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    it’s just like riding a bike…

    So if you didn’t know, I’m currently in Bangkok, Thailand. I left the US on the 28th of December and will be in Thailand until the 22nd of January. You’re probably wondering why I’m here. The answer, is to conduct a community based research project around global citizenship and sustainability as it pertains to flooding in Thailand. Pretty cool right? Now that we have that background out of the way, let’s get down to it. I’ve been here for a little over a week. The majority of my first few days here were spent in Bangkok proper exploring the city, adjusting to the time change, swimming in the rooftop pool at my awesome hotel, and taking in the Thai culture. However, I am now at Mahidol University so I can do the real work I came here to do. 

    And you know what, I’ve been struggling with it. Research is messy. Community based research is messy. Group work is even messier. Jet lag is terrible. Language barriers suck. But, experiencing another culture is amazing. Creating bonds with Thai students is awesome. Working for 12 hours and FINALLY coming up with a research question is exhilarating. I’m absolutely in love with my life, where I am at currently, and the path I see myself walking. Speaking of that path… I’ve also spent lots of time here applying for summer internships. Actually, I’ve spent a lot of time here freaking out about summer internships. Stressing out about whether or not I’m going to get offers. Stressing out about whether or not I’m qualified for any of the things I’m applying for. Stressing out about whether or not I’m in the right place and making the right moves for myself. But then, today, a breakthrough happened. 

    They gave us bikes. 

    Bikes that we can ride around campus. Of course I was all over this. It’s been AGES since I rode a bike. I honestly was worried that I was going to fall off. But, so far, so good. I rode home from dinner tonight with the song ‘Put Your Records On’ by Corinne Bailey Rae playing in my head. And I was amazed at the fact that my muscles knew exactly what they were doing. Sure, I was a bit wobbly at times and need to work on my handling, but I still know how to ride a bike. My brain and my muscles knew what to do to get me home- safe and sound. 

    My brain and my muscles knew what to do to get me home- safe and sound. 

    2014 was a year full of self-doubt, low self-confidence, and just always wondering if I was doing the right thing. Now, I’m a perfectionist, so I will probably always be my worst critic and over-analyze whether or not I’m making the right moves. But, my brain, muscles, and even my heart, know what to do to get me to where I need to be- safe and sound. I have absolutely got to start trusting that more. I’ve got to stop downplaying my accomplishments. I’ve got to stop doubting myself. 

    I type this as a 20 year old woman that attends and is thriving at an Ivy League university, has traveled to 4 of the 7 continents (with trips to 2 more lined up for 2015), someone that has done research internationally, spoken at the United Nations, and a host of other things- but this isn’t my resume. 2015 is a year of doing. 2015 will be a year of pushing through the doubt. Because, I know how to get myself home. 

    I know how to get myself home. 

    Life, really is like riding a bike. You fall down. You get back up. You trust your brain, your muscles, the knowledge of where you want to go, and your heart to lead you in the right direction. 

    No matter where I want to go, I know how to get myself there. 

    (And you do too.) 

    It’s just like riding a bike, once you know, you just know!

    Gabrielle Hickmon
    Gabrielle Hickmon

    Find me on: Web | Twitter


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