Alone in Thailand Charissa Colorado, USA Part 2 - WirSindDu

LEBEN

Alone In Thailand

The emotional rollercoaster before moving
Part 2

Weirdly, after that tirade of suspicion, I was completely numb and emotionless for the last month and a half of the semester.

I definitely had a building deficiency of sleep from my Senior Design project, at one point I only slept for two hours in four days, but I think the cause was from being overwhelmed. I think so many changes and things were happening that my brain shut off any emotions I had.

It was so weird not feeling anything for that period of time. One of my best friends stopped talking to me and hated me and I felt nothing about it. I knew that I would leave all my friends from college, some of the people I loved most in the world, and didn’t feel the least bit sad. Throughout my entire graduation ceremony, a huge accomplishment building over four years, I didn’t feel the least bit of excitement or nervousness throughout the whole thing.

I bought my plane ticket to Thailand, one-way, and it didn’t give me the least bit of worry or excitement. People asked me how I felt about moving and I would tell them I was excited for a new adventure, but it was a lie. After my graduation from Oklahoma State University, I moved all of my possessions down to Houston, Texas to spend my last month in the United States with my family.

We spent Christmas in California with my Mom’s side of the family.

My Dad talked to me privately and told me they didn’t want me moving to Thailand. My aunts kept asking my Mom how she felt about me moving to Thailand and she would tell them that the thought of it “made her want to throw up”. I made it all the way through Christmas still feeling nothing but a twinge of guilt for making my parents feel this way. We traveled back to Houston, 5 days until I left for Thailand.

The days before I left, my mom and dad both got really sad

They had asked me several times not to go, telling me I could still back out. My mom just looked depressed when she looked at me. She kept saying she was mad at me for leaving. You could just see the misery on her face.

Two days before I left, just like that, all of my emotions came flooding back. I realized I was going to be all alone in a new country. If something bad happened, I’d have no support system and no one to rely on. If I got sick or hospitalized, no one could take me. If something happened to my family, I’d be a 26 hour flight away. Time zones are opposite, so I wouldn’t be able to call my family all the time like I had in college.

I had incredible friends at OSU, friends I could depend my life on, and I realized how much I would miss them too. I’d have to start all over. I had nobody in Bangkok. All my life I had been encompassed in love and support and now I was leaving all of that.

I had dinner with my parents the night before I left, and I began to cry.

This is a big deal because I never cry in front of everybody, not since I was young. My family is very Norwegian in this respect; we do NOT show emotion. I had it in my mind that if they asked me again not to go, I was going to say yes. I would stay in the U.S. But instead, shockingly, my dad told me he thought I would love it. He said that I was going to be lonely when I first got there, but it would be the experience of a lifetime, and talked me through my fears of being alone. However, my mom said nothing. I don’t think she could, I think she would have cried. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I went to bed still very upset but feeling somewhat comforted.

The day I left, January 5th of 2018, my flight was scheduled at 5 p.m.

The day I left, January 5th of 2018,  my flight was scheduled at 5 p.m. That day was some of the most emotion I’ve ever felt. I saw both of my parents cry when we prayed together before I left. That shook me to my core, as I’d never seen my dad cry before. They asked God for protection, support, love, and for guiding me down the right path. It made everything so real.

 

Tears just kind of went down my face as I laid down in the back seat for the hour long drive to Bush International Airport. I arrived at the airport with my mom, she walked inside with me to drop me off, once again I was ready to back out of grad school and stay if my mom asked me to. To my shock, she also told me she thought I’d have some of the most fun I’ve ever had. That I’d love it. I was secretly hoping she would ask me to stay so I could say yes and have a reason to stay. My parents gave me the right words at the right time, without them I never would have come to Thailand. Mom hugged me and left me to go through security.

My 30 Hour Journey

I went and I sat in the airport terminal. My first flight was to Qatar. I sobbed in the airport. I’ve never publicly cried in my life. People stared at me sobbing but I didn’t care, I just let it all out. I still considered backing out. I told my best friend from college the way I felt over text. She called me and gave me words of encouragement for 15 minutes, telling me I was the only person she thought could do something like this. It was the pep talk of a lifetime. It gave me enough strength to get on the plane. I just had to comfort myself saying that if I truly hated it, I had saved up enough money to easily enjoy Thailand until my visa ran out and fly back home after all of my money had been spent. Knowing that it didn’t have to be permanent if I didn’t want it to be gave me even more strength.

I calmed down during my flight.

An old married couple in front of me reminded me of my parents. They told the girl next to them how they were from Texas but were currently living in Qatar, and spoke of how they moved often, just as my parents had. It comforted me. I remained calm the rest of the flight.

My next flight was to Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Once I arrived there I had a 9 hour layover. All of my previous fears started running through my mind again: I started freaking out like “What if my professor is actually a sex trafficker and sells me into slavery?” at which point I’d have to comfort myself saying he had a good job at the school and there’d be no way he could do both. Then I thought things like “What if he hacked the school website to lure innocent girls in and my university doesn’t know about it?” at which point I’d think, “You’ve talked to the dean and other verified school email addresses, there’s no way he could go that deep.” And then I was like “What if it’s a giant conspiracy and the whole school’s in on it?” and I had to remind myself that I’d applied for their program, they didn’t seek me out and they were a legitimate organization. I think I need to stop reading so many conspiracy theories. I’d packed some pepper spray that my friend Abby had given me for my going away present and just figured if I went down, it wouldn’t be without a fight.

Eventually my pepper spray security wore off.

To calm myself, I started thinking of escape plans. Like, maybe I would rent an AirBnB near my school and ditch the people my professor was sending to pick me up. Then I could sneak there the next day and peek through the window to see if my professor was evil or not.  I thought of all the excuses I could make so that they wouldn’t come pick me up. I eventually decided that I would take a look at them at the airport and decide if I trusted them enough to get in a car with them. If not, I would bolt.

 

I got on the plane to Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok.

During this time I realized I didn’t even have the resources to bolt if I wanted to. My phone was dead, I didn’t know anyone in Bangkok, I didn’t even know how to get to the school. This worried me.

to be continued...

Charissa Enget

Hello, I am Charissa.
I moved from the United States to Thailand
after completing my degree in Mechanical Engineering
to pursue my Master’s Degree.
I am the girl obsessed with Thailand.
You can read more about me on my blog.

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