Writing a travel blog, before I’ve actually started the bulk of the travels is funny because all I do is tell people my plan. Then, when I sit down to write a blog about my plan, it just feels redundant and self-serving to talk more about it.
So I have not updated the travel blog in over a month even though my entire life has already changed. I moved out of Chicago on February 1st and came home to the central coast of California to spend a few days with family. From there I went to a 10 day meditation retreat in North Fork, California.
I was able to type out a quick blog about the Vipassana experience, which you can read on my other blog here eat-sleep-meditate. The 10 days of silence and self introspection was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience. A perfect way to honor my transition from my American security with day by day predictability to one of Australian unknown and an open world waiting to be met.
The juxtaposition of 10 days in silence with no communication in the serene and gentle foothills of the Sierra Nevadas versus the day in and day out chaos that we thrive on and, at times create is a lot to take in, observe and try to understand.
Freshly out of the retreat I felt strong and focused and now that I have a week back in the real world, I feel the cloudiness of the media and cultural invasion we live amongst creeping back in. Everyone feeling the need to be “strong minded” in interest solely of preserving their own self righteousness. Sometimes it feels like people are desperate to be right, or feel of importance, as if their voice or opinion carries the weight of the world.
Then, sometimes, you put down your own need to be right and you start actually listening to the others and realize that maybe they’re more like you than you think. For instance – my biggest “problem” right now is my fear and anxiety about moving across the world, with a little less money than planned and no idea of where I will work or live.
So, people don’t always take me seriously when I say “I’m nervous, I’m scared.” They think “Oh, she has it easy” or “She doesn’t have problems like I do.” And this is just an example because I don’t really consider it a problem, it’s just something I’d like to talk about so that through talking I can come to a realization that will calm my nerves. It’s the same thing when people complain about something that you feel is less important than whatever you yourself are going through.
“My boyfriend may be cheating on me” Well, dump him.
“I can’t stand my job, I’m overworked and underpaid.” Well, quit.
“My dog died today, I’m so upset.” Well, everybody dies.
It’s a shitty reaction because it’s jumping directly to the end result. Trying to solve the problem, or avoiding it all together. That’s not how we as humans work however. We feel emotions, sometimes more fervently than we feel the wind against our face, or the ground at our feet – as those are things we can take for granted and live without experiencing.
I’ve tried to be a better listener and empathizer lately and open up my heart to try to understand how the person who is telling me this or that is feeling on the inside. Something in your life may be trivial to me in mine, because we don’t have the same issues with things. However, what we all have that is the same are the feelings that arise from things.
Last night it started to hit me that I will be removed from my family for a year or so. The difference is that Australia FEELS further than Chicago feels. I mean, it is further, however both are accessible through a plan. I can be reached in either place with a phone. While living in the US I’ve gone a full year, and more, without seeing my family, and we are all really close knit. It just doesn’t become a priority when we are wrapped up in our lives.
So Fiji and Australia are coming to me in less than 5 days. There is a knot in my stomach, which I am aware of and letting sit there because nerves and fear are a great way to have hyper-intuition. It keeps me on my feet whereas if I was just excited, I would walk blindly into this adventure and that could cause me to miss something.
Eight months of planning for the unknown, and here I am, exactly where I was 8 months ago – with no idea of what my life will be like come March. What I don’t have is the same mentality. I don’t own frivolous stuff any more. I sold, donated and left everything that could be replaced, and kept only those that can be carried on my back, or stored in 5 boxes in my brothers garage.
So all the people that have asked me my plan or my goal for the trip and I’ve responded “I don’t know, just because… I want to have fun… I want to travel… I want something new” I’m sorry, I lied. My goal is to open up to the world. I was really negative for a really long time and really lost deep in a maze of my own self-righteous bullshit.
I built walls up excluding so much connection. I covered that up by saying “that’s stupid,” “this person is an idiot,” “i don’t have time for this shit.” Now I can see the struggle I had, to feel better about myself through putting others down. It was an awful cycle, which is not completely broken, but I guess awareness may be the first step.
So I want to open my arms to what’s about happen because I have no idea. Fiji is secure and happening. There’s still a little fear that I get to Oz and they find out I don’t quite have all of the 5,000 AUD that is required of the visa terms and send me away. That in itself will be a story, but I think it will work out.
I leave in 3 days time to Fiji and 4 days later will step foot on Australian soil for the first time. Let’s say this will be the last blog post of pre-travel United States, and the last post with any hint of fear or anxiety for down under. I’m sure when the sun hits my face in the southern hemisphere, all will be right in my heart.
Flights are booked, hostels are booked, bags are… empty since all my clothes are thrown about the guestroom at my brother and his lady’s house. So really, I guess I need to get on that and figure out what I’m gonna wear!
Signing off from California, will see you on the other side!