Friday, January 27, 2017

Top Ten Things I Love About Expat Life In Bangkok #9 ASIA. IS. AMAZING.

Whether it's an unbelievable city skyline that never ends, roaming elephants, amazing waterways, ancient ruins or just your average tropical paradise... Thailand has it and Asia in general has it times a gazillion or so. 

Before we came to Bangkok I didn't begin to realize the creativity and beauty I would encounter from the buildings and places the remarkable people of Asia have fashioned. Sometimes as Westerners we can delude ourselves into thinking we've cornered the market on amazing man made locations. Not so my friends. 

Thai malls blow ours out of the water in terms of beauty and elegance. 

The Bangkok aquarium is out of this world. Never seen one to rival it. 

I've been to hotels here that put Disney top of the line resorts to shame. 

Now don't even get me STARTED on the remarkable natural beauty. 

It's breathtaking... 

And the sounds... 

Just stop. 

And the trees... 

And the water... 

And the animals... 

And the feeling that you've stepped into another world.

I really do love you Thailand, just the way you are.. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Top Ten Things I Love About Expat Life in Bangkok - #10

I could go real deep with ya here or we could get real. It's me so it's all about the real. COME OOOOOOON!!! Obviously the first thing I'm gonna say is THE MASSAGES! 

Cause SERIOUSLY! Amazing massages for an amazing price ANY TIME WE WANT is craaaaaaazy awesome. On demand, inexpensive massages make up for a whole lotta hard and stressful. 

Couldn't understand anything today? 
Get a massage! 

Possibly a giant lizard in your ceiling? 
WHATEVER! Get a massage and you'll forget about that creepy shuffling. 

Can't go anywhere cause driving is terrifying for you? 
Doesn't even matter cause you can get a MASSSSSSAGE right HERE!  

You see how this works? Massage makes 89.7% of everything in life better. 

Go ahead and add onto that facials, manicures, pedicures, false eyelashes, any kind of hired help for amazing prices and it can be easy to get spoiled rotten. 

Basically, when I go back to Texas to visit I now feel a deep massage void. Ha! Thailand life is good in the pampering realm! 

And all the expats in Asia said, "AMEN!" 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

My Alternate Reality Identity Crisis

Since my last post I've been back to visit Texas not once, but twice. Going back and forth has been so positive for me but also surreal. For me it still didn't make Thailand seem like a new normal or home. 

My life when I am in Texas and when I'm here are so vastly different it's hard to describe. 

In Texas I am one person. 

In Thailand I am another. 

For the kids they have school and activities. Russ has his job. They've found new normal I THINK. 

Me?? I still have my momming. :-) Yet, that looks nothing like what momming looked like before. 

This isn't necessarily a BAD thing. I think it has some very positive outcomes. It's a stretching and growing life experience. 

Looking back I believe this was a large part of my challenge in adjusting to Thailand life. 

I went from homeschooling 4 kids, incredibly busy, self sufficient, surrounded by friends and family, our house as a social center of activity, knowing all my neighbors, deeply involved in my amazing church, constantly traveling, adoption advocate, consistently connected with people I loved, free spirit, low scheduled, night owl, grain free, organic, dating my hotty hubby on a weekly basis, shopping for bargains and loving life girlie to... 

All 4 kids in school full time, very little I felt purposeful in doing, not knowing HOW to do ANYTHING, friends and family 24 hrs of travel and thousands of dollars away, unable to handle hosting many social gatherings and not knowing that many people, not knowing my neighbors and then getting to know them and them all moving, not having our church, still traveling but trying to stuff it into school schedules and it being places I feel much more clueless about, only talking about adoption when people reach out on Facebook, feeling excruciatingly disconnected from people I love due to the 12-15 hr time difference, very little room for freedom, highly scheduled, forced to switch to an extremely early schedule with everyone out of the house by 7am due to cultural norms with schools, caving to eating grains and sugars that mess me up badly because I didn't know what to eat and my foods were no longer available, dates with my hotty husband became few and far between because they require a driver and going downtown and leaving the kids alone in a foreign country, shopping meant realizing I couldn't fit into anything in Thailand since a size 6 is LARGE especially once I gained 17 pounds from said grain... 

This new identity isn't something I chose. It's something that chose me.

My circumstances here are so vastly different that aspects of my personality just, frankly, don't fit here. 

I have been forced to become different to thrive here. I have to be tougher. I have to be calmer. I have to move slower. I have to keep my mouth shut more. I have to keep my mind open. I must dress differently. Eating what I want isn't an option. My schedule is different. My activities.. really almost everything about my life... is altered.

The only thing the same about me here is the core of who I am. My character and belief systems and who I am quietly inside. 

I have had to change. I've had to accept that my role here is different in this season and that it's ok. 

I have had to accept that for ME there is, in fact, no new normal. 

For me Thailand is an alternate reality. I go to Texas and I step right back into my other Angel. I come back here and Thailand Angel settles in for the ride. I am forced to leave parts of my personality in Texas that just don't function here. 

Adjusting to Thailand has been one of the greatest challenges of my life and I believe it has made me better. Someday I will go back to being Texas Angel. Thailand Angel will be a part of my memories. But I have no doubt that this will be a time I will look back on with  sincere affection. I believe Thailand will become a period of time that shapes me. I pray that this Thailand Angel becomes a part of the Texas me and I'm better and stronger than I wanted to be. 

This alternate reality, this identity crisis is a challenging gift but one I'm grateful to receive.