There are so many artistic and creative experiences that I’ve had during this gap year, it’s hard to pick just one to speak and reflect on. From helping paint a sunset on our hostel wall in Koh Samui to the organic farm work in Oregon — I have learned so much creatively that has added value to my gap year experience.
The one artistic experience that I’d have to say resonated with me in particular however, would be that of Thailand’s temples. Whether I was in Bangkok, Krabi, or the islands off of Thailand, the examples of their beautiful architecture surrounded me always.
The reason the Thai architecture (reflecting mostly their religious values and views) resonates so deeply with me, is because it gives me an entirely new view on a culture that I used to be so unfamiliar with. As I’ve stated time and again, I consider myself an open-minded person. So, to be exposed to what I consider a form of art, that encapsulates a differing culture to mine, enhances my experience on this gap year trip.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that not too long ago, the king of Thailand passed away. This one event has caused the entire nation to go into mourning — something that I have never been able to witness firsthand. Even though it has been nearly 5 months since his death, the mourning continues, and with each visit to different temples and architectural sites, it’s interesting to see how this event affects those creative sites.
This doesn’t just increase my tolerance in accepting other religions, this experience has helped me truly see the beauty of them.