I hate to have to do this, I really do, but the time has come to say goodbye. I know we just had an amazingly romantic holiday on Koh Kood, but the truth is I wanted to break this news to you easily. I thought that two weeks in an idyllic island setting would be the perfect way to do it. But then, when we were there, I couldn’t bring myself to tell you I was leaving, partly because even I wasn’t sure I wanted to go.
Perhaps I’ll get stuck on this island, I thought, and then I can stay forever and live happily ever after in love with you, Thailand.
But that’s not what happened. I didn’t get stuck. The weather was perfect, the ferry on time. I had no more excuses. I should have told you then, but I couldn’t. And, if I’m being completely honest with you, I probably wouldn’t have stayed anyway.
You see, I kind of have a record of this. For years I’ve been chasing my dreams, one after another, leaving those who are close to me choking in my dust. I’m a bit of a commitment phoebe, if you will.
But we don’t have to look at this as a bad thing.
In fact, I might never have met you if it weren’t for my fear of commitment. The world was open to me when I first began looking for jobs, but you reached out your hand and said, “Come. I’m only asking for six months, and if you don’t like me you can leave.”
Fair enough, I decided. All those other countries are being greedy, asking for a whole year when they know I’ve never given anyone that kind of commitment. But you understood me from the very beginning.
After our first heartfelt breakup, however, I thought I was ready for a bit more serious commitment…though not with you. With the confidence you instilled and your blessing, I signed up for 10 months with China (an entire academic year), and well, we all know how that turned out. (If you don’t, read about my allergic reaction to China here.)
But again, that lack of commitment led me back to you – my first love. It’s been a wonderful rendezvous, but let’s face it, you knew when I returned on a whim that it wouldn’t last long. I didn’t give you a date, but an approximate end to our relationship was definitely discussed.
I wanted to make this easy for both of us, by keeping my guard up and not falling too hard, but I failed. Miserably. Goodbyes are always hard (believe me, I speak from experience) but I have to do this for me.
However, I should tell you I’m terrified of the two-year commitment (2 YEARS!) I made with Colorado, USA. I’ve already signed up for classes and got a new job at university, plus plans are in the making for my big move. And the reality of it all is so much scarier than moving in with you, simply because I’m afraid that being stuck in one place will feel like a small hell when my traveler’s itch strikes again.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about this new partnership – Colorado is almost as handsome as you are – but that commitment thing is hovering over me like a wet blanket. I lasted only four months with the last guy (China, in case you lost track at home), and you’re my longest reigning relationship to date, at seven whole months, plus an extra two a year later.
I’ve never even kept a job for longer than one year – and Starbucks doesn’t count because, like you, I quit him several times and continued to return (hey, the number thing…). I thank you for taking me back, and not ever making me feel guilty for exploring other countries before I did so. You really are amazing.
On Monday, I’ll fly back to China for one of those awkward pick-up-your-things-from-the ex’s-apartment situations, and two days later I’ll bid him farewell. You have nothing to worry about, honestly. He won’t even be getting a sappy letter from me because we didn’t exactly end on the best of terms.
I don’t think anybody will be surprised if I come running back to you when my toes begin to twitch with that special desire that only escape and adventure can fulfill. I have a feeling it will hit me as soon as Colorado starts to take things too seriously, with talk of the future and all that, so please don’t feel bad, Thailand.
It’s not you, really. It’s me.
It’s Not You, Thailand. It’s Me.