Note from the editor: Romil Pineda is a YinD 129 Volunteer serving in Phichit Province. In this intimate article, Romil shares his reasons for adjusting his mindset and his lifestyle here in Thailand, and he offers a breakdown of his personal schedule to help guide others to do the same.
Romil Pineda, 129 YinD
After Maycation last year, I decided that something needed to change. Hearing stories of what I did after heavily drinking was embarrassing and expensive. When I arrived back at site, I had a long hard look in the mirror and asked myself why I was in Peace Corps. Wanting to be a better volunteer and role model to my future students, I needed to change my mindset. I stopped drinking for a very long time. I started exercising everyday and biking more and further distances. Now I’ve set some goals to reach before COS to keep me motivated to keep going further and further. Everyday is now a day to improve something new about myself, and I’m determined to keep this momentum once I get back stateside.
Now I like to start and end my day with a nice workout followed by some cardio, be it running, playing soccer, biking, or chasing a frisbee. Some of you might be worried about not having any time in your day to exercise, meditate, or unwind. What I liked to do was see how my day usually plays out in the week, make a schedule to see where any free time would be, and try to stick to it as much as possible.
While my story seems extreme, every single one of us is being drastically changed by this experience. There are many different challenges each of us will face, and each of us will approach them differently. I came into Thailand knowing how to exercise, but I never really had the motivation or a reason to. Maycation changed my perspective on my motivation for being here. Once I took the time to go over my reasons and think about what being a volunteer meant to me, I found myself happier at site, slightly less frustrated with my lack of Thai, and more willing to participate in events simply to see and play with my kids.
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