It started before I even got to college really, studying abroad always seemed like one of the hallmarks of a well rounded college education to me. So, since my freshmen year, I have been looking for ways to study abroad while at CMU. It took some time to fin the perfect program, a free summer, the funding, and the arguments to quell my parents fear, but finally everything lined up and before I knew it, I was on a plane to Thailand. Why Thailand? I thought Thai culture was unique and had many aspects I had never experienced before, strong Buddhist ties mixed with the fact that Thailand had never been colonized made it very interesting to me. I had heard nothing but amazing things from friends of mine that had traveled to Thailand, and with Southeast Asia as a whole becoming a very important part of the world economically and politically, I decided it would be the perfect place.
With bags packed and classes picked I got on a series of flights totaling 18 hours and landed in Chiang Mai open to whatever was next.