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Tran Thi Nhat Tra - Singapore Chapter

When was the last time that you did something out of your comfort zone? For me, it was when I decided to leave Singapore for my first job in Thailand. When I embarked on this journey, little did I know it would be filled with laughter, tears, and moments of self-discovery.


I wouldn't be where I am today without the encouragement of my YPG mentors. And here I would like to share four lessons that I learned in the past one year. Hopefully, they will inspire you to live your dreams, too.

1. There's always something to learn from someone.
I came to Phuket with an almost non-existent knowledge about hospitality. It was only until I had my cross training at Banyan Tree Phuket's Housekeeping Department that I finally understood Hotel Operations means hard work and dedication. I will never forget the housekeeping lady who taught me how to put on the pillow case properly, how to change the entire bed sheet, and how to fold and tuck in the duvet. I was sohumbled by this experience that I promise to keep an open mind because the people who teach me the most invaluable lessons are the ones working on the ground floor.
2. A little Thai goes a long way.
Hospitality and customer service are about serving guests, and since I am mostly in the management academy, my guests are my colleagues, the people I meet in the canteen, in the car park, and on the street that I walk home. Simple phrases such as "Have you eaten?" (Khin khao yang kha?) and "How are you?" (Sa bai dee mai kha?) - when spoken with a smile- can help me bond faster with my colleagues, and help me enjoy my time here more.
3. There's beauty in living alone...
....especially when I am in a country where most people don't speak English. It's when I live alone that I become aware of who I am, what I like or dislike, and what I want to achieve in my life. Living alone forces me to learn a new language, to be brave, to be responsible for my own health, and to create my own happiness for myself.
4. Having a purpose in life toughens me up.
There was a period of time that I was overwhelmed with doubts about my decision to move here. It was only until I witnessed the improvement of the participants of the development workshop that I helped organise, their camaraderie, and their sharing of knowledge that I realised the impact of my work and I knew that I was where I needed to be. It is the purpose of helping others grow and creating human connection  that makes the long nights in the office seem shorter, the tears of longing for a significant someone back home dry faster, and the sense of fulfillment last longer.
Living and working alone in a foreign country is as exciting as it is hard. Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new, and I am eager to discover more about myself and the world in this wonderful journey.


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