Are We Grown Ups Yet?

Abigail may

Growing up involves developing mental processes to navigate, avoid, and resolve conflict and bumps in the road of life. It’s not just about learning to do taxes or buying your own home; growing up is learning to take responsibility, learning to listen to others, and taking appropriate action. At first glance words such as “responsibility” and “appropriate” can ignite a negative taste on the mouth. But growing up also involves the cognitive understanding that taking the “high road” is far less drama and has a better view.

In my experience I’ve come to find that 98% of potential arguments are simply verbal and emotional misunderstandings. Words only go so far to communicate our feelings and desires, and when strong feelings are involved, it’s easy to get caught up and consumed by our emotions. The thing with overwhelming emotions is that they demand our attention. When all of our attention is on one or two powerful feelings, it can seem impossible to see anything else, which creates a lot of room for misunderstandings. While blinded by hate or sadness we miss the words being said, and often more importantly, we miss the intended meaning of the words being said. In arguments we get tunnel vision when we should be looking at the landscape.

Learning to approach conflict from a lookout point instead of a tunnel is the epitome of maturity. It’s not an easy thing to ignore strong emotions in an attempt to see the full view. It can be exceptionally hard because it forces you to confront your own potential faults and misunderstandings. The upside to leaving the tunnel is that views are often colorful and beautiful, and avoiding or working out a conflict is the best kind of relief.

State of Limbo



Why do people travel? It’s an easy enough question to answer. For new experiences, to expand their horizons, to meet new people. But what about the expat question: Why do people choose to live in a foreign country? Of course I can’t answer for everybody, but after speaking to a number of friends it seems there may be common threads which bind all expats together.

Escape is often a big factor. Whether that means escaping the everyday mundane life of their hometown or getting away from something or someone, many expats long for a fresh start in a new country.

Then there’s the opportunity factor. I was speaking to a long-term expat friend the other night who said there is nothing in his home country for him apart from family. He then went on to explain that here in Japan he is special. Here he can be someone and do things he doesn’t believe would be possible in his country of birth.

I understand what he means. People are amused by our normal, but very foreign behavior and the things we do that would ordinarily be insignificant in our home country are highly praised. This includes things like singing in a band or writing a blog. Of course, attempts to master chopsticks or to speak a few words of Japanese are seen as evidence that we are attempting to make this our ‘home’ and so we are praised even further. Then of course there is the fact that we are sometimes given opportunities simply because we are foreigners. Case in point: my Native English friend who became an acting sensation overnight just for being himself. On the flip-side though, many expats comment on the fact that sometimes they feel more like something in a zoo or a performing circus animal than a person.

All this talk got me wondering about my own situation. Apart from my mum and my cats, I have no desire to return to Australia. I once told her I never really felt I belonged there. I felt like a fish out of water. When I was living there all I wanted to do was be somewhere else. Somewhere in Asia specifically, because that’s where my heart has always been. The other day I was asked when I was coming back to Australia and the person didn’t specify whether they meant for a holiday or to live. Either way I told them I had no plans at all to do anything of the sort.  To me, it seems that they think this is just another holiday, albeit an extended one but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here I am making my own life, living on my own two feet and immersing myself in a culture I deeply admire and respect.

A close Japanese friend of mine asked me last week if I saw Japan as a sort of dream, just a place to fill-in time while I waited for something ‘better’ to come along. As someone who works in a café, she meets lots of foreigners, mostly tourists who are there only temporarily, but she had to wonder for those who live here; do we really consider Japan ‘home?’ I looked at her and said that for the first time in my life I feel I belong. I feel as though despite all my excuses for not wanting to come back earlier (I was first here nine years ago), I have accepted that this is where I should be. It has taken many years, but it finally happened and it was worth the wait.

