Because of COVID-19, my journey to Thailand was more difficult than I could have ever anticipated. The visa process was full of paperwork and consistently submitting documents. Within 72 hours of my departure, I also had to get a negative test result for COVID-19 and visit a doctor for my fit-to-fly and medical certificates. It all felt overwhelming at times, but in the end, everything was worth it. Staying organized and prepared with my paperwork made everything go smoother. Maintaining a flexible mindset also helped. I am naturally a planner, but throughout these last few months, I had to let go and accept the fact that a lot of things were outside of my control.
After a bittersweet goodbye to my family, I flew from DC to Doha, then from Doha to Bangkok, on flights that were roomier than normal. After a total of 20 hours in the air, I got through the organized chaos of COVID-19 customs in Bangkok. My temperature was checked twice, and all of my paperwork was checked at least three different times at the airport before I grabbed my bags and was driven to the quarantine hotel that will be my home for 16 days.
Throughout these last few months, there have been many days where I've asked myself, what am I doing?? I feel anxious and nervous, but at the same time, I couldn't be more confident or excited for the journey ahead. I hope that sharing my thoughts and photos through blogging will keep everyone at home updated on my teach abroad adventure and provide prospective teach abroad applicants with an inside view of my experience. At the very least, it'll be a record for me look back on later and remember this year abroad.