A plastic stool in a small sitting area in a kitchen of an apartment in Yangon, Myanmar.

Some days suck. And for no good reason they just do. Don’t dwell on the bad days; though, or you’ll get sucked in for good. Sure, in a country like Myanmar a number of factors might add to the recipe for a sucky day.

Trying to do anything productive on the Internet. Not having a phone with service. Having to wade through a dirty puddle because it takes up an entire street. Buying instant coffee instead of taking a taxi because both are unnecessary expenses. Searching through pockets looking for extra cash weeks before payday.

The choices I’ve made in my life have led me to this point. Was it a good idea to come? Am I supposed to be here? I’m not meant to be anywhere else. Sitting on a plastic stool next to a makeshift wall made out of a door. Staring at an alleyway filled with trash and crawling with rats. This is exactly what I wanted. I have no regrets about my past financial decisions, only lessons to learn. So, cheer me on!

I’m here for a reason. I’m here because it’s a step in the right direction. I’m here to achieve my dreams. I want to be a teacher. I want to be a photographer. I want to be a travel writer. And one day I’ll look back on this experience and be thankful for everything it taught me. I already am.

Still, sucky days happen. They exist. The bad days are part of dreams coming true.

The bad days tell me I’m not quite good enough at anything to make a living off of it, yet. But, I will be. I won’t give up. I’ll take on side jobs to get by, to gain experience and continue to learn.

The bad days laugh at me because I can’t even afford shampoo sometimes. I have to use freebies from hotel rooms. At least I know how to be resourceful.

The bad classes make me feel inadequate as a teacher. What went wrong? What could have gone better? Why weren’t students paying attention? Why are students skipping class? 

The bad days remind me I’m surrounded by real poverty the moment I step outside, and yet somehow I’m not impoverished because of where I’m from, who I know, and the color of my skin.

Living in Yangon, Myanmar, is giving me the stories to document, it’s giving me the inspiration to see things differently, and it’s showing me how to be a better person, a better teacher. Don’t dwell on the bad days. You’ll get sucked in if you do. Go after what you want. Make your dreams come true no matter the cost. You can do it. I can do it. We can do it.


  1. You are brave. I am so proud of you. Is it possible for me to send you supplies or would that be pointless?

    1. Thank you, Ang! That means a lot. Sending supplies wouldn't be pointless, but it's not necessary. Your thoughts and encouragement mean more. I appreciate that you've taken time to join my journey for a bit. I hope you're well, friend! Keep flying!


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