I suppose as expats we exist in a state of limbo, so to speak. We don’t belong or don’t identify with our home country, yet we will never really be fully accepted and integrated into our new and chosen society either. We always exist just on the edge. This isn’t the fault of anyone or anything; it’s just the way it is Even if we learn to speak the language, we weren’t born here, we can never fully understand what it means to be a native. Despite this, we thrive and forge our own lives, our own communities and we survive. Living in a foreign country can be a daily challenge, yet most expats would agree that the rewards far outweigh the hardships and perhaps this is why we choose to do it.





Nostalgic Revolution


The other night I had a class with one of my advanced adult students. He works as a smart phone app game designer in downtown Hiroshima and loves anything old-school or related to his childhood. I had been looking for an interesting article we could discuss during the lesson and so it was that I stumbled on one from the Wall Street Journal. It was about Lego and the adults who have quit their high-paying jobs to build models for the company. Rest assured though, that they now get paid more for one piece than they would have made at their previous job in a quarter of the year!

After reading the article we started talking about the toys we had played with when we were growing up. The more we talked, the more memories of long-forgotten toys came flooding back. I wasn’t even sure if half of these toys still existed.

We lamented the fact that with so much new technology, kids were more likely to play with a smart phone or an iPad than they were with a physical toy. Toys like Grip-ball or mini or putt putt golf were clearly outside pursuits and we both felt half the kids today barely saw the outside world because they were so focused on the computer screen in front of them. It was sad, we both agreed.

I explained about the spirograph and showed him the wonderful patterns that such a simple tool could make. We sighed about kalidoscopes and the beautiful colours that seemed to magically appear with each twist of the top. Then we moved onto card collecting and the different types of ones that had been popular at some time or another. I suddenly remembered my friends Luke and Shane being obsessed with Garbage Gang cards and how they had spent lunchtimes swapping ones they had in double or sometimes triplicate. And who could forget ant farms? I remembered preparing sand and soil for the narrow plastic containers and then scrambling on the ground trying to catch the poor creatures to fill the ‘city’ I had made for them.

Ah yes and of course, there was the Tamagochi. I was now living in the birthplace of this toy and we both wondered if somewhere in Japan they still existed. Perhaps now they were available as an app instead. I told him how I had tried to ‘feed’ mine during class at school for fear that it would starve to death and I would have to start all over again. I’d been immensely proud when my kitten grew to full size and was approaching the grand old age of 30 when my friend thought it would be funny to kill it by not cleaning up its poop. I was so angry with her that I didn’t talk to her for days. I also cried, but only in the privacy of my own room. How had I become so attached to something that wasn’t even real?!

We finished the lesson with faraway looks in our eyes and dreamy-smiles on our faces. It didn’t matter whether or not these toys still exist or not, they were preserved in our memories and no one could ever take them away from us.

I long for children today to have the chance to play with toys like this, to extract the same simple pleasure that I did. Yes, the technological age that we live in has created some amazing toys: physical, virtual or digital, but I can’t help thinking that these are simply objects, devoid of any type of soul. Do children today feel the same connectedness with their toys that my generation did with ours? Or are they easily abandoned, discarded like rubbish when something new and more advanced comes along? Maybe it’s time to introduce the generation of tomorrow to the childhood toys of generations past. Who knows…perhaps we’ll start a nostalgic revolution.



Off the Paved Path in Thailand

Many people travel for vacation, going to the popular bars and attractions and participating in set tours.  Some of us travel as a way of life; a way to experience new cultures, vistas, and flavors. If this is you, you might be disappointed in finding how commercialized and touristy Thailand can be.

Don’t fret! There are always places to explore.

If you’re not interested in seeing heaps of youngsters wearing neon “same same, but different” shirts, book yourself a local bus or train ticket and venture to these five unconventional tourist spots in Thailand. They’re like the rest of Thailand, but different.

Isaan Country

Discover Thailand’s agricultural roots. Less developed and away from beaches, you’ll find little to no other tourists in this region of Thailand depending on where you go. Expect to find spicy food and to hear the Isan language, which is a dialect of Lao.

