Giving Thanks on my WorldStamp Journey
Tonight's host family dinner in Vietnam was extra special. Ironically, it was on the same day as Thanksgiving back home! Sure, it wasn't exactly like the traditional Thanksgiving festivities but I felt so blessed to be surrounded by delicious authentic Vietnamese food and most importantly, by great company; and that for me is enough to manifest what the holiday is really about.
As we sat there eating together, It hit me, we were at one table with five different countries represented: Germany, Spain, New Zealand, USA, and Vietnam! That alone is what Thanksgiving is truly about, sharing with other people, no matter their background. So yes, I was missing my family, but at the same time, how cool was it that I got to see a typical American holiday divulge in a such a unique way! As the evening progressed, we started talking about social topics, languages, culture etc. Major culture geek moment for me but this is a conversation that I will truly never forget! I know, you are probably thinking, "it's just a normal dinner where people are having a normal conversation." But to me, it was more than that, it was a moment of clarity and something that highlighted everything I have learned in my journey so far. We discussed intense topics, such as war and forms of government (current events) in a civil intellectual manner, as well as lighter topics, such as marriage and education. Sharing stories and hearing about the differences about every country reminded me once again how invaluable this experience is for me. It's amazing how something so simple can become an unforgettable memory. I think this was very impactful because for the time being, I was feeling so overwhelmed with the feeling of wanting to be in two places at once. It was strange really; I wouldn't call it home sickness, but a weird sense of nostalgia. I remember last Thanksgiving like it was yesterday, so again, I am still processing the fact that a full year has passed and never would I have imagined myself in half way across the world. Truly, the time has gone by in a blink of an eye!
With that said, I can conclude that I have acquired a new perception of time. Life does not slow down - birthdays, holidays, etc, will come annually, and it's our job as human beings to acknowledge these blessings. It is moments like tonight that serve as reminders to not let the purity of a moment pass you by. So altogether, I am thankful for life, culture, and overall this invaluable journey - I am going to make the most of my last three weeks of my WorldStamp experience!