It has taken me a long time to fully grasp the idea that people come into our lives, even for just a painfully short amount of time, for a reason. Everyone I encounter knows something that I don’t and can add something to my life.
One of the influential people I have met on my travels that greatly impacted me was my host sister in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I was testing my abilities at learning and executing sustainable living on Pun Pun , an organic farm, and was graciously hosted by her wonderful family. We never spoke much, or really at all, because my Thai was even worse than her butchered English. But we forged an impressively strong bond over laughs and smiles. Mostly, shoe would laugh, kindly, at my attempts to navigate through a foreign cuisine, hang my mosquito net over my “bed”, and basically at anything else that pushed me outside my comfortable realm of first world living. In return, I would smile back, broadly and apologetically, which always prompted her to lend a helping hand.
I will never be able to shake the positivity that emanated from her on a daily basis. Or the tears she shed as I left Pun Pun, after the short week I spent living with her family. I found it incredibly fitting that in Thailand, deemed the Land of Smiles, I was able to create such a strong bond over just that, genial smiles.