The Struggle is Real !

I’ve had experiences that have left me feeling like the world is amazing and everything is wonderful. There have been times in my life when I feel the complete opposite, when I believe this is a world full of evil.

Obviously it’s hard to live in a constant state of either, while at home or on the road. People love to think that other people have it better. For instance, if you’re not in a place in your life where you can travel for any sort of amount of time, for any sort of reason, you may be jealous or weary of someone that is.

I have had this conversation time and time again but it really only falls on deaf ears unless it is with another traveler. Perhaps it is because those living vicariously through the stories of a traveler don’t want to believe it, or don’t understand it, however the plain truth is: Traveling is really hard.

Just to be clear on a few things. Identifying traveling as being hard, doesn’t mean it’s not amazing and great. It also doesn’t mean that it’s physically hard. These days one can call themselves a backpacker and really just mean that they travel with a backpack. It could fall anywhere in the range of living off the land, hiking through mountains, exploring foreign and uncivilized terrain to the more common – rocking up to the capitol of a first world country, throwing your pack on your bunk bed and heading off to find the nearest pub.

They’re all examples of backpacking and they’re all real travelers. The sub-cultures of the traveler community are quite limiting, in exactly the same way that a sub-culture of full time city dwellers compartmentalize. It feels like everyone thinks what they are doing is right. This is universal. Over all sorts of types of different feelings, beliefs and backgrounds. It’s almost a matter of survival to believe wholeheartedly that what you are doing, or the way you are doing it is the right way, the only way, the real way

The measuring, comparing and judging that happens on a daily basis, continues to happen on a daily basis when you’re a citizen of the world. A friend quipped that I wasn’t traveling because I’ve been to 2 Australian cities in 2 weeks. Granted, I’m not backpacking the Himalayas or traversing the great Australian Outback by foot, but by definition going from one city to another city is traveling.

As a traveler, I’m meeting people at hostels every day which inevitably means the conversation begins with “where you from and where you going.” As a basic rule of talk, this is how you get to know someone at a hostel. It is minutes, or hours later that you remember to ask their name. You get much deeper into a person’s life, love and dark secrets before it even dawns on you to require such a barbaric tradition such as introducing oneself.

To take a year to go to another place in the world, to look for work and stay there and hopefully live like a local is an adventure. It’s an experience that everyone should have, but a lot don’t. However, it is not something that everyone needs to do. I am in Australia, sort of underwhelmed by it as a whole. It is so similar to my home country, so that doesn’t feed the adventure, but as it gets clearer and clearer the cities of the world are more or less a backdrop to the people you meet.

I just turned 29 and I’m surrounded by younger, skinnier, tanner 20 somethings and it’s a strange reality. Living in hostel is hard because it is not real life. There will always be someone who’s traveled longer, further, cheaper, richer, easier, harder, more mainstream or in the virtually unknown territories. So a comparison of oneself to another doesn’t really work, or do one any good. It’s a way of personally cutting yourself down and convincing yourself you’re not good or enough, or what you’re doing isn’t good enough.

As we’ve just discovered earlier, it is vital to believe that what you are doing is right. So it’s a clash of worlds when we are faced with evaluation our own selves on our own paths. The recognition that my heart and soul weren’t in coordination with my actions is what prompted this trip to try something new and be somewhere different.

Now that I am here and I am doing what I set out to do, it is still scary. Less scary than when it was a dream and not a reality. This is the part of the journey where I toed up to the cliff and jumped, and now I’m waiting to catch wind. Still taking it all in, learning and figuring out what the hell to do all day, day after day, when there is no job or useless shit or self imposed responsibility used to fill the hours.

I have such a hard time with the world sometimes trying to figure out whether to care about everything or care about nothing. It’s the same thing where it is so difficult to find a balance. I often feel surrounded by negativity. Negativity comes through in so many different ways, it’s not a simple matter of a few buzz words. Humans are sensitive beings, we can pick up on the intention and subliminal meaning behind a seemingly innocent remark. So there are times when a person is telling you about their amazing trip and for some reason you want to be happy for them and be interested in the tale but you just get this strange feeling inside.

Those are moments of negative sushi. Where there is a nice juicy piece of negativity (bragging, showing off, condescension) covered with white rice details and wrapped in a thin paper of wholesome alacrity. So it’s delivered like something positive but you feel deep down inside something is off and then you feel bad for not feeling good about something that is meant to be good. I noticed this the other day when someone said something that was meant to be uplifting and positive, but it gave me a bad feeling and it was just her trying to make herself feel better. What was said had no value for others, it was all for her. That’s cool… I do the same thing too, but when there’s a drought of substance, it starts to drain my soul.

I never took too much consideration to this before, until now when I’m in travel mode (similar to survival mode – all senses are fully heightened and operating continually) but I am a sensitive soul. I need to be careful of what I see, hear, read, believe, say, write, feel, take and give to the world.

The struggle is real on its own, we don’t need to add lighter fluid. I want to care more and act more caring towards others, I want others to do the same. I wish we would all wave our own little white flags of surrender and end this competition by dropping all these walls we’ve built parading false reflections of the people we wish we were. The day we realize we are all so much more similar than different will be the day we start to live in harmony. 

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