My move to Bangkok; What I couldn’t prepare for pt 2

Now after some time of being away, living in Bangkok, there are a few fundamental, things I learned. In part 1 I shared why becoming part of a culture is a choice to me. This is part 2 where I will share what I learned about living in a community.

When I moved to Thailand, I was so ready to open up to new things at all aspects in my life. I was ready to be out of all the relationships and networks I had build in my life. To learn about myself, being out of my comfort zone.

Living in a community is real

Living in a community is something I took for granted my whole life. Community maybe sounds like you’re part of a cult or a belief or something strict. But what I mean here is the ‘hello’s and byes’ you say to your neighbour. Or the cassiere at your local supermarket with whom you always have a quick chat with.
And then I’m not even talking about your best friend who is just a bike ride away. Or your auntie who texted you if you’d like a walk at the beach this afternoon.

it’s this network of people and surroundings that you are 100% familiar with. With closed eyes you’re able to walk through the city center and remember where all your favorite shops are and where you’ll find the best coffee places. You know the best places to chill and see the sunset.

I took this for granted for so long. Until the moment I realised I would have these people and surroundings closby for not more than a month before I would move to Bangkok. With this knowledge I became aware of this luxury and I started to walk around the city every day. Looking at it in a different light a new perspective. Most of the time I would find everything looking so familiar and really appreciating this.  I enjoyed spending a lot of time with friends and family. I’m not good at goodbyes so I approached them as if it was any other visit.

Living here in Bangkok for half a year made me realise how happy I am with the community I am from. How important social contacts are, just any.

Here in Bangkok as you maybe read in part one of these series. I found it hard to connect. But the connections I’ve made as shallow as they may seem are worth a lot. The gym owner and his family and employees, the yoga teachers, the local fruit guy where I would stop by every day to buy watermelon and the receptionists at the apartment building I’m living.

 

Connection is of great value

Making friends unfortunately, being in my twenties doesn’t happen by sharing a new toy.

It takes time and energy. beforehand I knew I wasn’t here to make new friends. So my energy didn’t flow in that direction. But the longer I’m here the more I realise how I miss my friends and family and I’m cautious that i’m not developing FOMO.

I also realised that the smalltalk I have with my fruit guy, whether he understands me or not, is of great value to me. Like Brene Brown says so well about connection “I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” This to me, exists in something as small as a hello to my neighbour or a thank you when someone holds the door.

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Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can - Arthur Ashe