I often ask myself, what is my passion? How would I enjoy spending my life? What do I really desire out of life? There might be more life in me; therefore, I need to find my passion and follow it! I can’t give up on finding it. And this is a moment for me to move forward to do something bigger than myself.
Back in 2014, during junior year in high school, I decided to study abroad in Portugal for a year. Prior to studying abroad, I had no knowledge of anything about Portugal, which made it that much more interesting. I wanted to experience what it would be like to go to a place where I knew no one and would be completely on my own. I took a leap towards new experiences. I also have a thirst to wonder, explore, and discover. The challenges are clearly there and I have to pick them up. My views on growth is that it only occurs in a stage of discomfort. When you’re feeling uncomfortable it is something we should embrace. Because when you place yourself in new and unfamiliar situations, you can grow.
Portugal inspired me to find greater meaning in life and challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone. Living abroad also allowed me to explore more and taught me to roll with constant change. Studying abroad is not just a fun way to spend a semester or a year, but it is a key to achieve growth and exchange ideas across the ocean. My journey is all about having real experiences with the world beyond the border. This included being exposed to different languages, cultures, and societal norms than my own. I developed a habit of taking in new cultures and doing it by immersing myself into them. I have also developed an interest in learning the stories of other people, and getting passed the stereotypes and misconceptions that often divide us.This is why it is so important for me to tell stories about my country and show others that Thailand is much more than what the media say it is.
Once you touch the world, it changes your life forever. It is a type of craving that I find to be a never-ending cycle – the more I travel, the more I want to do it again. As I am here in the U.S., I am so grateful for all the opportunities that I have been given.
At the end of the day, I know academia is important. Building up my knowledge is wonderful, but education is really about is having experiences. Our experiences drive all of us to become more adventurous and more aware of the world. And this includes the world around me. My experiences have also made me more empathetic as I have become more observant and even listen more. I’ve gained confidence in exploring, creating, and learning, and I now bring this open-mindedness into my work and in meeting new people. These experiences remind me of everyday frustrations–when things aren’t going well–and how important it is to think positively and learn from every situation.
There are a lot of things around me that inspire me to do what I want and inspire me to get out of the bed every morning to get things done. A different location with different people and cultures will make you see things clearly again. Ask yourself, what inspires you? What excites you?