Norther Isaan

Must Do

Zazz in front of Buddha statue in Sala Kaew Ku, Thailand

Southern Isaan

Warning: In the recent past the border area of Si Saket provenance has been dangerous due to an ongoing border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia. Research before you visit.

Must Do

  • Phanom Rung and Phimai Historical Parks are like Angkor Wat without the crowds.
  • A temple made of beer bottles? Yes. Marvel at it in Si Sa Ket.
  • Khao Yai National Park, Thailand’s first national park for a reason.
Wat Lan Khaud, meaning, Temple Of A Million Bottles. Photo by Chris Mitchell

 Khlong Lan National Park

Khloong Lan a village in Kamphaeng Phet provenance in the west of Thailand. Khlong Lan is mostly inhabited by the Karen People, and being near Myanmar, has a bit of a Burmese influence. You’ll see some of the men and boys wearing longyi, which are sarong-like clothing worn by men.

Must Do

  • Take the local bus in from Tak. By bus I mean a truck with benches in the back. This is where you meet locals and experience actual traveling, and not just touring. Resilience alert: The road is long and curvy. If you’re a bit of a wimp, or have a serious reason like neck or spinal injuries, take the cushy tour-bus.
  • Try green tomato salad. It’s a Burmese specialty but is possible to find here. Also comes in an avocado version, one of my favorite foods in the world.
  • Khlong Lan waterfall. Speaks for itself.
Khlong Lan waterfall, Thailand.

 Mae Hong Son Provenance

A home to the Karen people and the Thai Yai. Occupied with misty mountains, historically, the area has been used for elephant training. Avoid the town, Nai Soi, which is set up like a human zoo.

Must Do

  • Namtok Mae Surin National Park and Mae Surin Waterfall.
  • Pai. A lovely touristy town, worth it if you enjoy hanging out with hippies.
  • Hitchhike. Yeah seriously. It’s the best way to meet locals, see places you otherwise wouldn’t, and the police and army will actually help you find rides. Be Safe, use common sense and don’t hitchhike alone if you’re a woman.
Hitchhiking adventure with beautiful Thai families.

Nervous about venturing off of tourist paths? Check out our Travel Tips for inspiration.

My year of self (re)discovery


Just when you think you can’t learn anything else about yourself that you don’t already know, BAM! Something happens that challenges you, changes you and shocks you to your core.

Sometimes it happens that you discover it yourself, but more often than not, someone else sees it and points it out for you. These kinds of friends are important as they challenge you to grow and to see that you do change through life. What you never saw before is suddenly apparent and sometimes the actions you’ve put in place to survive a certain time in your life are still being clung to, long after the situation has passed. In other words, the walls we erected to keep ourselves safe, now serve as a cell.

At the age of 31 I thought I knew everything about myself that I was going to learn, but learning is a lifelong process and so is finding out about who you are as a person.

Sometimes it takes a very special set of circumstances to make you realize that you’ve been missing out on life. Maybe you’ve stopped doing something you enjoy simply because you read an article about the apparent health risks that may be a part of it. Perhaps you’ve been channeling your energy into something or someone who is not worthy of the effort or you’ve stopped allowing yourself to love another simply because you’ve been hurt in the past. Whatever the case, these decisions often mean that you aren’t really ‘living’ you’re simply existing in the world.

Last night I did something I haven’t done in a long time; a very long time in fact. Last night I had my first drink in over 13 years. Why did I stop in the first place? What made me decide to finally break the pattern last night? The answer is a very special set of circumstances and of course, the essence of everything in life: timing.

I’d had a bad day, I needed to get some things off my chest and a friend suggested I come over to his place for a drink. I accepted. I told myself, “Jade, it’s time. You need to deal with this and you need to do it now.”

