During Raina’s fifth week in Thailand, she connected with family and friends back home, as well as explored Thailand further. Here are some of the highlights from the past week!

One of the community health home visits we did this week was visit this previously homeless mans’ new home and room he is staying in with extended family. The “home” was very open, sheltered by sheets of metal. The man’s current room was a stuffy closet with no windows and poor ventilation he explained. He has many roommates that like to stay up late partying, interrupting his sleep often. This was an interesting case because the man was saying he wanted to be homeless again. He doesn’t like where he’s living,but he also has the option of living in an assisted living home for free. When asked why he wants to be homeless again he said he enjoys the social aspect of wandering around Bangkok whenever and wherever he pleased. I can relate and understand that. However, it is nice coming home to a safe/clean place to live. The thought of moving into an assisted living home seemed really restrictive and “not fun” for him. The nurses spent over an hour trying to persuade him to consider moving into assisted living. A follow up with him will be in 3 weeks or so. I suggested the nurses maybe take him on a tour of some of the homes so he can get a better idea of what they’re actually like. They agreed this would be a good idea. His golden lab companion reminded me of my dog Lacey back home. He was really sweet, calm and just wanted to be close to people.




Self care this week was going for runs at the park near my house and FaceTiming some family and friends from back home. FaceTiming with Nick





I love listening to music and watching the sunsets at JJ park. Its a great place to wind down from work, exercise, journal and people watch. The park is 3km around and I usually do 2.5 laps and then go play on the old metal gym equipment. The equipment is old school metal machines. They’re not complicated to use but I’ve never seen them before. I can’t help but laugh listening to the squeaky metal and wondering if its going to break any second when I’m doing reps. They’re doing something though because I’m sore after! Also free gym membership? I’m all about that.

Komodo dragons at the same park where we released the live fish. Apparently a whole family lives here. These two were fun to watch swim/walk around. On land they waddle pretty fast!


We celebrated Buddha’s birthday on May 29th (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vesak). This was a neat holiday to see. Many people had the day off (including me!) to celebrate the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha. To symbolize these 3 events we went to a temple and participated in walking around a Buddha statue 3 times. It was similar to a walking meditation. We carried flowers that were made from banana leaves. I really enjoyed it. The flowers represent the fact that they will wither away after a short while; and so too is life subject to decay and destruction. You are encouraged to make a special effort to refrain from killing of any kind (AKA be a vegetarian! <3).

My host mom  also showed us this painting called the “Wheel of Life”. This painting is used often to teach people the basic teachings of Buddhism. She said that she took a 3 day class on the meanings of every detail in the painting. I got her SparkNotes version here: (if you’re curious check out this wiki explanation or google it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhavacakra). The different circles and segments depict that suffering arises and ceases as quickly and intensely as lightning. All things are interconnected and arise from conditions and causes. Focusing on the center of the painting there are the 3 poisons represented by the pig, snake and bird. The poisons are: ignorance, aversion/anger and attachment. When on the path to enlightenment it is important to be aware of these feelings. The second circle from the center represents our choices and karma. Every action will lead to a positive (light) or negative (dark) outcome/reaction. You always hear people say “what goes around, comes around”. That is clearly depicted here.

The black demon basically symbolizes time. Time is always being eaten away…especially when a person is being selfish and constantly living in a state of ‘me’, ‘mine’ and ‘I’. As Jay Shetty says: “life teaches us to make good use of our time and time teaches us the value of life”. I love this! Check out his video “Before you Waste Your Time”. It’s a great reminder to live everyday with intention and purpose. Why do you choose to do the things you do that fill up your day? https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vPaS85IA6oY

The commute on the trains is usually ridiculously crowded. I can’t help but take a step back and move aside when people are trying to get this squished on a 45 min train ride. I’d definitely rather wait 5 mins for the next one. It’s a good reminder to just breathe and slow down. Some people say its “Thai time”. Its acceptable to be a little early or a little late. So with that motto in mind…I usually just wait for the next train.

I know I’ve showed this scene before, but I can’t get over how pretty the skyline looks from the train platform (I did add a star filter on the bottom photo :)).

Made it to my first Sky Bar this week. The view was pretty breathtaking! I met up with a new friend, Julie. She’s actually a relative of one of my Dad’s best friends and he put me in contact with her. She came to Thailand for a solo trip. Julie and I had a blast talking about our travel experiences (she’s been bungee jumping in Africa!) and now this next week I’ll be joining her on a jungle trek in Khao Sok National Park. (Another example of networking with who you know!)

I went to Ayutthaya with my roommate Hannah this weekend. It’s an ancient city with temples and ruins of royal families. We had quite the adventure. We made the amateur move of misreading train destination signs and ended up missing our first train. Two hours later we finally made it to Ayutthaya. Following paper maps and whatever way we felt like turning we found 3 out of the 6 temples. It was 90+ degrees so we were drenched but the scenery of lush green parks and temple ruins were pretty motivating. Merging and biking along with traffic was a little intimidating and stressful, but as long as you pay attention and bike defensively you should be good (haha). At one of the temples we saw a monk blessing a family. We observed and were about to leave when he invited us over to get blessed as well. He gave us each a bracelet (which actually fell off today! :() and then showered us in water saying another prayer. Before we left he suggested I take a photo! I don’t feel like that is a common thing for a monk to suggest, so I was stoked to take a photo with him. Our last temple we got to see part of the sunset. We were a little rushed because we had to catch the train home and return our bikes. After getting lost, asking around and stumbling on the alley where we returned our bikes we made it across the river to the train station with 5mins to spare. Sometimes I like the feeling of getting lost because you feel so accomplished when you figure out where you’re going. It makes the whole journey more fun. The day was kind of a whirlwind, but Hannah and I went with the flow and ended up where we wanted to be at our own pace.

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Posted by World Endeavors on    June 8, 2018

Put yourself out there! TM

World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.