We both feel like Asia, and Southeast Asia in particular, is one of those places that the moment you step foot off the plane your life will forever be changed. For us, in the beginning, Asia simply meant a way to break up the doldrums of college life and explore some place new (and even get college credit for it!). But by the end of our first week in Chiang Mai we knew we had not only made the right choice to spend 6 months there studying, but that from that time forth we couldn't just go back to how life was before.
We know it sounds dramatic. But honestly, Thailand and Southeast Asia as a whole, are just so unique, so lively, so special that once you visit and start to soak it all in you realize that life in other places just doesn't compare. Now, are we saying everything there is perfect, no. But is anywhere perfect? In fact, those imperfections only make you love it more. The maze-like markets. The lack of traffic signals but still easy to maneuver traffic (honestly, some major cities could learn from Hanoi's traffic). The fact that the best chicken we have ever had came from a guy on the street corner cooking it in a trashcan. All of these "weird" things just add to the appeal of Asia - at least for us.
Even after exploring Southeast Asia for 6 months we still know there is so much more to experience. Both of us left Chiang Mai a little (a lot) heartbroken. But we also both knew that our foray into Asia was far from over. So until we head back to the land that stole our hearts, we will simply have to dream up even more amazing adventures.