Journal Entry: June 1, 2017
This is it! Sitting at the airport in Barcelona waiting to head back home for the first time in 15 months. I left February 17, 2016—that was seriously 15 months ago. It's wild that I've been away for that long. Nothing has changed, yet everything has.
I went out truly on my own for the first time in my life. I leaped into the unknown with Korea and teaching English. I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I hiked mountains all over the world—in Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and Spain. I went backpacking for three months with hardly any plans. I spent time with beautiful foreign girls. I altered my perception on an island in Thailand. I got food poisoning during a hike in central Myanmar as temperatures soared to over 100 degrees. During this ordeal, I was puking and shitting all night. On top of that, it was my 24th birthday! That's something I will surely remember for the rest of my life. I tried stand-up paddleboarding for the first time. I posted a photo about it on Instagram, which led to me being invited to participate in a Bangkok canal cleanup project, where we picked up trash on paddleboards. After that, we went to a local lake to practice more SUP, and then we did yoga on the boards. Quite difficult. Afterwards, I even got a ride to the airport out of it. How cool is that? I also went to a Burmese wedding in Myanmar. That was an interesting experience, to say the least. As the only foreigners, we were treated like royalty, and the bride and groom had no idea who we were. Can you imagine that in America?
I'm now 47 minutes away from landing at home—flying somewhere over Maine right now. It has felt like quite a long journey. Planes are gross. So dry and cramped. Yuck. That view that I just witnessed as we flew over Greenland though. That was epic. Snow-covered peaks surrounded by lakes of pure blue. I was intrigued. I had to whip out the DSLR to snag a photo. So this is it. I'm really back in Massachusetts. This is nuts. The strangeness of it all hasn't fully set in yet. It will probably hit me when I get into the airport. Here we go!
I've now been back home for two weeks. It's certainly weird settling back into my daily routine. Even though I'm back living at home, I've also felt the weight of adult responsibilities piling on. Before you know it, you've added on multiple monthly bills in addition to student loans. Phone bill + gym membership + insurance + monthly subscriptions—it adds up quick. And this is without paying rent or for most of the food I eat. Thanks mom and dad. Financial pressures are real, but like anything, it's all about your attitude.
I've realized that my plan of freelancing might not be enough to pay my bills and to have extra money for things like a car or for saving up for my own place. It all remains to be seen. I still have this (possibly naive) side of me that wants to ignore all of that "grown-up" stuff and just keeping living for today. The part of me that says keep going for the dream regardless of circumstances. The following quote is from a letter I received from a friend and fellow English teacher prior to leaving to backpack Southeast Asia.
"When I first met you, I really admired your drive and child-like fearlessness towards creating what you wanted to create and to design a life that aligned with who you are. It was so refreshing. I obviously came to learn that like me, you were also filled with self-doubts and hesitation, but the fact remains that the sense of trust was (and remains) very heightened in you."
These profound words are form my dear friend Rocio Cadena— check out all her writing on her site
In closing, I'm excited to be back home, and now, as always, there are new challenges to confront. I think viewing today as a gift and enjoying where I'm at now is important. We're constantly striving for something else, for more. In reality, the only thing within our control is today. It's the only thing we have. Everything else only exists in our mind.
Check out the video expanding on this topic on my YouTube channel:
Break Your Boundaries.