So I’ve alluded to it a few times, but now for the details:I’m traveling to live in Bangkok, Thailand for 3 months as a Rotary Peace Fellow, studying peace and conflict resolution with 25 other professionals from around the world. I leave May 29th, now just under two weeks! I’ve been preparing for months with getting a visa, creating a spreadsheet packing list, doing some preliminary research, and assembling compact, sturdy, multi-use essential items.
Of course, art supplies are on my packing list. One thing I learned from when I studied abroad in Santiago, Chile in 2006 was that, no matter where I go, the creative itch follows. In Chile, I ended up buying art supplies like scissors, paper, and colored pencils after I got there and realized something was missing from my life. This time, I am going prepared. I have on my packing list a compact set of watercolor paints, a few of my favorite paint brushes, clip on lenses, and a nice small set of colored pencils a friend gave me for Christmas. I also splurged on a beautiful cloth-bound square sketch book which will serve as my journal, which I am sure will be a mix of drawings, paintings, poetry, and prose. As part of the program assignments we have to keep a journal – so it works out perfectly.
I am planning to incorporate my journal entries and adventures into a series of blog posts here, so be sure to stay tuned!
Things I’m excited about:
- purposeful journaling every day, incorporating poetry and art
- sharing Chesapeake Bay/Maryland culture/art/life with people from around the world
- meeting new people from around the world with diverse backgrounds, interests, experiences, and perspectives
- learning about a whole new culture, language, region, history, people, and food
- getting a break from the daily routine here at home
Things I’m a little sad/worried about:
- never having been to, or even really studied, anywhere in Asia, I’m preparing for major culture shock
- missing a whole summer of biking, cookouts, sailing, camping, and happy hours here on the Chesapeake Bay with family and friends
Clearly the first list is longer than the second, so that’s a good thing! I am very excited to meet the challenge of finding a way to continue to incorporate art into my life, even so far away from home and my trusty Creation Station. I know that making and enjoying art is my solace, so it’s even that much more important that I stay connected 🙂