23 years old from Westport, CT
Her 5am arrival at the hotel on our first night indicated not a lack of planning skills but rather an easygoing demeanor and penchant for going with the flow. In fact, Liz reminds me a lot of my former roommate from Sydney, Clothilde, in that she couldn’t possibly be kinder, more agreeable, and open-minded.
She came here from India, where she spent time working in Bangalore for an NGO. The organization was involved in issues including environmental sustainability, education, and women’s empowerment, but Liz quickly became disappointed with her role there: “I was excited by their mission but they were unorganized and lacked the funding to complete projects.”
Travel has always been a goal of Liz’s. She decided to go to a tiny liberal arts school in Baltimore because they offered her the opportunity to study abroad first to Tanzania then India. She’s been to about fifteen countries now, but India remains her favorite: “I loved the hospitality – the sincere warmth. I met such wonderful people there who made my experience more intimate.”
When comparing India to Thailand, Liz seems to be surprised that things are more developed here. People drive [somewhat] within the lanes; cars actually let you cross the street and don’t honk at you; people don’t stare at you as much; and she can feel comfortable wearing shorts in public. But damn does she miss cheap Indian food!
Liz values the experience of living in a foreign country as opposed to vacationing there because it offers her the chance to see what the locals see (we’re very much in agreement here). The “chaos of the Indian culture” was intimidating, but the challenge of adapting, Liz says, was also exciting.
In college, Liz devoted to her time to her Peace Studies major. She feels deeply passionate about working with people in the future, hopefully through development and social work.
“Being in India for a while showed me how important education is to reform society. There’s a need for education not just with children, but with adults as well.” She observed as people thoughtlessly tossed garbage into the streets. She saw young women being forced to marry older men.
Liz dreams of making a difference.
She decided to get her TEFL certification because she’s inherently interested in education. “It’s a new experience that will open the doors for other possibilities.”
For now, Liz is teaching English at the secondary level at Kasintorn Academy in western Bangkok somewhere kinda far away from me.
I’m going to miss cohabiting with Liz. I’ll miss sitting on our respective beds in comfortable silence, typing away on our computers to other worlds, but reconnecting in between mouse clicks to remind each other we’re in Bangkok – let’s go outside and do something!!