Variations of Home

I curled up on a thai pillow with chamomile tea in hand and the show Firefly displayed on the screen before me. It oddly felt like home. Having watched Firefly with my brothers, the show was familiar, and the setting felt like a piece of home created. In my travels thus far it is interesting to find that one creates or results to what is home. What feels like home. What looks like home. As if the brain is trying to find some familiarity to cope with the present difference in situation. In struggling with getting my stomach to find a balance again, I was searching for something that was familiar. Though I think somewhere in my unconscious I needed to fill something. To the fill the hole of home when I did not feel good. And oddly enough, it was fulfilled. Fulfilled when I was not searching for it. Missing home is inevitable. But home for me now is in many places. Home is laughing through translations in a Karen village. Home is smiling at someone familiar. Home is heartfelt conversations about the constructions of life. But home will always be where my friends and family are. And one can never shake the feeling or understanding of where I have come from.

On Thursday we went into Chiang Mai and enjoyed a cup of coffee and chatted about our experience thus far. It was fun to experience the city in such a familiar way and know where I was. Friday we had a full day of classes in which I crashed afterwards. Sometimes I forget how my body just shuts down. I think in my head I thought it would not react that way being in Thailand, but it seems my body acts the same no matter where I am! So after a three hour nap, I woke up and enjoyed mango sticky rice for dinner.

Saturday perhaps was one of the most delightful days that I have experienced in Thailand. It was nothing significantly special or full of new things, but it was a day that I was reminded of the simple things and the wonderfulness of the people I get to interact with while in Thailand. Adele and I went into Chiang Mai to get weaving string for my final art project. I am working on a making a weaved jacket for my final art project. I did some gift shopping, and enjoyed hot coconut milk with tapioca in it. I was able to externally share my experience about practicum and come to more realizations about the things that I have been through. I could not help smiling about the wonderfulness of life. The bustle of people. the loud car noises, people chatting in all sorts of different languages, long lines at the best food places, good coffee from a man who cares about what you think and makes you taste it before walking away, a goldmine of fabric selections, too many colors to choose string from, great conversation, and the simplicity of an outing to the city. I am incredibly thankful for the things I have experienced here and am even more grateful for the conversations I have had the blessing of.

On the way back to Doi Saket, Adele and I discussed what home is. Even miles away we try to construct a variation of home. We set up our bed or room in a way that is familiar or comfortable. We strive to have some routine that is the same. We make food that is somewhat similar. We even try to do similar activities, like running or going to a coffee shop. New places may be new, but after awhile it seems everyone starts searching for a variation of home. Something to feel comfortable in, even if it is only for a little while. After being away from home the longest I have before, it is a strange feeling to catch myself doing something that I would of done at home. Even miles away I carry the same habits or routine mannerisms that help my body feel better and ease my mind. Travelers may seek adventure and new things, but to my understanding, everyone hits a point where they search for a variation of home. It may not be exactly how home is, but it seems close enough to satisfy the soul and to ease the mind.


Bethany Jane


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