Travel

one (gap) year later


Right around the time I left Europe, my blog took a 0-60 nosedive into the nearest dumpster, and is just now coming up for air. Wow. Nice to see you still exist. Go take a shower.

Chalk it up to living in the moment, trying to savor every last second of this surreal experience. Chalk it up to heightened emotions and the fear of saying goodbye to the strangers-turned-family. Chalk it up to any of it, all of it, because it may very well be true. But, what I really think it is…this two-month hiatus and attempt to dismiss writing some sort of conclusion about the past nine months of my life? I didn’t want to. And I felt like I had nothing to say.

Thoughts On That:

Nothing to say? Are you kidding me? You just experienced the most incredible thing. You have so much to say. This is ridiculous. Stop “processing”. Stop telling yourself you need time to settle in. You’re so melodramatic. *Looks up melodramatic on Google* Just write what you feel and what you know. You spent the last year of your life documenting it all – you have to write the last piece that strings it all together. You have to.

No matter what I say, I will never be able to truly convey the magnitude of impact this year has had on me. There is truth behind what you are expecting me to say: my travels have changed me, I am more open, I have realized how much I take for granted. There is truth behind the expectation that my travels help me see through other perspectives, I am more culturally sensitive, I am more self-aware. Blah, blah, yes important but yes cliche and obvious and expected. It’s more than that. That’s what I’m struggling to put into words right now.

I guess, in one infamous-self-proclaimed-word-vomit blurb, what I learned is that there is no direct correlation between getting to where you want to be and finding happiness. Whether you want the white picket fence and a big family with a house on the water or you want to get as far away from societal pressures and norms as possible and be an audacious nomad – happiness is never guaranteed once you get there. So, if you spend all of your time doing this because it will get you that and that will make you happy, what happens when it doesn’t? And what happens when you doing this takes your whole life? That scares the shit out of me.

I know that making time for good conversation, for good company, and for travel is important to me. So, instead of doing certain things to get to a certain place, I’m just going to make sure these few things are, in some way, a part of my life. It’s not to say I don’t have dreams, or aspirations, or goals. That I don’t have a vision for myself in the future. No, that’s not it at all. I’m just saying these dreams, aspirations, and goals will not be the death of me. They will fuel me, they will motivate me, but my happiness will not stem from it. My happiness will stem from people and experiences, not from fulfilling my wants and desires.

Thank you Winterline for the memories. Thank you to my friends who have been there for me. Thank you to my wonderful parents. Thank you to the world for opening your arms, inviting me in and teaching me how to be the best possible human I can be. I owe you one.

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*Written while eating Wasabi Seaweed now available at Trader Joe’s. Thought I said a sad goodbye to seaweed snacks the minute I flew out of Southeast Asia but DAMN, DANIEL! THERE IS A GOD!

ASIA VERSION:

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 9.47.11 PM

TRADER JOE’S VERSION:

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 9.47.44 PM

YOU CAN THANK ME LATER. OR NOT.

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