As of writing this post I have only two weeks left in Malaysia.
I have been in Malaysia for 308 days now.
Simply put, this has been the best year of my life.
I can't fathom the fact that in a little over two weeks my life will be completely different (again.)
I think what I will miss most is walking downstairs to have a cup of tea and listen to my host moms Chinese drama shows or hear about her day. I'll miss how simple, liberating and carefree my life is here.
Once I return to America I have the hefty tasks of making up several classes over the summer, SAT tutoring, trying to lose the weight I've gained on exchange, re-adjusting to western culture and I'm sure much more I'm unaware of at this point.
While I have changed quite a bit during my exchange the biggest opportunity I have to change is once I return home. My host family has always stressed the importance to me that I show my family in America that I am a changed person, for the better. And I really do hope to prove to my family that I am more responsible, stronger, more mature and less self-centered since I last left a year ago.
*This, obviously, is a draft of a blog post I wrote but didn't publish before my departure from Malaysia.
I've been back in America for almost 7 months now. I have to admit re-adjusting to my life here was much more difficult than adjusting to life abroad ever was. The bitterness of not knowing when I'll get to see my host family and friends I grew to love abroad again weighed heavily on my heart for quite some time.
I'm happy to say now that I do have plans to visit Malaysia again, sometime during my gap year starting this summer.
From June-September I will be an au pair (sort of like the nanny version of an exchange student) to a lovely family with two young girls in Istanbul, Turkey. Following this new adventure I hope to return to Malaysia, spend some time with my host family, travel and volunteer. I have not yet forgotten the lessons I learned during my exchange, and welcome the promise of new experiences and lessons I will surely endure during my gap year.
As for my current American life- it's rather boring. My focus is on SAT preparation, school, online classes (still) and saving money for my future travels! I'm very excited to graduate high school this May and promptly leave for Istanbul (precisely 2 weeks after graduation- I'm not sticking around!) I may-or may not- keep this blog active to update my travels next year. Until then, all the best and Jumpa Lagi :)