I'm going to Asia!

4:01 PM

“Biological family is too small of a vision. Patriotism is far too myopic. A love for our own relatives and a love for the people of our own country are not bad things, but our love does not stop at the border.” 

In December, I was sitting around with a few friends at a condo in Whistler. We all went to three different schools across two different countries, and we were all set to graduate at the same time. We had big plans for graduation; VEGAS, baby. 

8 months later, I’ve got that diploma, and I’m headed to Southeast Asia with a 25 lb backpack & a one way ticket. We ditched the Vegas idea.

Who are my traveling companions?
Rachel: We met on a sail boat when we were in 7th grade, not having the slightest idea that 6 years later we would be teaching sailing together (& BFF’s). Rachel’s a well experienced traveling guru & my sarcastic soul sister. (I’m secretly hoping I catch some of her Canadian accent, eh?)

& Jordyn: she’s proof that good things come in small packages. Coming in hot at 5 foot (something), she’s the spunkiest & most spontaneous friend I’ve ever known & as passionate about Thai food as I am. 

We’ve been a trifecta since we were 16 and in the past 6 years we’ve traveled long distances to see each other. We decided this year to travel long distances together instead. I’m so glad that they have inspired this journey & even more thrilled to have them by my side. 

BUT backpacking is only half of the story. In October, I’ll wave goodbye to my dream team and head up North of Thailand to the city of Chiang Rai.

When I was in Elementary School, I heard of an organization called Eden House. Members of our church started this home in Northern Thailand and I remember sitting in the church pews, hearing about how they were saving little girls from the sex industry and giving them a home. It does not matter how much time has passed, you do not forgot things that affect you, that make you feel. I was affected, and I wanted to go but I was 9, and my mother said no. But I did not leave that service empty handed. Outside of the service, there was a wall with laminated prayer cards. They had pictures & names of the girls at the home. I remember staring at the wall and reading each one carefully. I chose a girl named Ratana, because she was the only girl in the home that was a true orphan. She was only 11 years old and she did not have any parents. I didn’t think that was fair & figured that I should include her in my nightly prayers. 13 years later, and I still have that card & I still include her name in those prayers (The power of lamination, y’all). She is deeply written on my heart, and I promised myself that someday I would go. It’s a weird thing when the loose ends of your own promises come together. I am overwhelmed with the opportunity.

The next few months, I’ll try to blog periodically about the things that make me feel, that both disturb me, excite me and challenge me. I can easily become attached to my closet & my hair appliances, so I’m leaving them at home, taking only the essentials. Hoping I get lots of dirt under my fingernails & a good chacos tan. But mostly that I can find life through new perspectives & joy in living light.

I’m glad you decided to come along :) 

You can follow my life in a backpack through pictures on instagram: @mad_grams

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  1. ENJOY THAILAND YOU BEAUTIFUL LADY YOU. Give it a hug for me, would you? Miss you!