The last four months have been a whirlwind of amazing adventures. This trip has truly been a rush of experiences, and many lessons have been learned so far. As I have been wondering what I’m going to say to my readers for the past two weeks, I’ve been wondering what I’m going to say to my future self as well. I have made my way from Japan, through China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, and finally Indonesia. My time in Asia is coming to an end, and these last few days have been very nostalgic of the past 16 weeks. My flight to Darwin in on the 27th. Australia is a totally different ballgame. It’s an entirely new continent and a new collection of adventures. Everyone tells me Australia is beautiful… I guess I’ll just have to settle for their words.
I’m not taking that flight. Instead, I’m coming back to the U.S. just before Thanksgiving. Sometime in Sumatra, after a minor motorbike accident, I was reminded of how far away from home I am. While I said in my very first post that home is a state of mind, I know that I won’t find it wandering through rural Indonesia alone. I have learned a lot about traveling and feeling foreign, and I have to say that it’s not the idea of home I seek. It’s the ability to have control over my life. I expressed my desires to a friend and he was amazed at how I craved normalcy… I like to think of it as comforts. Had I been stationary in one place, I may have enjoyed being gone longer… maybe even years. However, I miss the simple comforts. I miss swimming (as I’ve said in previous posts). As stupid as this sounds, I miss netflix. But above all things, I miss my mommy.
When we FaceTime, she says to me, “I wish I could just reach through this screen and hug you so tightly!” I roll my eyes and smile, but the truth is that I want that more than she does probably. I love my mom and I cannot imagine spending much longer without her company… without the company of a lot of friends and family. The ability to wander these countries is truly a gift, but at some point I planned to wander back to all the amazing people I know in the U.S. Their friendship is just as much a gift.
So as I was preparing for the next leg of my trip, I kept battling the constant feeling of wanting to go home. I thought I would be throwing in the towel if I went home now. I thought I would regret not continuing to Australia. However, this place will always be there. I’m not throwing in the towel. I’m just already satisfied with this adventure. This is a nice place to bring it to a close, in Bali. Bali is truly a paradise. I’ll have so many stories to come once I return to the U.S. Many reflections yet to be recorded. Many comparisons. Many issues of reverse culture shock. I’m not going to stop writing. I love writing… so don’t take me off your RSS.
Yes, my blog means a lot to me… but it doesn’t dictate me. THIS was probably the hardest obstacle in this trip, to understand this idea. I write for myself. My readers just take enjoyment out of my stories. However, when faceless statistics start dictating my writing and my decision making, what’s the point? Appealing to an audience is something that I can do with ease, but I’m a selfish fool… and I come first. This might not be the same viewpoint of the bat-shit crazy journalists who waltz into Afghanistan or Syria and are willing to die for their stories… I say fuck that noise! I am loyal to my readers, but they have to be loyal to me… whether I’m traveling or stationary. I’ll not put down the pen so long as there’s someone who likes what I have to say.
So I say this to you now. Travel/Work/Sit around and drink a 6 pack… you do you. This isn’t the first time that I’ve told my readers to do whatever makes them happy. What will make me the happiest is to spend Thanksgiving with my mother… even if we are at Cracker Barrel because she can’t cook for shit. I’m cutting this trip short… but don’t think these are my last days of travel. I’m 24. Time is on my side. I’ll make it to Australia one day. After all, it is beautiful… or so they say.