It will have been nearly 12 weeks since I started this strange tour of asia when I finally get home and start work on the 15th of September. 3 months wandering around 6 countries, boarding 17 planes, walking through nearly that many airports, taking an infinite number of cabs, used 7 currencies, taken nearly 6,000 normal photos, 13,500 timelapse photos, staying in at 30-40 different rooms, been robbed 0 times, was scammed twice (or so), lost at least 4 important items, etc, etc. etc… It’s not quite over yet as I’ve return to where my heart is right now, korea. Not because korea is a lovely place, but rather because the girl I care about is here. So I’m not home yet.
I wonder what it’ll be like to settle in washington dc and not be thinking about what stuff I can ditch or where I’m staying next week, or transportation for the next leg. Indeed it’s a different experience to be looking forward to a place where you don’t yet have a home and have only visited. Yet the best part about is that it seems normal. My life is a crazy mishmash of world traveling & world discovery and so settling down in a different city for a while isn’t worrisome anymore. The thing is that I’ve talked to expat’s (expatriate) who have just got up and left the US, Canada, Holland, or etc with some where between $2000 and the more likely $300 and settled into a comfortable life in Thailand, Vietnam, etc. They are just just like me in spirit. Lao Tzu said it best when he said “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”
I’ve also said that home is where the heart is, and that has changed over the years as I’ve changed, but here’s another marker. Right now my heart is into the people I’ve met along the way. The spirit of traveling has me content to live and exist in the rest of the world. What I’ve always taken for granted in the US, i.e. clean water, traffic laws, fast food, and etc. is now strange in comparison to what I know to the rest of the developing world. What we think of as the standard I’m not so sure of anymore. What we’d call the developing world comprises some 85% of the world population. Something near 5.5 billion people. This is a statistic that I thought about and I sort of tried to wrap my head around, but only on this trip have I realized that most of the rest of the world is what we’d call chaos and we are the abnormal ones. The way the rest of the world works is fascinating. What’s more fascinating still is what it’s doing to catch up…
It’s been a discovery of a trip and I’m ready for more. If I didn’t have a job line up, I’d probably have stayed in Vietnam or Thailand working ad hoc doing visa runs and being an expat myself working towards the next adventure. The world needs people like me to feed input into the system though. I need to encourage the rest of our (excuse my frankness) ignorant population to get out and see the world and see if I can help influence our weird (but mostly effective) government to pick-up it’s feet. Not to mention I need to get some more world history under my belt. Buddhism is fascinating and this whole Tibetan-Chinese conflict is engrossing, but before to long you’ll hear about me heading off to Alaska, or Europe, or South America again. Once you have the travel bug, it’s hard to ditch it.
Pics and the time lapse will be up soon, hopefully I’ll have time to fill in a few blanks when I get into the states.