HannahKateWhitchurch's Travel Journals


  • 27 years old
  • From Brighton, United Kingdom
  • Currently in Bangkok, Thailand

In bangkok, preparing to go home.

All the things I've learnt from my amazing time in Thailand.

Lessons learnt of love and beauty.

Thailand Bangkok, Thailand  |  Jul 16, 2012
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I can't believe I'm going home today!!! :( :( :( I have been quite good until now, but i did have a mini breakdown this morning! So I'm sitting in my hotel drinking the last of my kiwi juice (oh my goodness do they have kiwi juice in england or do i need to buy a lifetime supply now?!) before I have to get the taxi to the airport. I'm not gonna lie, I feel quite sad, I love my family and I love my friends but I also have fallen in love with another country and a whole different way of living, not to mention all the lives that I have had the privilege of being a part of here.I have learnt so much from this experience and I hope it's all going to have changed me for the better. Oh dear... Now i have that song in my head from wicked (the musical) i really do believe that ive been changed for the better, but because i knew you, i have been changed for good... Ok chill out guys, the songs over! I was just trying to lighten the situation. Here in Thailand, I have lived a life that doesn't revolve around whether I'm looking good enough to leave the house. I haven't had to wear a slap of makeup to feel worthy or acceptable. My somewhat distorted perception on real beauty has changed. Beauty is nothing to do with the outward appearance, rather it is what lies in the core of our souls. I have so much love for people inside me and that's the only makeup that really makes me feel beautiful. Love; another difficult thing that I've found hard to understand and accept. I once believed that love was romance, just a chance. I even thought that love was for the lucky and the beautiful. I once believed that love was a momentary bliss but love is more than this. With arms wide open; a heart exposed; this is how I know what love is. (misty Edwards) I can't get over those words, they have been like a cry for me for a couple of years as I struggled to understand how anyone could love me for my facial imperfections and my evidently nutty nature. In Thailand I have probably been told I'm beautiful in the past two months more than I have done in the rest of my life. I was sitting in a tuk tuk once with mel and We had just negotiated with the driver a much cheaper price than what was normally required to get us where We wanted to go. As We sat down he said, "I do for you because you are beautiful" I just laughed it off not really taking much notice and then throughout the drive we started talking until he stopped the tuk tuk and said "you are beautiful here(pointing at our bodies) but you are so much beautiful in here" he pointed at his heart. I don't know how but being around the girls and being in this culture has moulded my heart to not only unconditionally love others but to receive it. I would like to think I have always been quite accepting of people but in all honesty that was on such a shallow level. I was accepting of people because of their appearances whether they be disfigured like me, or whether they dressed differently to me, whether they were of a difference race or religion, whether they were gay/straight or bi, whether they were poor or rich; all the outward things i was accepting them for because i knew how it felt to be different and feel like the minority. The problem was i had not been accepting enough of those who I found hard on the inside. This is yet another lesson that I have learnt-to love those who push your buttons and to love those even when it hurts and everything inside your head screams no! I know its corny but i guess Love really does conquer all. I've also learnt that the simple life is what makes life so much easier and I can honestly say I would drop a night out any day for a simple kiwi juice and some live cultural music. I've been brought up with everything and more than what I need, but what really matters to me is my friends and family. Whilst I've been here I haven't thought to myself... I miss my car or I miss my bed, if I missed anything it would be the people in my life at home. So I guess that's the moral of this chapter to my life... I have so much love inside me and I love people! I am so grateful for the people in my life whether they still be with us today or not. I have the best friends a girl could ever wish for, who have always stuck by me and have loved me for my imperfections. I have a family that love me and with each others support we get through everything! (we are whitchurches after all!) I have had an auntie who has been the best thing since sliced bread, i know ive mentioned her alot recently but i believe its important to acknowledge where this love came from. Most importantly for me right now, I have an amazing group of girls here that have totally touched my heart. Of course, i do hope that i have in some way positively and effectively influenced their lives, even if it be just in a small way. Some people think of us volunteers as heroes, I am no hero. I know who the real heroes are. I can't fathom what they've been through, in fact it makes me so mad to think about it that I would cut off both my legs to stop this happening to another girl. But these girls that I'm talking about are the most loving, giving, hilarious, creative and utterly beautiful little darlings I have ever met. These girls... They are the heroes. They are the ones that get on with life and live in the moment like nobody had ever hurt them before. I am so thankful to kaya, they have supported me so much and given a lot of their time to make this the best experience ever for me. If anyone reading this is considering going on a project through kaya, I would strongly recommend it, they have a fantastic team who are efficient and genuine! Or they could secretly hate me for how much I've pestered them with my intense excitement and tears over the past few months! ;) I was never a child that grew up dreaming about getting married or having my own children, even now it's not appealing to me... Sorry guys! To be honest it slightly scares me! Just think how nutty my kids would be! Anyway, I used to dream about the children that I would adopt and how I would bring them up. It probably sounds crazy to some of you but if you ask my mum she will likely tell you how I used to pester her to adopt a younger sister for me! ;) I know I'm really good at writing morbid journals but this has a positive ending.Although I leave Thailand sad about who I leave behind, I'm also excited because I know now that my dream can in fact one day be a reality. This chapter isn't closed yet because I know one day I will come back, I don't know when but I know I will. I was never considered an academic at school, I only flourished in creative subjects, I used to think that I was stupid. But I know now I was just not built to be the queen of all knowledge! So to all the teachers that had little faith in me, you were right, I wouldn't go very far ACADEMICALLY! But I did go to Thailand and the thing I needed more than academics was my creativity! I''m sorry that this might come across big headed but I wouldn't change being the creative, nutty, melancholy, deep, loving and sociable person that I am today for anyone! In addition to this, I'm ready to come home and love you all even more than I did before I came here because I know how to now.As for Cosa, you have given me the best 6 weeks of my life so far. You have taught me to be open-minded, live life on the simple side and above all To just LOVE...If you are reading this and considering this project, I could guarantee that you will find it rewarding, as long as you have a heart and mind that's open! Go for it!love love LOVE and more LOVE! Until the next trip... ;)HK xxxxx

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    MiraMoore wrote: Mon Jul 16, 2012
    Aww H-K what a lovely final (for now) journal - you nearly brought a little tear to my eye then! I'm so pleased that you had such a good time and gained such a lot from your experience.

    I think you should send the link to this journal to all of your teachers who didn't think you would go far!

    I'm a bit sad that I won't get to read any more of your journals for a while as I love reading them, they're always so entertaining! I may also never know what happened to Tom and tailless Jerry in the end!!

    Speak soon :)
  • Lessons learnt of love and beauty.

    July 16, 2012
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