As I pulled the lid on the can and heard it gasp with a satisfying “ah”, I settled back on my friend’s couch and let loose with all my troubles. In between talking I sipped my drink and it was when I was about halfway through the can that I suddenly thought, what’s wrong with my muscles? They feel so relaxed. Ah yes, the wonderful effects of alcohol and how it just relaxes the senses; numbs the senses in some cases. Then again, was it the alcohol, or was it my subconscious that was aware I had let go of things that no longer served me? Perhaps I will never know. In any case, muscles that had been bunched in knots for over three years suddenly loosened and I wondered why I hadn’t done this earlier. I knew the answer to that, that much I did know about myself.

“I used to be fun,” I said to my friend.

He looked at me and said, “Yeah, you used to be.” “

What?!” I retorted. “You don’t think I’m fun?!” I screwed my eyes up at him and looked at him critically.

“I didn’t say that, I’m just saying what you said; ‘used’ as in past tense. Don’t put words into my mouth.”

I considered what I’d just said and even in my alcohol-muddled mind the realization hit me. This was my BAM! moment.

At a time in my life many years ago when I was a student at university, I’d stopped ‘living.’ I felt that many parts of my life were spiraling out of control due to external factors and the only way I could rectify that was by focusing on things that I was directly responsible for. Looking back now and talking or writing about it I can see how ridiculous it was, but at the time it made perfect sense, at least in my mind.

It began with giving up certain items of food and of course, alcohol. Alcohol gave me the ability to be free of all inhibitions and that often meant I was more honest with both others and myself than I would normally be.  I figured if I stopped drinking I would have more control of my feelings and wouldn’t have to face them if I didn’t want to. I deprived myself of everything enjoyable because I knew that they could be taken from me at any time. I figured that if I didn’t have them in the first place I wouldn’t be losing anything.

I erected barriers around myself, walls so high and so thick they could not be penetrated. I distanced myself from anyone that tried to love me because I didn’t want to get hurt like in the past.

There was no joy in the world or in living. In fact it wasn’t living. I was starving myself, both literally and figuratively: for food, for love, for pleasure, for enjoyment. To live a life like that is exhausting.

The truth is that life is a risk. In living we extend ourselves, we face our fears and realize they were never really controlling us in the first place. We are only controlled by ourselves unless we give our power to others. It is up to ourselves to allow or not allow ourselves to feel or experience certain emotions in times of hurt or risk.

I wanted to start living again, in every possible way. I wanted to grab life with both hands and be the person I always was, the one who was locked away from the world, afraid to lose control if I let myself feel anything.

So I had a drink and I realized that I was in control, or at least, as much as anyone can be in life. At the age of 31 I finally understand that trying to control everything in life is not only pointless, it’s impossible. Life is to be lived and not to be bound by our own restrictions or by others we allow to restrict us. Life’s just too short for that.




Sit Down with Cliches

Have you ever repeated a word over and over again only to find that at such a fast pace that particular word loses it’s meaning and simply becomes a strange sound? If not, here’s a fun game to try. Pick a word, any word, and repeat it until you’re blue in the face. Go on, this is a safe space and I am giving you full permission to live in the moment.

A silly game designed to shed some light on the human brain shows us that repetition dulls awareness. Let’s take the word “love” for example and repeat it until it sounds like an alien spacecraft hovering five inches above the ground. One of the most powerful emotions and expressions in our human experience, love, becomes reduced to an obnoxious and meaningless noise. This constant repetition, sending us clear into oblivion, is the problem with cliches. They are wise words that are so overly repeated that they often lose their meaning and pizazz.

Children in Myanmar loving life.

Follow your dreams.
Money doesn’t buy happiness.
Live and let live.
Be yourself.
 Forgive and forget
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Laughter is the best medicine.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Zazz on a ledge on Hua Shan (mountain) in Shaanxi, China.

It has even become a cliche to hear these sayings and, “take them to heart.”

Fisherman showing off in Inle Lake, Myanmar.

We love cliches because they are so often true, but inspiration is fleeting without application. I challenge you to break the spell of the meaningless word sounds, go beyond taking it to heart and take these words to action. After all, “actions do speak louder than words”.

