Hi, friends! I'm starting a new tradition this year - a Christmas wishlist for Samaritan Creations! I'm so excited to see what we can do together. Here's my Go Fund Me page and a lil video with more about this fundraiser:
Go Fund Me: www.gofundme.com/sc-christmas-wishlist
You guys are the best. Let's do this! ps - if you're interested in donating but have questions first, please get in touch! I love Samaritan Creations and am always happy to talk about their work :)
Some faviroite memeories from my visit to Bangkok. Gosh, I love these people.
I remember sitting outside on the balcony at the beach last August in the heavy afternoon air, stress eating chocolate and crunching numbers on the calculator on my phone as it hit me that my plans to spend my fall volunteering in Bangkok might not work out after all. My flight was less than two weeks away, and I still had well over $2,000 to raise.
As I sit here typing, I’m finding it hard to grasp the right words to convey the depth and the sincerity of my gratitude.
I watched as good friends, people I’d met once, and people I’d never met, rallied together to support me. There’s nothing quite like the generosity of strangers to restore my hope in us, humans.
I want to share one of my most treasured memories from that trip with you. It seemed insignificant at the time, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot this year.
I was playing outside with one of the kids whose mom works with the ministry where I was volunteering. She’s a special kid and we’d grown pretty close. She picked a handful of weeds from the hot sidewalk and ran over to show me how “swy” (beautiful) they were.
There’s brokenness all around us. And a lot of beauty, too: the curve of an old friend's grin, the type of love that makes you feel like a giddy child again, the resilience of someone facing impossible circumstances. The strength of a woman who’s endured more pain than I can fathom, but who rises up each day in dignity and strength and love. The eyes of a child who has seen bad things, and still sees beauty in a handful of weeds.
There’s beauty in brokenness. In mine. And in yours. I don’t want any of it to go unnoticed. I want to dance in the sun and celebrate the fact that we’re met and heard and known and accepted exactly as we are.
You can read testimonies of the women I had the chance to work with here, more about the bar outreach we did here and here, and follow my adventures on Instagram as I get ready to go back to visit very soon! :)
Originally, I was planning to make a list of my top ten favorite travel moments from Thailand, but I just couldn't narrow it down. So, here are my top twenty; little glimpses into the country that stole my heart. I fell in love with my host family, the sweet kids, the women I had the honor of working with, the other travelers I met. One of my favorite quotes says, "You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place." These words ring true for me, and it's a price I'll happily pay.
20. Visiting Krasang and experiencing the slower pace of village life. Everyone we met was so warm and welcoming, and the fresh fruit was delicious.
19. That time we crammed as many people as possible into one tuk tuk. #SafetyFirst
18. Almost getting trampled by an angry buffalo. The kids thought it was hilarious how scared we were!
17. Recreating old photos of the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Right after this photo was taken, we got caught in the rain. (Read all about it and see more photos here.)
16. Making friends with travelers from Malaysia, China and Spain in Phuket. We had a wild ride in this speedboat after we hit some choppy water and were all completely drenched!
15. Snorkeling for the first time. I loved it!
14. Playing in the dirt with these precious kids. My favorite part of each day.
13. Becoming friends with these sweet, funny, all-around wonderful missionaries from South Korea.
12. Singing songs from Frozen in the rain.
11. Watching the kids light up when Daphnide bought them their own bottle of sparkly nail polish.
10. Learning new dance moves in da club during outreach. (Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of this.)
9. Falling asleep in the open air under the stars and our pink mosquito net.
8....and waking up to this view.
7. Rocking this stylish accessory. Smog is not my friend.
6. Getting a hug from Yaya the baby elephant after feeding her a Kit-Kat.
5. Visiting Sketchbook Art Cafe, where we spent the morning in tree houses having dessert and coffee as we doodled to our hearts' content.
4. Feeling like we were going to sink on the boat we took to this island during a torrential downpour.
3. Wearing matching elephant dresses, a gift from this sweet girl's mom.
2. Holding her as she fell asleep in my arms. (Read our full story here.)
1. I know it's weird to say one of my favorite moments was a sad one, but I love this memory. We were driving away from our host family for the last time and cried for an hour straight in the van. I'm so thankful to have friends who understand my heartbreak and share my passion for this type of ministry.
I've noticed that when I travel, the highs are higher and the lows are lower. In Thailand, I walked into some dark places, experienced the most excruciating heartbreak I've ever felt, and struggled with fear and anxiety on a daily basis. But I also formed some of the truest friendships, felt my heart come alive, and experienced God's love like never before. I know I’m in love with a place when it’s so hard to leave it behind. Thailand, I’ll be back someday.
Thanks for stopping by. A little about me — I have a latte each morning and drink about 7 cups of tea a day (I'm not exaggerating.) I live in Atlanta where I'm going to law school. I like long distance running and I love my city and I love exploring our beautiful earth. I believe in being vulnerable, following our passions & being free.
I started this blog to document and share my favorite moments while traveling. This is a place where I process my ideas, share the aches and joys of my heart, speak truth, and shine light on the beauty I see in the world.
I've realized that what I probably love most about traveling is the same thing I love about writing — the way it connects me to myself and other people. I hope as you read my words, you feel connected to our shared humanity.
Thank you for reading. :)
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