7 Months Away From Home

Weekend reading by the pool: Truth is a Strange Fruit.

I left the U.S. on November 4, 2010 bound for South Africa… and here I am in Thailand, seven months later.

Every single day has been an adventure, particularly given the fact that I told friends and family that I would only be gone for 90 days.  I went shark diving in Durban, au paired for three of the five months I was in South Africa and I experimented with baking cakes, cupcakes and any other pastry that even sounded like it might be tasty.  Then I completed a TEFL course and boarded a plane to Thailand.

To be honest, I love traveling.  I feel honored and privileged that  I’ve had so many opportunities to explore new places, new cultures, new people.  I’ve used the few Zulu and Thai phrases I know to get by when English didn’t suffice and I’ve sampled (scratch that, devoured) some of the best food out there.  Even more importantly, I’ve had a great travel companion/friend/boyfriend every step of the way.  He is just as eager to dive/jump/crawl as I am!

…And while I wouldn’t say that I’m homesick, I do miss my family and friends.  I wish they could all fly out here and join in the fun.  If I were a millionaire (in $US, ZAR or THB), I would have already paid their airfares and we would all be out on Phi Phi Island, diving and soaking up the sun.  Reality reminds me that I’m a teacher in Thailand, so the chances of ever becoming a millionaire in any of those currencies is rather slim.  Postcards will have to suffice for now.

And also some recognition.

-My sister, Hana: An awesome 18-year-old going into her sophomore year at UF with a 4.0 GPA and freelance experience with The Palm Beach Post.  She’s the family ‘rock’ and she deserves far more than she ever gets.

-My brother, George: Turns 16 in October and loves gaming.  I wish I could see more of his baseball games (he’s a great pitcher!).  If he gets it together in school, I know he’ll be playing baseball or soccer in college.  He’s a good kid and a very cool baby brother.

-My grandparents, Abuela and Abuelo: What would I do without them?  And why did I only start speaking Spanish to my Cuban grandparents when I was 21?  They’ve been there at every graduation; they’ve made various trips to UNC; they were there when I crossed the finish line at Ironman Cozumel in Mexico.

-My mom, Lourdes: Always helping me out, even now.  Driving 12 hours non-stop when I think a broken heart might never heal (and it always does).  She still sends me cards, no matter where I am, for every holiday (Valentine’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, etc).

-My dad, George: Hard-working and always finds a way to accomplish any task.  His pride in me means the world.

-My Aunt Shirley: I wish we had started talking this much years ago.  Definitely an inspiration in any/all of my baking attempts, although my work will never quite measure up to her chocolate cream cheese frosting.  …Or her chocolate cheesecake espresso brownies.  Mmm.

…And now I miss brownies.

But for the here and now, I am happy in Thailand. I think that missing my family allows me to love and appreciate them in a different way (without being too cliche) and I’m excited about receiving my first paycheck (T-minus 2 days!) so I can start sending gifts.

From Phuket, with love.



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2 responses to “7 Months Away From Home

  1. Lourdes

    I am so proud of you. I live vicariously through your adventures. I wish I could join you<3
    Keep posting your blog & I will try to keep my tears to a minimum. I LOVE YOU!!

  2. Shirley

    I will be playing the Powerball lottery tonight. It is $200 million! If I win all your family will be visiting. Keep your fingers crossed!
    I am soooo happy that we talk as much as we do now. You are not only my niece but a good friend and a great listener. I meant to travel at your age but meeting a certain someone distracted me. I do love to hear of your adventures! Grandma was always so incredibly proud of you. I am sure she is with you no matter how far you travel from home.
    Brownies will be on the way!

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