Thai people are so warm and welcoming that you quickly feel like you belong. My time in Thailand hardly feels like "travel" anymore, as much as it just feels like home now. The best part of being here is getting the chance to actually participate in the culture.
I was once dressed up in an old-fashioned traditional Thai outfit and led my school's parade through my little town for Loi Krathong Festival. The whole community came out and lined the streets to watch as the foreign girl paraded through the town all dressed up.
It was really funny, but also so touching to see how honored they felt that someone from the big country of the USA was there in their village participating and honoring their culture.
Other than within the country, teaching in Thailand has given me the opportunity to travel all over Asia. My favorite travel memory is from the time I went backpacking through Laos with one of my best friends from my GoTEFL course.
We decided to venture off the beaten path way up north to hike through the jungles and mountains and visit the villages. In one of the villages, the locals invited us to stay for the night. We slept in huts, watched the women hand weave scarves, played cards with a 4-year-old (she beat us), and drank homemade white whiskey all night while we clumsily communicated with the locals despite the total language barrier. It was an incredible and unforgettable experience.