I’ve always considered myself a pretty healthy person. I try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. I do my best to stay away from processed foods. I don’t eat meat. I have fish about once a week, but no more. I drink alcohol, but not to excess (partly due to being an incredible light weight). I do yoga daily–doing my best to fit in at least 10 minutes on my busiest days. I meditate. I walk often.
Truthfully, I signed up for the Ayurveda Detox Retreat, because I was interested in the Ayurveda aspect. A few articles in recent Yoga Journal issues peaked my interest in the ancient Indian school of medicine, and I wanted to learn more. I thought that the detox would be an extra tidbit–and did I even need it? I was perfectly healthy!
Boy, did this retreat school me on this thought!
I wound up at an Ashram in the Catskills in Upstate New York after a 7 hour drive from the DC area. After stopping at numerous toll booths (despite telling Google Maps to take me the non-toll route–that scheming Map App!), stopping at a rest stop in New Jersey for lunch, another stop at a Dollar General in New York (when I realized I had forgotten my hair brush), a wrong turn, and a missed turn, I finally made it. And wow, was it beautiful. I was overcome by the beauty and the peaceful landscape. The Ashram itself was waking up to the world–the week I had my program was the first time it had been opened since COVID shut everything down in early 2020. However, the staff were working hard to bring it back into working order. It was perched on top of a hill with the perfect view of the Catskills. Plenty of in bloom flowers graced the land. There was a pond slightly further down the hill. A large garden at the front of the ashram provided many of the greens for our meals. Away from the main buildings, paths and trails through woods and fields dotted the land, some leading to nearby temples. It was such a peaceful place to be present in.
Continue reading “The Power of a Detox”
A handful of days ago, I was sitting in my friend Mo’s Bangkok apartment in tears. I had come to Bangkok for the weekend to celebrate the birthday of one of my TESOL friends; I had been so excited before leaving Nakhon Pathom for Bangkok–I was convinced the weekend would be fabulous. I recall thinking it might the first weekend in a long time that I’d be excited to go out with friends…
Well. It wasn’t.
Instead, I spent the whole weekend feeling incredibly sad. Incredibly homesick. Incredibly lost. While I watched all of my friends have an amazing time, I felt like I was only half there. I wasn’t enjoying myself and all I wanted in the world was to go home…and not home to Nakhon Pathom, mind you–but home to the United States, to Minnesota.
It was only when I broke down at the end of the weekend in Mo’s apartment that the clarity I had needed all weekend came to the surface. “I just want to go home.” I blubbered to my friends. “I don’t know what’s happening to me…but I feel so lost and sad and just want to go home.”
It was in that moment that my friend Sarah looked me right in the eye and said something I knew instinctively to be true: “Britta, you’re not happy here. You’re not even happy with us.”
Her words rang in my head: You’re not happy here. In a matter of moments, the state of mind that had made up my whole semester made sense. Truthfully, in the last few weeks, I had come to realize this. Deep down, I had known that I wasn’t happy in my current situation. I was afraid to admit it to myself, though, because I was so determined to stay in Thailand and live my life as an expat.
Sarah was right, though. She is right. I love teaching and I love my students, but I haven’t experienced a true and lasting feeling of contentedness in Thailand since leaving the emotional high of Chiang Mai. I come home from school at the end of the day and don’t know what to do with myself. I haven’t been successful at meeting Thai people here and more so, I’m finding that I don’t want to. When I do meet up with my TESOL friends, I find myself not wanting to do anything. I wouldn’t consider myself a hardcore partier in the slightest, but I do like to go out on occasion–and I have had absolutely no desire to do that at all here. I feel uninspired and lost and although I’ve learned so much and tested myself in many ways in these past few months in Thailand, my life has felt more lifeless than anything. There have been moments, yes–mostly while traveling with TESOL friends, but also instances at school when I had a really successful class or after I’ve had a great interaction with a local in my town–but they have been far and few Continue reading “My Pursuit of Happiness”
Made specially to
prevent sore throats? OR guile
in advertising? Continue reading “Business as Usual”
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I am currently sitting in my little studio apartment that I haven’t left all day because I have a cold…and I’ve been catching up on sleep… and just generally taking it slow today.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this week was pretty darn busy.
Thursday and Friday, classes were cancelled at my school for Boy Scout Camp. The upper elementary school grades arrived at school on Thursday and stayed over at school until today for camp. They participated in a lot of exciting team building activities, including a four mile hike into the rural areas around school (more on that in a later post).
The western teachers were expected to be at school both Thursday and Friday to put on activities for the campers. On Thursday (a.k.a. Thanksgiving day for all y’all Americans in the house), I was at school for twelve hours–from 8 am to 8 pm–and the night wasn’t even over yet by that time! I left in the middle of an elaborate performance that the students were putting on because I was too exhausted to stay and also had a terrible runny nose by that point. So, I spent my 2015 Thanksgiving Day at Boy Scout Camp at a Primary School in Central Thailand…who’da thunk? Friday was rough because I wasn’t feeling well and had such low energy. I ended up not helping much with the activities that the western teachers were putting on because I had such low energy. I left school around 5:00 Friday, got home, and didn’t leave my apartment for the rest of Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–The “Just a Little Sickie, Boy Scout Camp, and Loy Krathong” Edition”
Hospital. Next left.
Just in case. In the event
of Emergency. Continue reading “For Your Information”