How can we reverse what appears to be obnoxious noise, thus transforming this cloudy clatter into meaningful application? It’s not the repetition alone that dulls cliches, it’s the speed at which we consume them. We read and see Pinterest and Instagram photos with interesting backgrounds and Insta-inspirational quotations posted online; sometimes we share them, or give them a “like” all in order to get our enlightenment fixes for the day. However, these words seem to insta-come and go, in one ear and out the other, as we continue about our day with little internalization of what these words actually mean. Let’s make a collective goal to stop treating our words like fast-food. It’s time to pause, taste, and enjoy our meal.

“Old habits really do die hard” but they can die eventually. Take advantage of the simple insta-reminders throughout your day to help clear the meaningless noise by reflecting. The next time you find yourself reading a beautiful quote on your timeline or newsfeed, remember to sit down with the cliche as if it were a decadent cup of coffee. Taste it, smell it, and let it give you energy to take action. It’s natural to be swept away into the fast-past hustle of life and social media, so don’t get yourself down when you do because there is yet another cliche that just so happens to be true: “The more you try, the more likely you are to succeed.”

Zazz showing off her goods on the Great Wall of China.

Quality Over Quantity

A fellow traveling friend recently asked me how my experiences visiting new towns and cities have changed since I first set off on the road nine months ago. Does the excitement of seeing a new place still compel me to, “go, go, go” and explore every crevice, monument, and tourist sight possible? Or do I take it slow, spending a day or two in my guesthouse or hotel relaxing?

photo 3(1)
Western Australia

It didn’t take me long to answer his question. I have thought about this many times before and I have found that the longer I’ve been on my travels the less of a tourist I’ve become. I’ve found myself spending hours, sometimes days, indoors, on the porch, or in a restaurant reading, writing, painting and skipping popular tourist destinations altogether.

This is a topic I have talked about with other travelers before, and it seems to be on many nomads’ minds. What’s more important, quality or quantity? Should we feel guilty for not exploring everything we can of a new place? We travel in order to see, explore, and experience new things after all, shouldn’t I get off of my computer and do exactly that?

What I love most about travel is that it is a reflection of our journey through life itself. While caught up in the mundane tasks of everyday modern living, we often forget to see the whole picture of where we are. Our lives are relatively short on this earth and we shouldn’t take our days and hours for granted.

photo 2(2)
Learning para-sailing

Living and being completely in a moment is exactly how we avoid wasting our lives away. If the hectic worries of catching a bus at noon or seeing x number of sites before evening is getting in the way of actually being wholly in a moment, then we should take a step back for a second and let go. If we’re burying our nose in maps and guide books and treating a place like Disneyland, then perhaps we’re missing the point of travel. We’ve got to take time to breathe, look around us, and reflect on the moment. If we’re too preoccupied on sticking to a schedule and our minds are filled with fears of missing out, we often are missing out.

The mirror of travel has shown me that, just like in life, I can’t do and see everything; it’s not humanly possible. But it has also shown me that life and experience is all there for the taking; I simply have to learn to close my laptop sometimes and walk out the door. As the hectic rush and worry of, “go, go, go” can take away from living in the moment, hiding away in a rented room for days can do the same. 

There is no Lonely Planet book to answer my friend’s questions on when it’s right to sit, and when it’s right to go. The pace we choose to travel and live our lives is a personal thing which can change from day-to-day. The important thing to remember is that quality, not just quantity, is most rewarding.

photo 1(3)
Melbourne gallery art installation by Mark Hilton.

Forced Humility

Despite my declarations of humility and announcements of having a decent handle on life, I am still human and I am able to trick myself into believing things which aren’t entirely true.

I gave myself a huge slap in the face by missing my $300 flight to Australia, and proving to myself that I am, indeed, not always great.

I had painted an elaborate and beautiful picture of myself which I held high and was happy to share to the world.

