Travels are not relaxing: it is about discovering, accepting, adapting, learning. Travels had me thinking, feeling, and living more intensively than ever before. It is a constant exercise, an experience which has an impact on both the moment your live them and on the future moments it will have an influence on. It has been good but exhausting, and I am now happy to be on holidays.
I was waiting for the boat today, and had to kill 4 hours on an empty pier. I took a long chair, sat in it, closed my eyes and let the sea rock me to sleep. I only had about 4 hours sleep last night, after all. I woke up 3 hours later and could remember clearly what I was dreaming about. Since I have been gone, this was one of my best sleeps. Downside is I look like a lobster. I will fit in the environment when I will go snorkeling tomorrow. Camouflage.
There is always more than you think to life. Of all places and times, I had an impromptu reunion yesterday with my Australian cousin In Bangkok. We simply happened to be at the same place, at the same time. I spent the night at her hotel: after months living in basic comfort in hostel and guesthouses, I truly enjoyed a big comfy bed, an amazing shower, the airco, the conditioning shampoo… but above all, a familiar face to say goodnight and good morning to.
It is wonderful to travel alone: I open up wider and I become wiser. My pace is in perfect balance with my needs, feels and desires. But some views, moments, flavors or instants… they lose a bit of their magic when your eyes and taste buds only are here to witness. I am running out of words to explain what I see, how I feel, what I learn and how it impacts my life. I sometimes wish my better half would be next to me: tasting the salt of the ocean with me, feeling that breeze cooling down the sunburns, admiring that sunset and trying to contain with me that running nose while eating the too spicy papaya salad. Now I can tell I know how it feels to miss someone. Some two or three sometimes too.
Travels take you further than the destination. The travel does not stop, it creates something in you that will feed your inner fire and follow you for ever. You start travelling the moment you lose yourself to something bigger, whatever it might be. Your job as a traveler is to adapt, so you can live the experience to the fullest, while forgetting the rules of the nest you come from, and live by new ones; over and over again.
I walked for miles, I lived for real, I learned how to forget everything I knew, I got lost to find my way.
To me, being on holidays is something different. I am now in Southern Thailand, where I will stay until I fly back to Europe. I live in a bamboo hut; with a hammock on the balcony, from where I can see the crystal clear sea. I have my own bathroom, which means I do not have to pack my stuff each time I want a shower. I cannot explain the happiness of having shelves of my own.
I am reconsidering all my definition of comfort, luxury, happiness… Comfort is a shelf in an outdoor bathroom; luxury is a mosquito net on top of a bed, in a hut open to wildlife; happiness is tasting the salt in the wind blowing in my face. Last week I would have defined comfort as a fan – even a broken one; luxury as bottled water, happiness as a refreshing stream in the middle of the jungle. Back home, comfort was having a car; luxury was anything decadent, indecent; happiness only defined by possession.
I ran, maybe away from things I did not want to fight any longer; I got dizzy from drowning into different worlds; I found peace and comfort in things I did not know they existed; I trusted people; I let it all happen to me. And the best part is, this is just the beginning.
I can now enjoy my holidays for I am a traveler. I can see why I have done this, and I got rid of the guilt. Of the fears too; the ones of travelling and the ones of coming back. I am not going to pretend I am fearless, that would be a lie; but I trust myself and the universe. I do not want to waste any time nor space; so I am giving more power to my feelings and instincts; and a little bit less to my conditioned reason. Being true to myself will not make me any less wise.