Learned, Loved, Left: Study abroad in Thailand cut short due to COVID-19

Camille Cohen

Camille Cohen

I wasn’t aware that the little clips and flicks I was taking on my study abroad program in Thailand were going to soon be considered a school project once my life was uprooted due to a global pandemic.

There are plenty of people incredibly important to me who were not pictured. I had no idea I was running out of time to photograph you all. I await our reunion with excitement.

This was a very personal video to make. After experiencing relocation, reliving the highs and lows of the experience each day in editing was difficult, as I’d barely been able to process it myself.

I’d arrived in Thailand with the type of excitement that makes standing still impossible.
I was skipping through security checkpoints.
The stark contrast to how I felt leaving is jarring.

Closing my eyes, I can still hear a cab driver’s humming along to the radio, the whirl of motorcycles passing, stray dogs barking in the background. The sounds and smells of the city haven’t left me yet.

I realize how lucky I am to have had the experience at all, and to have another safe place to return.
Thank you to everyone who’s taken care of me along the way and supported me in my decisions.

This project is meant to show a slice of life outside of our individual quarantines. While we may not be ready to reminisce on the trauma of this situation, empathizing with each other may help us get through it.

No one was spared from loss this year.
Some of the Buddhist teachings I learned this year have helped me remain calm, when the outside world feels to be in free-fall. Maybe they will help you too:

The first 30 seconds in the morning are the most important. It decides where your focus lies. You decide happiness. Start each day by thanking.

Whatever experience comes to our lives is done to create the better version of ourselves

The past is already gone, the future may never come.
The present moment, here and now, is the only thing we can control in our lives.

On that note, I’ve created this playlist to help us all appreciate home and the current moment. Wherever that may be.