“I am organized, I am responsible, I am lucky, I am wise, smart, ambitious, resourceful, and flexible.”

I am living my dreams of travel and writing a blog after all, why wouldn’t I be these things?


Beliefs of ones character, especially the self delusional ones, are different from reality without application.

They say it’s difficult to practice what you preach and I found this out first hand in a 300 dollar sort of way.

So what caused me to miss my flight?

I had arrived 45 minuets before departure, but the airline had closed check-in merely minutes before I had arrived. Scoot, an evil Singaporean airline, would not let me through no matter how decent I behaved and no matter how much I pleaded with managers and staff.

For 45 minutes I had to bear the thought of my plane being so near yet so out of reach.

Ultimately, the airline was being extremely unfair. I didn’t have any need to check my bag, carry on would have sufficed, and the lines through security were short as well. Logic would have let me “Scoot” on through to catch my flight just in time.

But logic is not how many airlines approach business when greed is involved, especially airlines from Singapore, and this is something I understood.

So why wasn’t I there 2 hours before departure like all airlines advise for international flights?

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why I approached my flight this way. I simply wasn’t thinking. I have no real excuse for myself and this is the biggest disappointment of all, my lack of actual effort.

Too often I have let my luck and looks drive circumstances and have conned it off as wisdom and resourcefulness. This day was a brutal reminder of my faults, lack of proper planning and responsibility, and it awakened me to my false sense of self.

This reminder has been a bit more painful than the hole in my bank account.

I can see a silver lining in this experience, however. There is often one when you look hard enough.

To know ones faults is the first step to self progression. Hopefully next time my experience of humility won’t be forced upon me through circumstances and I won’t miss anymore expensive deadlines.

Until then I will be promptly writing a formal complaint to Scoot Airlines for horrible customer service.

Fear of Success

As I drunkenly sat on the roof of a boat in the middle of the Mekong River with lanterns and stars above me; as I found myself at the feet of a monk in a crammed truck mistaken for a bus, hitching a ride to who-knows-where; and as I’ve found myself in continual awe of the odd and amazing places I’ve found myself while on my travels, I’ve come to a realization.

-There’s something frightening about pursuing your dreams-

A realization that the power has always been in your own hands and what you don’t accomplish isn’t anyone elses fault but your own.

Your failures are your own.

That expectation, that responsibility, it’s scary as shit.

There’s only so far you can go while blaming your failures in life on outside circumstances. Maybe it’s your government, your health, or cheaters constantly taking advantage of you, but the stories we admire throughout life are the ones where people overcome these obstacles.

We love these stories because they inspire. But inspiration is fleeting without action, and action is our own responsibility.

It’s good to remember that our ego lifts us, but our ego often lies to us.

Our egos can be so afraid of being put down and crumbled that it often creates excuses and rationalizations in order to not disappoint itself. This can seriously hold a person back in life.

It leaves me with a question, “Do we fear others, or do we really fear ourselves when it comes to living our dreams?”

That’s a personal question with a personal answer I cannot answer for anyone. But I feel that I can safely say that when a wounded ego holds the reins of a person, that person is more likely to shoot others down in order to feel better about not meeting their own failed expectations of themselves.

It’s why I’m writing this article today. A reminder for my frightened self as well as a call to action to take the reins of your dreams and don’t give up.

Reaching for your dreams not only let’s yourself try, it gives an unspoken, “ok” for others to try too.

I’ve realized something else while pushing myself to overcome personal obstacles and doubts.

Exhilaration and fear are sometimes similar sensations. You can choose your outlook to help drive you forward.

Everything I’ve said here is not new, but the clichés of life are clichés for a reason. We simply need to take the time to listen, hear, and actualized it without letting ourselves hold us back.

Embrace the frightening changes throughout life and experience for yourself.

There’s something exhilarating about pursuing your dreams-

Why Travel?

