Finding Comfort Outside Your Comfort Zone
When traveling to a new country for an extended period of time (in my case, a month and a half) you have some fears about whether or not you will be able to find comfort in your new lifestyle, and with being so far from the comfortable life you have become accustomed to. I have found that my idea of comfort has changed while being here, and that is for the better.
Around 5pm on most days we get massive thunderstorms that include not only breathtaking lightning patterns over the Mekong River, but also powerful rainfall that you can watch the neighborhood children splash in. I find comfort in sitting by the entrance of our home base (Moon River), and watching the storms come in, and roll out. Comfort is something that you make for yourself, and you can make it anywhere you go if you are willing to try.
I have found comfort at the restaurant Mekong Crossing, just a quick walk from Moon River, where I swear the Yellow Curry, is the best in the world.
I find comfort when I am having trouble crossing the street (the traffic patterns are very confusing) and a stranger stops the traffic to help give me space to cross safety. I find comfort in my morning TukTuk rides with the incredible Mr. Bhut, and how I get to see new parts of Kampong Cham when he takes the “scenic” route back after class.
I find comfort in the “good morning teacher!” that my students tell me every morning before we start our lesson, and the way that they are eager to learn. I find comfort in the staff at Moon River, and how they always greet me when I return after work, making it feel like home.
I find comfort in the company of my fellow volunteers, and how we push each other to be better teachers, while also finding new places to explore together.
New places, new experiences, new comforts
Where I thought I would find discomfort, such as new foods, new people, new places, I have learned to make my own comfort. I am lucky enough to get to share those comforts with the new volunteers who arrive, but I am even luckier that the city of Kampong Cham has shared these comforts with me.