Eliot, Outbound to Thailand

So far I have been here 4 months and I have just switched host families. It has been a big change not just in families but also in location. My first host family was really far away from the city in the middle of nature. Now that I moved I realize how much I miss that, those peaceful bike rides through the woods. Luckily, I can still go there on the weekends if I miss it too much. In the city everything is so close, but it is always busy. My host families are also completely different. My first host family was in a big house where it was only me, my host mom and host dad. Most of the time my host dad was out working so it was just me and my host mom. It felt sorta lonely until I went out exploring. I feel that my new host family is completely opposite. I live with my host mom, dad, sisters, grandmas, and grandpas. It is a big family in an average house. So there is always something going on or something to do. Also, you can take the buses pretty much anywhere. I feel that since I have been in Thailand I have changed so much. I remember at the airport when I first arrived, how I acted and who I was. I had somewhat low confidence but I would try to hide that by trying to be funny or just acting along. Now I have a lot more confidence and because I am not spending my energy to try to hide that I and a lot happier as a person. I have been pushed so far out of my comfort zone that now I have a completely different view of not only myself but the world around me. What I would say pushed me the farthest out of my comfort zone is the people. I am always being stared at. It starts from the moment I walk outside, everyone is looking all the way until I get home after school. Now, I don't mind it, but it made me feel like I was always being watched. The part of me that was trying to hide my low confidence could not keep up with being watched 24/7, so when my low confidence did show, it made me realize no one cared. No one was judging me, everyone accepted me as who I was. So because of that my confidence in myself grew a lot. At school I still sometimes feel lonely because everyone talks so fast. By the time I understand one thing, another thing has been said. So I am always one sentence behind. I can understand but I can't add my thoughts so even though they are my friends I feel lonely and left out at school sometimes. That feeling has pushed me in trying to learn more Thai, and I believe will really help me push past the learning curve. All in all, I am so glad I have gone on exchange. Like anything challenges have been presented and I have had to overcome and adapt to them and the culture. As a result of that as a person I have changed for the better. The most exciting thing is I am just half way through, and I know I will still change much more in the next few months.

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