How I Ended Up at The Yard: A Personal Story


By Thomas Truong, Volunteer at The Yard Hostel

Since I was 7 years old, I had always dreamt of check marking my grandpa’s world map after exploring all of the countries of the world. It was the first thing I Googled (How to travel the world as a broke college student) after graduating university. It was my fantasy- my wildest and most honest internal desire to never have a job and instead go 360 on the globe. But I was afraid. The same type of fear I use to feel when I saw an attractive person and just did nothing instead of approach them  I believed what my family nagged- that I should put my dreams on pause and play the 9-5 game. So that’s what I did for 5 long years.  But I was happy that I learned a lot about myself. I taught, I performed children’s entertainment, I was a handy man, a mover, an interviewer, a physical therapist aide. I learned that I was happy to serve and needed a change.

(Photo Cred:

One spring day I was sitting at the Fort Totten Bridge which connects Queens NYC to the Bronx and saw an airplane pass by. That day I must have watched over 10 planes fly by without realizing what was happening to me unconsciously. The bridge is where I would go to plot my next moves and seeing those planes across the shiny water awakened the little 7 year old boy looking at his grandpa’s world map.


(Photo Cred: Darren Meenan)


One day I was on Facebook and saw an ad for Worldpackers. An organization that connects travelers with hosts. I basically could take my skills and help hosts around the world. By volunteering and being my adaptable self, I could live with hosts and keep learning in this world. Score

 (Photo Cred: Worldpackers)


So I shared my epiphany with one of my best friends at the time and when he uttered it would be dangerous, I knew I had to leave. To leave  family and friends who don’t support my dreams. 2 months later, I finally found the first place I could truly call home- the Yard. I did not know what to expect but what I did learn in 30 days staying at The Yard was that kindness would be the secret ingredients to helping me understand the meaning of family. I love you, The Yard and besides all you offer, nothing was more important than the warm vibes and the genuine smiles of all staff and Som and Som.


(Photo Cred:


The most important lesson I learned was its more important to know why we are traveling to a place than where we’re going or the destination. I learned that I could find a new family. And that I have the Yard to thank for that. I love you and Bangkok and I know that I will be back.


I hope this story inspires you to find a place you can truly call home.


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