I went to Thailand this summer. While I didn’t get to see Bangkok or Chiang Mai, I did see Phuket and Khao Lak. Khao Lak is a city on the Indian ocean side (I crossed off another ocean) that was greatly affected by the 2004 tsunami. In fact, Khao Lak had to be mostly rebuilt. We stayed at the beautiful Le Meridien Khao Lak property, in a villa no less! Thanks, #SPG!
I found the people of Thailand to be warm and genuine. Their food is delicious and the weather is divine. My brother and I went during off-season, but it was still a wonderful, albeit rain-soaked, experience. Here are some of my Khao Lak tips:
Go on an elephant trek!: Make sure the company you use treats the elephants with respect and love. Not all companies do.
Khao Lak town: Make time to visit Khao Lak town. There are some good restaurants (and a McDonald’s if you’re not feeling too adventurous). Explore everything the town has to offer. Odd fact: lots of eyeglass companies (like Pearl Vision equivalents). We couldn’t figure out why…
My favorite part of Thailand, though, was the wonderful beaches and people. Please go! It’s a great country.
I got to thinking about fitting in. Do you fit in with others? Have you always? Or never? Creative people don’t always fit in, or feel like they can fit in. After years of feeling like I didn’t fit in, I’ve come to understand something: you don’t have to fit in. It’s okay to be a loner; introversion is how we creatives get out our emotions. The best thing to do is write about it. Write it all down. Paint it. Act it out. Just do something creative. That’s fitting in, too.
I got to thinking about the UN campaign, HeForShe. Emma Watson spoke on gender inequality at the United Nations a few weeks ago. It was an inspiring speech, an eloquent speech. I never considered myself to be a feminist, but Ms. Watson brought up an interesting point: inadvertent feminism. I am an inadvertent feminist. I believe in gender equality; I believe that women should be paid as much as men. Really, though, why aren’t they? It doesn’t make sense. Why are women treated differently? HeForShe is starting a conversation; everyone is invited to participate, including men. And that’s what’s inspiring. We all need to be involved. We can all be feminists. We can all make change. #HeForShe. Here’s the video, watch it!
I got to thinking about Greek life. I was in a sorority. And I’m not your “typical” sorority girl. You know why? It doesn’t exist. You cannot assume that just because someone was in a sorority or fraternity that they fit a certain mold: vapid, constantly drunk, rapist, materialistic, dumb. Those are degrading stereotypes, and frankly, NOT true. Let’s try this: don’t mock someone for their Greek status. Being Greek has given me a lot: friends, confidence, something to do on Friday nights, sisterhood… and I wouldn’t change anything for the world. I know that being Greek isn’t for everyone, just like math club or drama club isn’t for everyone, but if you’re lucky enough to join Greek life, give it a chance. It’ll change your world. And there’s nothing more priceless than that.