Rolling the Dice: A traveler’s fears

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!

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9 thoughts on “Rolling the Dice: A traveler’s fears

  1. I don’t have a set home or traditional job either, the fear is normal until you realize you *can’t* put life on hold. It’s every moment 🙂 Good luck!!

  2. Beautiful Allie. But remember, you always have a home. And you always have your friends. You aren’t gettin rid of us just by being a couple thousand miles away 😉

  3. You’ll always have a home. It’s when you visit friends and family. You only have one life and you should live it for all it’s worth now.

    Live in the present and enjoy it while you can. You’ll have many stories to tell your friends, family and kids in the future and they’ll be better for it. 🙂

    By the way, I love your honesty in this post.

  4. Love the post as it resonates with my thoughts about travel. I know its what I want to and for as long as possible.

    By saying that though I’m left with, when can I find someone to start a family and have a career like I’m suppose too. What happens to the belief that when you finish studying you should buy a house and make a living.

    I rationalize it by the fact that love can find you anywhere not just at home working the office life. New friends will be made and lost travelling just like they are at home.

    And finally your life is what you make of it, why is there this desire to know what we are all going to be doing in 5 years time? Why not live for the now and see where it can take you in 5 years time instead.

  5. This passage made me cry. We’re in the same boat all together, though far apart. Our age and our friendship is what links us. There are some days when I feel jealous and some days when I feel content. As long as we are happy and inspired day by day, I think that’s the most important thing… You, my dear friend, should be doing what you are doing, and more than anyone, you are sucking the marrow out of your adventures!

    P.S. We’re turning your blog into a book someday (and you have my permission to put me in the dedication:)

  6. Welcome to Lang Suan! If there is anything you need let us know. We have a rather large family there. If you need anything from the US drop a line; We be there end of April to August. This time we are bringing a GPS with us so, we have a clue where we are at in the mountains. Much of Lang Suan is blurred on Google Earth. There are places nearby that National Geographic and the world do not know about. If you teach there long enough you might have one of our brats in your classes.
    KCasq@yahoo.com

  7. “My fear is that I’m putting my life on hold.” That is just nonsense. You really seem to be on the right path. Just enjoy that life you feel strage to, in the end, you will be “back home” someday.

    Best,
    A

  8. hey – i like your blog! im currently fightin with technology to get mine up to speed :s i totally relate to what you’re doing, i bought a oneway ticket to Chiang Mai a couple of years ago for one year teaching and 3.5 years later im still on the road :S and loving every second!!

    keep it up mrs 🙂

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