear of persecution.

Ultimately, I can say that cultural immersion can be a very positive experience, especially when you reflect on all of the experiences and change according to what you learned. I now see how being a tourist and being a traveller (for lack of a better word) are two completely different activities. One in a way focuses on only the physical and the other focuses on all aspects of a place (i.e. the physical, the mental...). I encourage all that read this to immerse themselves in a travellers experience at least once in their life.

Sorry for the grammer/spelling errors and I hope this entry has stirred positive self-improvement in your mind. Thanks for reading.

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  • User Profile Photo
    Patricia wrote: Wed Mar 12, 2014
    HI David,

    Thanks so much for your answer. It did come through to my email which I fill in on this shout out. But perhaps you cannot see the address:

    panthera@cox.net

    Could you send me specifics? Many of the outfits into which I have inquired do not state where one would teach and are not willing to give out placement information until after one has registered. It would be so helpful to find out how to be able to teach or assist with teaching at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya.

    I have not been able to navigate the ProWorld site well or find an email to use.

    Very best,
    Patricia
  • User Profile Photo
    DavidRaciti wrote: Tue Mar 11, 2014
    Hello PJ,

    I don't know how to respond to your shout out because I don't have your e-mail. I volunteered through Proworld. One of their coordinators (David Jackson) was who I communicated with to set it all up. If you need anymore info please leave me your e-mail address.

    Best,

    David
  • User Profile Photo
    PJ wrote: Mon Mar 10, 2014
    Dear David,

    I am interested in volunteering to teach monks English at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya. Could you tell me how to do so? Through what organization did you volunteer?

    Very best.