Picking up where we left off.

When I started this blog at the start of the year I had grand plans of writing fortnightly, maybe weekly and doing short vlogs. Well, needless to say that did not happen! I have been immersing myself in this experience so much, that I have been too pre-occupied write about it! I have also realised that I am terrible at using social media properly! I think I have posted on my Facebook maybe 10 times since in the past 5 months. If I achieve everything I hope to do in my life, I think I am going need to employ someone to handle my social media accounts – my last post was on 20 January – terrible!

I Initially thought this one post could encapsulate the last 4 to 5 months of my life here in Bangkok – wrong! For ease of reading, I will split my enormously long post into separate posts about what I have experienced, month by month. If you would like to me to expand on anything, please send me a message and let me know 🙂

January – Lake Mac’s Citizen of the Year

Shortly after my last blog post I was named the 2018 Citizen of the Year for Lake Macquarie! I found out at 5:50am Bangkok time. My feelings were a mix of exhaustion and energy! I had a very funny reaction when the Mayor of LMCC, Kay Fraser, told me over Skype.

If you would like to watch my reaction, you can do so here. I was not aware that the Mayor was filming my reaction and she surprised me with the footage afterwards! The footage was shown at the Australia Day Awards Ceremony, and my parents and boyfriend let me know that everyone at the Ceremony had a good giggle at my reaction. It has been 4 months since I became the 2018 Citizen of the Year for Lake Mac, and I feel so grateful. Thank you again to everyone that sent me messages, I really appreciated every word! Thank you to my Dad for accepting the award on my behalf.

I am really honoured to be Lake Mac’s Citizen of the Year, and I cannot wait to fulfil my duties as Citizen of the Year when I return home! Home is something I certainly miss, particularly the air quality. Bangkok is home to 8.2 million people. It is no wonder that this year Bangkok rivalled New Delhi as the most polluted city in the Asian Region. There was a health warning issued for people not to go outdoors in early February, or if you went outdoors, you had to wear a mask. During this time I became horrendously sick and had 2 weeks off work. When I get home, I plan to go to Speers Point Park, lay on the grass and soak up the outdoors! Air quality has a huge impact on quality of life. Now, I will never take Australian air for granted again! Also, fresh tap drinking water – that is definitely a luxury in few parts of the world. Australia really is a lucky country.

January saw me settling into living in Bangkok. At first it certainly was not easy. I stood out like a sore thumb in the beginning! I then realised that I needed to let go of my western ways and adapt to the local culture here in Bangkok. That meant ditching my heeled work shoes for sandals (barely anyone wears enclosed shoes to work), wearing less makeup (it is so hot here it drips off) and wearing baggier clothes. The weather is hot all year round, even when it rains it is not cold, just cooler. The heat is sticky due to the pollution. The minute I go outside I start to sweat, not pleasant, but you get used to it. At first this was difficult, but you learn to adapt. For example, straightening my hair is only something I do on special occasions now. Once I straighten it and step outside and it begins to frizz immediately! Setting up my apartment also proved to be tricky! Having no car means the amount of groceries you buy, is what you can carry. At the beginning I made several trips to Big C and Tesco, which is the equivalent of Coles and Woolies. I also spent one whole evening just walking around Tesco and familiarising myself with all the brands and where the products are in the store – it was a lot of fun! This is also how I know I am an adult, I genuinely enjoyed looking around the supermarket, for 3 hours.

January also saw myself and the team settling into our roles as Youth Advocate for the UN. We were each allocated countries’ as a Global Partnership Associate for the 9th University Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS) which will be held at the United Nations in Bangkok, Thailand from the 1st to the 7th of August, 2018. Our task is to find emerging young leaders all over the world, and to connect them on an international platform at the UN. I am in charge of the NSW (Australia), Hong Kong, Macau, Brunei, Malaysia, Greece and various states of the US. In my Bachelor of Business, I majored in International Business and focused on Asia. I put my IB skills into play! We have internal KPIs of how many people we recruit individually, and once we obtain 120 Delegates, we can be considered for the Global Youth Award, which will be presented at the Closing Ceremony at the UN, of the 9th USLS.

That’s it for January! February will go up in the next few days 🙂

Yours truly,

Andy

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