Arrive with Me: Bhutan

Stepping out of the plane, I took a 360° turn to witness a dreamer’s manifestation! Colossal mountains, trees, and homes in the mountainsides filled my eyes! The cold wind made me realize I was not dreaming, and the contrast in weather from the blistering heat in Bangkok to the chill in Bhutan made me question what I had signed up for.

(Fun fact: only 8 pilots in the world can fly Bhutan’s single airport due to the mountainous terrain.)

Bhutan Arrive Image 1

This is the amazing plane we were on. (Yeah, the awesome dragon on the tail of the plane is the flag of Bhutan!)

Once we were processed through the airport, we were taken to the city of Thimphu, which was an hour away from the airport in Paro. The streets were narrow, built into hillsides–and driving on the left side freaked me out! There were not many cars on the streets, like there are in America or Bangkok. Prayer flags of all sizes, in all kinds of colors, were flowing as the wind gently blew them. I was tired, but I could not stop looking at where I had just arrived. My dream was now a living, breathing reality.

Eventually, we arrived at the Royal Thimphu College. My roommate escorted me to my dorm and introduced me to my bed. I dropped all my belongings and just looked out of my window.

Bhutan Arrive Image 2

Our dorm is at the top of the campus so my morning view includes the Himalayas and the giant golden Buddha that overlooks the city of Thimphu!

Life rewards those who take risks. Thanks to all my supporters and the Gilman
Scholarship for making dream a reality. The fact that I am looking at the Himalayas every morning helps me realize it is real!

Benjamin Concepcion is a student at the University of Rhode Island and an official API student blogger.  Benjamin is currently studying abroad with API in Thimphu, Bhutan.

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