It’s true what they say about being able to discover more about yourself through travel. I mean—Eat, Pray, Love, anyone?
Discovering what exactly, however…I’m still trying to figure that out.
Everywhere in Thailand and Vietnam these past two weeks, it starts with my nationality: “Where are you from?”
On the occasions I don’t immediately give it away, I respond to these strangers—masseuses, taxi drivers, other vacationers—with my own small but amusing challenge: “Guess.”
Answers have included Thailand, Vietnam, China, Singapore, Japan, Korea. Others ask directly: “Are you Thai?”
But of course, who I am is beyond nationality.
Yeah, I would call what I’m experiencing an identity crisis. I feel that it has to do with the fact that I’ve never spent so much time with other people in such a short amount of time without having the time to myself. As a result, the human tendency to adapt to new situations in me has developed more than ever—resulting in a part of me that is unrecognizable to both others and myself.
My boyfriend and I joked from such a range of responses that I could be anyone—Thai, Viet, Singaporean, Hawaiian, you name it. But intentionally or not, have I been taking that too literally?
I’m not the person I was even a few weeks ago, let alone a few months. People change with unbelievable volatility, especially at my age. I think it mostly has to do with the instability and uncertainty inherent with our lives at this point. Having graduated this year and so suddenly moved to China, I find myself questioning who I am more and more often.
I don’t think I’ll find answers until my life is more stable, unless I can categorize this phase as having an identity crisis, for which I would be able to simply say I didn’t know who I was. I am a lot of things, but those things are only true for specific situations. Lost would be a more adequate way to describe it.
Yet, some things will always remain the same about me. After neglecting my blog for so long (so sorry, loyal readers), I reread some of my posts and found that the letter to myself about confrontation last month couldn’t be more true now. As much as I think I’ve changed and have been changing these past few weeks, I still prefer holding things in—until I find myself crying about needing to let it all out.
So who am I?
I’ll leave that for you to decide in whatever situation you find me in.
All I know is that my empathy levels have been off the charts lately—I can’t do anything without overthinking, overanalyzing. While traveling has made me happier than I’ve ever been, I think I’ve lost a part of myself only to find another.