Bangkok, I shall be seeing you in 3 weeks…!
Following a few years of extensive travel and nomadic-esque existence, I’ve hunkered down in my new, cozy apartment over the past few months in San Diego. And a packed few months those have been, as I’ve realized the magnitude of what I need/hope to accomplish in the coming months and years. I’ve just managed to establish some sort of routine, which includes cooking in my new, cozy kitchen, doing laundry with a semblance of regularity, and juggling various optimistic to-do lists.
So, when it dawned on me that my next (and final) dissertation field season was fast approaching, my desire to cling limpet-fast to my recent stability redoubled. I have draft manuscripts to write! Data to enter! A research network to co-run! Proposals to write!
But, underneath all of that whining, I recognized that this field season would be a great experience (with a fantastic research team), and that it would also be my last chance to visit one of my favorite countries for quite some time. Also, it would be a short (~3 weeks) and relatively easy bit of fieldwork. So, I begrudgingly went about buying my flight today while taking a break from brilliant paper writing. (“FINE, I’ll go to Thailand, ok?!”)
Somewhere during the ticket-booking process, however, that spark of wanderlust that forever resides somewhere within me (perhaps near the pancreas…?) arose from dormancy. I actually started to smile. And when the purchase was final, my eyes lingered over those conclusive words:
YOUR PURCHASE IS COMPLETE.
Well, there it is. I’m going to Thailand! Soon! And I’m actually pretty excited! (I’ll let myself enjoy this rush of enthusiasm for today before getting bogged down in field prep details starting tomorrow). Dolphins! Research friends! Thailand!
On a related note, I’ve been squeezing in some Thai language study over the past months; it’s the most challenging language I’ve tried to learn (tonal, with a beautiful but baffling alphabet). A friend posted this link apropos of his quest to refine his Italian pronunciation, and it is uncannily similar to my attempts at Thai pronunciation:
A life filled with travel has its challenges – at times, I’ve even felt like I’ve had to put parts of my life on hold because I’ve been gallivanting about (though that’s when I’m in the most pessimistic of moods). But, it’s also a pretty amazing way to live.