Friendship and goodbyes: the best and the worst  

I’m leaving Thailand tomorrow, with no return date. And that’s got me caught up in a lot of emotions. Sadness, excitement, joy, fear…the whole gamut. 

But as I prepare to leave, I’m thinking most about the friends I’m leaving behind, and the ones I’m going to be reunited with when I get back to the states. And what comes to mind, more than sadness or excitement, is overwhelming gratitude. I am beyond fortunate to have a life that is laced with the joy of so many amazing friendships.

The past year and a half year has, at times, been incredibly difficult. As so often seems to be the case in my life. But it has also been so very wonderful. Through the highs and lows I have found myself surrounded with people who remind me why life is so good. And it’s not because it’s easy or perfect; it’s because it is full of love, beauty, and the joy of connection. 

And yeah. That’s a little bit cheesy. But I’m allowed to be a little cheesy every now and again. Because, truly, I am overwhelmed at how good life can be. 

I am grateful for friendship. And for so much more. For sunrises. For waves on the beach. For ice cream runs with friends and plentiful glasses of wine. For lightning storms on the horizon and mugs of hot coffee. For cat cafes and petting zoos and fruit shakes for a dollar. I am grateful for tragedies that shake me out of apathy, and for joys that keep me humble. I am grateful for foggy mornings, soft beds, late night conversations, and Sunday brunch. 

I am grateful for the chance to travel, and the chance to return home. But I am grateful most of all for the people who have helped me see the beauty in the world, and who have kept my head above water when I’ve struggled to do so alone. These are the people who ignite fire in my heart and make me excited to be alive. And for them, and this place, I will be forever thankful.

To my Chiang Mai friends: I love you. You have given my life unspeakable depth and joy. I’m going to miss you all.

Thailand, it’s been good. See you soon.

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