Folks, if you’re a regular visitor to my blog, stay tuned for what’s in store for this summer’s travels. I will be headed to Thailand for a month long trip in June, 2017. I will be posting stories and photos each week throughout the trip. I will include tips and commentary on some of the amazing experiences I discover, and hopefully in the process inspire my readers to explore greater horizons through cross cultural, international travel. To say I’m excited would be a great understatement!
This trip has been on my mind for almost two years. Due to my own deeply personal conflicting feelings which I will not get into (or, not yet), I hesitated to pull the trigger for quite a while. But eventually talk rings hollow, and one must take the plunge. I have traveled a lot over the years, but only recently have I decided to blog about it.
Over the years I’ve been all over Europe, Central America, South Africa and Morocco. But I still get those butterflies when it comes time to commit. Thailand is enormous, distant, and exhibite an exotic culture. So, plunging into the unknown is necessary to grow and learn in life. You don’t always know what’s on the other side, but you must find out.
So, a brief set up. Each summer I go to Germany to visit my son’s class for their last day of school before summer break. We then come back to Colorado together to spend the summer and catch up. It’s simply a fact of my life that will not change.
In the past I would fly to Germany and back to pick him up in a three day round trip out of body experience. One day I’d be leaving my comfort world and sipping vodka on an overnight flight. The next day I’d be wandering around some German suburb that looks like a ginger bread house. Then I’d meet my son at school, in his surreal world, and i’d be crying my eyes out to see him again The next day we’d fly back to the sunshine of Colorado, and he would be singing as we pushed the luggage cart through the parking lot. It was obviously a draining task both physically and emotionally.
A few years ago however, I started to plan in a trip in Europe prior to Germany in order to capitalize on the journey. I’d visit Prague for a week, or Croatia, or different parts of France. This year is a bit more ambitious, and I will spend a month in Thailand, then continue to Germany, then back.
The reasons for this summer’s trip, and the destination of Thailand, are rather interrelated and subjective. A couple years ago a friend of mine went to Thailand “for about about a month” and ended up staying four months. His experience was one facet of my inspiration. Secondly, I’ve never been to Asia. South East Asia has been an enormous vacuum in my worldly experience, and I simply decided the time was as good as now. Thirdly, I cannot deny the continuous state of existential uncertainty, restlessness, or lack of fulfillment in my home life.
As you will find out, my blog will be include more than just my concrete travel experiences alone. I will not be able to fully conceal my own inner turmoil that accompanies each trip, as each trip is a personal journey through a gateway into a newer version of oneself. To understand myself better and being exposed to stimulating new environments is one way we grow. To learn about other cultures, to confront ourselves, to answer the riddle of the purpose of our very lives. For me personally, I enjoy routine and security, but at some point that becomes a dead end.
I’m not going to Thailand for the full moon parties or the ladyboys. I’m genuinely interested in a cultural experience. And the never ending quest for peace in my heart. What I lack in love and support from family or friends, I will gain through a journey into the farthest horizons. The sights, sounds, smells and memories will be my love.
Sometimes we also travel to escape. I am profoundly aware of the saying that “wherever you go, there you are.” So I have no delusions about escaping my problems. The battle is in my own mind. For peace, self-acceptance, the smiles of strangers, the tastes of an exotic world, and the perspective of a greater consciousness.
I have no emotional or psychological support from my family in almost anything I do. It must be a generational thing, as I have been hounded my whole life to “find a direction” or a “purpose” by how my parents define it. By contract when my acquaintances hear of my travel ideas I am thoroughly encouraged and probably envied. People dream of travel, they dream of escaping the routines of everyday life. Everybody says “Oh my god do it.”
The voices from my immediate family (my elderly parents and my brother) is the exact opposite. I’m “ruining my life” and “drifting.” I must be “interested in sex with underage children.” “Why would you want to go there?!” And this is an “extravagant, purposeless waste of time.” (All direct quotes from my dear old mother.)
My father and I will never speak again. My brother is an asshole New Yorker. I am, frankly, alone. The only love in my life is the bright joy of my beautiful 11 yr old son who happens to live 4,536 miles away from me. No conventional career would allow an employee to take weeks and months off at a time (to spend with my son) so therefore I have no career. My career is staying close to my son. These things hurt.
And I hope to find some peace through travel, and through writing, and experiencing the world. I am gradually building my resume as a travel writer, and we’ll see what this becomes. I have only started this hobby in the past few years, while I have had numerous travel experiences in the previous twenty five years that have gone unrecorded. I will probably write reflective posts on those trips eventually.
I have essentially learned to listen only to my own voice. To believe in my own pursuits, to be happy with myself with all my weaknesses and failures. To know that life is a journey of constant growth. And the unconventional picture of how you live that out may be unclear to others. But you just have to let that go and believe in yourself. It’s cliché, but it’s still true.
So that’s enough dashboard confessional from me. Stay tuned in a few months for my Thailand updates, and I hope my blog gives you peace, comfort, and inspiration to always learn and grow, but mostly to live by your own rules.