I really should be updating more often…what a ride it has been over the last two months. Here is a little bit more of what has been at times a painful debrief, but overall is leading me (I think) to a much healthier place than when I was on the road…
In regards to whether I enjoyed my journey or not:
This was written about a month ago…much has been processed since then, and I’ll be posting that as time goes by.
I enjoyed some of it. Perhaps about 20% of it. The rest was just a heck of a lot of hard work. And overall, I did enjoy the interraction with people and grappling with language and communication (in retrospect). But gosh…it was hard work (the physical side of things). The freedom I thought I would find in the open road was a lie (at least for me). I can only recall one time when I felt totally free. It was when I crossed the China border into Kazakhstan. For about 20 glorious minutes I felt totally free. Total euphoria. And then the potholes started. And the headwinds. And the heavy loads. And the sandy roads.
So that’s about 20 minutes in 2.5 years.
The rest of the time I felt hemmed in. I felt a sense of purpose in that I was moving towards a goal and doing something hardcore, but my focus was so much on the goal, rather than on where I was at that very time. Always being pulled forward.
And then I achieved the goal. And it was a let-down. I left Japan alone. I arrived in Christchurch alone.
My journey, I believe, was based on a lie our western society feeds us that there is freedom in autonomy and non-committment. That there is freedom in aiming higher and higher and never allowing oneself a moment to relax and smell the roses.
Or something like that…
Perhaps there is some form of post-traumatic stress going on in my head at the moment. Perhaps this is the time where I look at my experiences harshly and critique them in a negative light. Perhaps I will soon come around and see the beauty in my experience…
But in any case, as someone who only experienced my journey through my blog, you need to be aware of one very very important thing: For every photo of me beaming with pride and joy and excitement, there were 50 photos that were never taken simply because I was too exhausted and shattered to even consider taking my camera out of the camera pouch.
I was given some interesting insights from a man who has travelled much…he had two comments about travel being like:
- Just sniffing the cork of a good wine, whereas living in one place is like experiencing the whole bottle
- Just watching TV, whereas paid employment is like being an actor in the TV show
While these could be rather contentious comments, I guess you could say that I too have come to the conclusion that travel by itself can be an empty experience.
I’m sure that no matter where one is, it is how one chooses to percieve one’s circumstances that dictates how one will feel about one’s circumstances. I think I’m still in a stage of reconstructing a healthy perception of what it means to be human within community (living for others rather than for myself) rather than within an unhealthy state of autonomy. So far it is hard work, but I’m already sensing a better sense of wholeness…