A train of thought… a stream of consciousness…
I packed my bag and moved to Vietnam.
Everyone said how brave I was, moving to Vietnam alone.
Hear what she’s doing now. Wild.
But this wasn’t bravery.
This was just another stepping stone in the big plan. The plan to test myself little by little to see my capabilities, to see if I was cut out to do a real expedition.
But here I am, not three weeks in and I couldn’t be more comfortable. Too comfortable. It was all too easy, people were too nice, too helpful. I thought the world was supposed to be scary. But already, here I am, stuck in another routine, just a different backdrop.
Yes, it’s a world away from home, cracked tarmac, pressing heat, scooters everywhere in place of cars, noodles and rice instead of potatoes and pasta, markets on the side of the roads instead of in shops.
Everyone stopping to stare at the blonde haired, white girl walking amongst them.
Definitely a certain rustic beauty to the poverty.
But it was way too easy to find my place amongst them, to settle.
That’s not what I wanted.
I wanted hardship.
I wanted sweat, tears, and failure.
I wanted laughter and triumph against all odds.
I wanted an Epic.
But now I’ve glimpsed real hardship, in the lives that most live here and all I feel is selfish, so selfish for always wanting more, when what I have is already pretty great.
Yet, in poverty it seems they have found what I seek.
With poverty it seems there comes a certain freedom. People are happier, freer then those of us from the western world. They have nothing; a whole family squashed together in a tiny room with no panes in their windows, their bikes and animals lying in the same room as their bed and kitchen, no fan or air conditioning to cool them in the relentless heat. Yet all they have, they share, they give all they can to others, to me, the ‘rich’ foreigner.
It would appear that I have everything they would want/need, yet I am not as happy, not as free as them. I am restless, yearning to see a change in the world, to see a change in myself. I thought my life was difficult, but it’s all relative. My life is not difficult, not by comparisons.
I think my desire for adventure is connected with money and trappings of it. If I have nothing and all my worries day to day are not of how bad my skin is, how fat my thighs are, or how people perceive me. Adventure is when all of that fades into the background, into insignificance and the worries are instead focused on survival. The days spent pushing your body, mind and soul to its limit, seeing what you are capable of, seeing the world as it really is, not the tourist flashy version, but the real world.
I am tired of being restless.
I’ve always known what I want to do, I’ve just always been afraid to go ahead and do it.
Perhaps I am finally ready to step it up a gear or two, to say fuck the stepping stones and throw caution to the wind.
I am already nervous of the decision I have yet to make, of the not yet fully formed idea in my mind. But it is there. It’s always been there. Growing stronger each passing day. I will commit to doing something or forever will I be exiled to this incomplete state of yearning, of always aching for more, of always failing to live in the moment.
When will my soul finally settle?
I’ve known the answer for quite a while. I just never had that extra push that it takes to commit and initiate the process.
Maybe moving here was too easy, but perhaps it was exactly what I needed to do to get the wheels in motion, to make me take that first and hardest of steps.
I know now I have to do an expedition/ a big adventure or forever I will live with a regret weighing on my shoulders.
Now…”Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver, The Summer Day.