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Giving Thanks

I delayed my big move to Southeast Asia for a month and am leaving in two weeks, gulp! The extra month gave me more time with my best friend in Vancouver, and her new baby daughter. Honestly, I started getting nervous about the move and needed more time state-side.


It’s Thanksgiving weekend in the United States, and I’m taking stock of all the joy and fortune in my life – and most of it is because of the people in my life. I am so thankful for my community, and it’s hard to let it go as I move to Vietnam.


This fall has been a whirlwind and I spent two weeks with friends and family on the East Coast. Siblings, father, aunts, uncles, cousins, and nephews. High school friends I hadn’t seen in 20 years. New friends I’d met while travelling in Vietnam and Laos. And then one day in New York my brother, sister, nephews and I were driving home from the pumpkin patch, laughing and chatting as we pulled into my brother’s driveway and suddenly were sideswiped. The other driver t-boned the car and both cars were totaled. The ambulances came, we went to the hospital and fortunately we all survived. It reminded me how fragile life is and I should treasure every moment.


Now, I’m back in Seattle and saying endless goodbyes. I’ve already cried twice today as I’ve exchanged final hugs with two sets of friends. Lots of late night poker tournaments, marathon majong sessions,and karaoke at Bush Garden. Of course, Vietnam has poker, mah jong and karaoke, but I know it won’t be the same. In March 2010, I left Seattle on what I thought was an indefinite move to Vietnam (I came home in the fall due to my mother’s cancer diagnosis). This time around it seems so much harder, so definitive, so many more tears.


Although I’m sad, I’m also excited for my new life which begins with six months of travelling and volunteering in Southeast Asia. Yoga on the beach in Thailand, meeting friends in Bali, volunteering in Burma – many adventures ahead!

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