I have been in Thailand since October now and I am just starting to discover my fears. Fears of the traveling horizon ahead of me. I have traveled a lot since I have been teaching in Lang Suan, but it was easier. I traveled for a few days and then always came back to my job as a teacher. I always came back to my little house. I always came back to my bed (albeit an extremely uncomfortable one and most of the time the beds were more comfortable while I was traveling). I always came back to a sense of home.
And now I won’t have any of that. This was my last weekend in Lang Suan. Next weekend, I am embarking on a weeklong excursion to Malaysia and Singapore. I will be back in Lang Suan for a few days and then I am heading off to explore the rest of Southeast Asia. And this thought daunts me to no end.
Coming to Thailand was a huge step for me. It took me a short time to adjust and now I have to learn to adjust again. I am going to get to see historical monuments, breathtaking vistas, and learn about foreign cultures that others dream about. I’m going to live out of my suitcase and “couchsurf” with people I have never met. And it won’t end in Southeast Asia. If I can raise the funds, I am going to travel to Europe or South America in August for a year or so. With all these thoughts in my mind, I wanted to write about my fears of traveling.
My main fear is not having a home. I’m going to be bouncing around, not having a sense of place, not having a set group of friends, and never being comfortable. Home is one of the staples of our being. We need a place to call our own. We need people to call our own. We even need “stuff” to call our own. We trade all of that for a chance to witness places we only read about in books and on the internet.
I’m also scared of missing out on everything happening back in California and the rest of the US. That includes new music, new movies, sporting events (mainly the Olympics), my friend’s relationships and jobs and pretty much their lives, my family and my dogs. Yes, I can use the internet to stay in tune with all of these things, but its not the same. There’s nothing like hearing a new song on the radio or viewing a preview for a much anticipated movie or being there when your best friend meets her future boyfriend. I heard about the Super Bowl and now I’m hearing about the Olympics. I don’t want to watch the Olympics on the internet. I don’t want to choose which events I want to stream online. I want to tune in for those six hours they are on at night and I want to see them all! Its just not the same and its hard to only see my loved ones on the computer (but thank God for Skype, right?!).
My fear is that I’m putting my life on hold. I graduated college and got a job right away. I started building my life, my future and my savings. Traveling puts all that on hold. I feel like I’m not doing what I’m “supposed” to be doing. I should be working and building a career, but I am far from that. I want a family one day and we all know I’m not close to that either. I know I’m young and I have my whole life ahead of me, but its just scary!
I have so many people writing me and telling me how jealous they are of what I’m doing. They wish that they had done this before they started their family, or law school, or working. But the truth is, every once in awhile, I’m jealous of them. I’m jealous that they know where their life is headed and what they will be doing in five years. At this point all I know is that I want to travel. I don’t know where I will be in five years let alone tomorrow!!
I know I’m on the right path, but sometimes its hard getting that reality check!