Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Best Summer I've Ever Had!!

            After flying 825.18 miles from Thailand and driving 125.90 miles from Kuala Lumpur (the capital of Malaysia), I finally reached IPOH, my home (Perak in Malaysia), with the population of 644,802, and my heart felt like it was beating out of my chest. I started to sweat with the hot June air blowing around me. Returning home again after 5 years of being in the US was not easy as I expected. In just one glimpse, all emotions were pulsing through me, faster than they had the entire time I had lived and studied in the USA.

            I had been many places in the States in the last 5 years and intend to travel to many more, but there always will be one place that I could never leave behind and will always stay with me - my home. There is no other place in the world that could compare to my homeland. No matter where I go or how long I stay, returning home is always the best part of the trip. Recently, I met my family and friends in Malaysia. It was heart warming and brought back many memories to hang out with them, while making a few new friends with the locals. My favorite part was camping with some friends near the beach, and hanging around the campfire. We were sharing stories with nothing but the fire and the roaring sound of our laugh keeping us warm from the hollow night. We had complete freedom to be as loud as we wanted and to do as we pleased.

            It was an exciting adventure for the month I was in Thailand. Having the great opportunity to study in a new environment is not an easy task - you must have a great deal of perseverance and encouragement. Through my Thailand study abroad experience, I had the chance to travel around and learn more about the Thai’s culture and language, especially their handcrafts and the spirit of their religion.  I saw architecture you can’t see in the States or even Malaysia. Through these trips, I have learned that I love traveling and learning about other cultures, histories and religions, and they have inspired me to travel more in my future.

Aside from this trip, the most significant thing to me was learning what friendship is all about. On this trip I was surrounded by my classmates, who’ve now become my closest friends. It helped me realize that friends are a varied group of people who help, comfort each other, and encourage each other (especially in a country where English was not commonly known or spoken).  The most fabulous experience was the trip to the Tiger Cave Temple (WatThamSua in Krabi). When I started on my journey climbing to the top of the Tiger Cave Temple, a sign stated 1,237 steps to get to the top of the mountain. I couldn’t believe how I could get through that!  Without my friends’ encouragement throughout the process of this entire experience, I wouldn’t be able to make it. 

            I also have learned a lot about myself while studying in Thailand. I have gained a newfound confidence in my own abilities. It is a great feeling to know that I am not completely alone in the world, and that I can succeed in this profession! Also, I have learned a lot about my own beliefs and perspectives of music therapy. While I was in Thailand and Malaysia, I was constantly surrounded by people with different opinions than me, and this forced me to examine my own beliefs. It helped me to have a firmer understanding of the way that I have chosen to view the world, and it also leads me to grow and expand my perspectives. No matter where we are in the world – amongst different cultures, religions and languages - I believe music will always bring us to be more understanding and respect others’ beliefs, helping to bridge the gap between our differences.

            Now, I’m back in the States. At first, staying at KU another year seemed to be a setback, but it has turned into something very beneficial for me. I am not only gaining knowledge that will take me further in my music therapy career, but have also gained a deeper respect and appreciation for countries and cultures different from my own. I have come to love traveling and learning about the different countries’ cultures, religions, histories, languages and the way of life. Now I am planning in the future to travel to as many different places in the world as I can, especially exploring music therapy in different countries. I would recommend to anyone searching for a new educational experience outside of the books or wishing to learn more about themselves, to travel to other countries and experience a different culture. It has turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I am already planning a trip back to Thailand, and I just cannot wait to explore more. Who wants to follow??? Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.


  1. Really its a big and leading in Music programs in Thailand. Thanx for sharing about Music programs.

  2. Wow! Looks like travelling really enhanced your personal well being. That would definitely be of great help to you in music therapy sessions. By the way, do you know a music therapy Perth?

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