I woke up from a vivid dream turned detailed daydream about me being back in Salt Lake City, Utah with my friends. I laid in my bed for probably half of an hour imagining scenes where I see my friends and family in familiar places again.

Eventually I walked out of my dark closet sized room that I’m renting for 6 dollars a night in small-town Myanmar. A room so small the door doesn’t even open halfway before hitting the corner of the bed; a bed that my toes dangle off of on account of me being too tall for it.

I poured myself some hot water on top of my 3-in-1 CoffeeMix, a coffee substitute that is insanely popular all throughout Myanmar, and I sat on the balcony overlooking the street.

I had just time-warped out of Salt Lake City via my closet room and suddenly reappeared in Hpa-an; a Burmese town where it is common place for monks dressed in deep red robes to ride motorbikes and women with root paste on their cheeks to carry woven trays of watermelon slices on their heads while smoking cigars.

The contrast was so startling that it compelled me to get out my keyboard and write about it here and now.

Where am I? What am I doing?

With thoughts of my friends and family back in the US so fresh in my mind, I can’t help but wonder what they would think of all of this, seeing me, or themselves in a town lost in time.

To read this blog and view my photos is one thing, but to be here is entirely another.

The panoramic view of tin rooftops, golden temples, trees, mountains and a distant lake; the sounds of the market chatter, motorbike horns and loudspeakers chanting in Burmese; the smells, familiar now but still unknown, a strange mix of sweet, foul, and fresh; and the bead of sweat currently dripping down my thigh from the humid heat. These can only be described in words, and words are unfortunately not the reality.

Pictures come closer to getting you there, but there will always be that disconnect.

I know that many people might take this as bragging, however, this doesn’t actually make me feel superior to anyone.

“Oh I am here, and they are not. Haha.”


I spent half an hour daydreaming about my hometown for a reason. I miss it, I long for it, and I realize that family and having a place to belong is a very beautiful thing.

So what is this post about then? Importance of home? Inspiration for others to experience more of life? If that’s what you want to take away from this, please do.

My reason to write in this moment is the change I’ve noticed.

A deep yet subtle change within myself that travel has caused for me. I cannot place it, I cannot coherently put it into words, but it is there.

In this moment, the change is why I wish to explain the contrast of home and here.

A person cannot walk through such different worlds without it changing them a little. This is a funny little fact about travel.

Whatever it is that I am doing, I’m enjoying it. I am proud of the things I’ve seen, I am happy for that little change inside of me.

Whether that change means anything significant, or if any of this has any real purpose, I don’t know. But I do understand that change is the flow of life.

I am living, experiencing all sorts of contrasts and angles that life has to offer. I am currently happy because I cannot say that I am wasting my experience of consciousness.

I’ve found a great love for my views of trucks over piled with boxes, produce, and people; of men and women wearing colorful traditional clothing and hats, powerlines in knotted messes, rickshaws that look as if they’ve come from the 1920’s, babies riding on the front of motorbikes, clothes hang-drying on lines in the sun, old women cutting down bamboo stalks with machetes, and women monks in pink robes walking the streets with silver bowls collecting alms.

There is a simplicity here that I crave in life, and it brings me happiness knowing with my eyes that it exists in the world.

But I’ve also gained a greater respect and appreciation for a home. Friends to call up, family that knows you like no one else, real coffee, familiar roads, a familiar bed, comforts from childhood, a language you know and understand, and a place to belong and build a life around.

So, do I stay or do I go? Life is not about choosing one or the other, it’s not about which experience is best, it’s all life.

But I would like to advise everyone to try travel at least once. Let it broaden your perspective, teach you what you truly appreciate in life, and let yourself embrace that flowing blood of life for a moment and let it change you. Because it is all life, why not experience as much of it as possible?

Letting go is inevitable, experiencing something new is inevitable, change is inevitable, and travel helps you understand that. It teaches you to handle it, and if you embrace it, you can learn to really love that unstoppable movement.