i can make a lot of excuses for neglecting this blog: no space in the hostels to write, noisy people, shitty internet…but really im just lazy. and too much going on in my head. What happened to my #nowing phase from myanmar and north thailand?
(it was just a phase LOL)
much has been said about long term backpacking: it changes you, it’s the best thing you’ll ever do EVER (yes I had to write that twice). you meet new friends, you discover and are exposed to new culture…
if you mix up the parties, the alcohol, and organic happiness with silence, observation, and hanging out with the locals, you may get all of the above. sounds fun right? sign me up!
not always. actually, it doesn’t happen a lot (at least to my introvert self). it’s more over promise, under deliver.
there has been a lot of flack written about this travel bug that has caught world, about how we are escaping real life, making the lives of those who can’t afford to quit and be irresponsible look pathetic (that is not our intention at all), but i think it’s because most of us only focus on the glamorous and liberating side of travelling the world in x days.
rarely do people write about how exhausting it is, how unglamorous, and just how days can pass by with nothing exciting happening (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but that’s not exactly what you dreamed of when you decided you’re gonna sell all your stuff and travel the world, right?). and why would we? it means that made the wrong decision and failed (and will just give the critics more ammo against us).
it’s not all fun and freedom (there’s none of that when you’re shivering with cold and you don’t have the energy to get up and look for your meds). Most of it is about bed bugs, noisy hostels, getting sick with no one to take care of you, fucked up feet and skin, being in a place that promised so much but is delivering so little. that you have to have a lower expectation on personal hygiene. and that no matter how introverted you are, not speaking with anyone in two weeks can (and will) drive you bat-shit crazy.
it’s not shared often because it’s not instagram-worthy. or people don’t want to share the so-so moments of the trip. always the best foot forward right?
along with the happy stuff, we’re only more likely to tell the story of an exhibitionist following you in the middle of the day (more on that on another post, probably), bleeding legs on day 4 of riding a scooter, or how you were ripped off while shopping for those chopsticks. after all, those are fun stories to share. hell, being in a dorm with people having sex (while you’re alone and lonely and not feeling attractive) is THE story to tell, not matter how depressing (for you, not them).
these are internet-worthy stories, written and posted to immortalize you and strengthen your backpacker/traveller creed.
but it’s also important to talk about the blah blah stuff along with the good stuff that happened. you won’t always click with the people at your hostel. you won’t always reach or get to do the things you sought out to do. your body will certainly not fair well (hello my multi-colored skin tone. but if there’s a way to even it out, tell me tell me!). and most places are duds.
so i haven’t been writing because as much as i have numerous momentous experiences under my belt now, that pales in comparison to the number of mehs that i have encountered. just like in real life. there are more straight lines than climaxes in this story. and duh, you’re travelling the world, damn you. stop complaining!
but we need to acknowledge this unpleasantries. on top of worrying about falling behind your peers who decided to continue whatever ladder they were climbing. worrying about acclimating back to real life. money. always the money. time, losing things, getting lost.
sounds like #firstworldproblems and rants, and yes it is. but without these, my moments would not be so momentous. we can’t have the good and the bad without the mundane. we can’t appreciate everything good if we don’t accept its impermanence and that most likely it will be replaced by a lot of meh’s and blah blahs. and we have to make our peace with that. it makes every wonderful moments more colorful, empowering, and internet-worthy.