I'm not much for blogging. In the Xenga craze of 7th grade I thought it would be cool to give it a shot; I think I made it through about half a post before I felt too self-indulgent to continue. In high school I was too preoccupied with the daily dramas and chaoses that occur when you lock a thousand hormonal teenagers into one barely air-conditioned building. And in college I never felt I had time for such things, even though all four of the writing teachers I've had thus far have recommended it. So I think it may be a challenge to actually keep up with this thing, even when I have the strangest parts of the world to fuel my posts. But it's a course requirement for my travel writing class, so I guess that's one way to motivate an infamous slacker and introvert into sharing his feelings and experiences with the online "community", whatever that is.
Everyone keeps asking me why Thailand? Isn't that a little crazy? Don't most people go to Europe or something? That essentially is why I picked Thailand. I wanted to go wherever people usually don't, wherever things would be most strange and unfamiliar, wherever I'd be most uncomfortable. All signs point to Thailand and its neighboring countries being the perfect destination. This could very well be a mistake, but I think the dangerous aspect of it makes it all the more exciting.
I'd be lying if I said I was ready to leave. I have no idea what's going to be there, so I can't exactly prepare myself for it. But that is not the cause of my hesitation. The strongest piece of my current apprehension isn't what's there, it's what's here: I love my friends. Some of them I'm worried for; I feel I'm leaving them at the worst possible time. Others I know will be here when I get back, the same as they've always been. The hardest are the friendships I've begun to doubt: people I love dearly who don't seem to reciprocate the efforts I put in. I hope things won't feel that way on my return. Regardless, I will miss them all terribly.
My family will be equally missed, but are less a cause of apprehension: I know they'll be the same, amazing source of love and support I've always had, no matter where I am in the world.
I sincerely hope I can bond with my group. Most people don't see this, but relating to others is often very difficult for me. I don't really know any of my fellow travelers, but I hope I come to value and trust them the way I do my closest friends now; we'll all need each other before long.
I could continue for quite some time to list my hopes, fears, and expectations: I hope I get some comedy material out of this, I fear burning to a crisp under the hot Thai sun, I expect a few hundred "oh shit" moments, etc. But again, none of these things are really going to matter once I step foot on that plane tomorrow. It's like the best of roller coasters: each twist and turn will be wild, new, unexpected. I might at times feel like I'm going to die, or at the very least, throw up. But when the ride comes to its all too soon finish, I'll just want to get back on.