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Well friends, I am officially done University! Last night I arrived home to my parents house in Canada for the holidays – so happy to be here.

Although I still have an internship in Bangkok come January, the end of school marks a new beginning for myself, as well as A Piece of Elise. Although I am unsure as to what that means, you can expect more frequent posts from me…whether you like it or not.

All in all, I am currently working on processing my thoughts in regards the end of this period which has consumed the last 4 years of my life. Not only did I complete a University degree, but I did so entirely alone and in a totally foreign country. I am still trying to come to terms with the implications of this statement, but I know I have learned and experienced things, as well as grown in ways that I never really imagined. I’ll get back to you when I’ve figure it out a bit, it will probably take years for me to understand entirely. I probably won’t realize just how much I’ve changed until I try to fully function in a western society, in which I will most likely come to realize that I’m some kind of blonde asian weirdo.

In doing what I’ve done, I have not lived the traditional expat life. Instead, I have been immersed in a part of Thai society that is typically reserved for teaching the Thai people to be the way they are, at one of the most influential and critical points in life: young adulthood. By going through an entire academic system in this way, my perception, thoughts and values have likely changed forever. When I find a way to quantify this better, I hope to make some sort of a list. But really, I doubt it’s that simple.

What I can say is that spending such time alone, trying to grow up in a society that I often struggle to understand, I have realized the importance of family. That’s the biggest thing for me now. Family is everything. For this reason, flying home last night and getting to see the people I love most, is the best thing I could have asked for this holiday season. Hold on to your loved ones tight this Christmas, because I promise you, if you don’t get to see them often you will realize they’re the best thing you’ve got.

Before I go, I would like to give a quick shoutout to Shopmieux, a great online consignment store, where I got this perfect DVF little black dress. I would also like to thank Houda for the photos, taken at the beautiful MUIC campus, which I am surely going to miss.

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Dress: DVF via Shopmieux – Bag: Elizabeth & James – Shoes: The Only Son

Watch: TW Steel – Necklace: H&M

Photos by: Houda Azalia