Thursday, February 26, 2015

sitting and staring

last year in madagascar i had this thought occur to me that an extraordinary amount of my time traveling involves sitting and staring.  i spend long hours staring from the windows of local transportation or long flights.  sometimes i'm stuck in a dingy hotel in the middle of a village which does not show up on a map and i take some time to myself to buy a few warm beers and hang out on the balcony just watching the world below.  i'm trying to figure things out, perhaps i'm giving recent experiences a chance to sort themselves through my mind.

i typically travel alone.  i spend a lot of time in my head and often i find it difficult to come up with words to describe the things i've been through.  sometimes i'm watching a beautiful view, sitting and staring at the endlessness of nature or the animals which were confined to zoos back back and i'm giving thanks to the universe that i've come to wash ashore in such a faraway land safely.  there are even days which come about when i don't say a single word for the entire duration of the day.  i spend the entire day in my head and it's tempting to call this loneliness.  this isn't loneliness it's alone-ness, a feeling which many people rarely get to experience.  in this sentiment i am sometimes so far off the grid that nobody in the world knows where i am.  in these days i feel like i can truly become myself, to act solely on instinct.

i'm a teacher.  throughout the work year (not really a year, more like six months) i exercise the parts of my brain in charge of intellect.  i gather information and prepare my head to educate.  my job is to teach english and in this line of work you must constantly be creative.  there is a time to practice intellect and there is a time to practice instinct.  as of today, i can see the pending dawn of instinct in my life as i'll be back into the world soon, very soon.

maybe others are better at this that i am.  i've always maintained that i've never gotten good at traveling.  perhaps i've become experienced to the point where i know how to take care of myself while being free in the world but my heart has never learned how to sift through the emotions which come over me while i travel.  i hate flying.  i hate leaving my loved ones.  it sucks.  i don't know another way around it.  i make these sacrifices and they never get easier, but i'm blessed to have people who support me.  people seem to really dig what i do and that gives me inspiration.  sometimes when i'm alone either sitting and staring out the window of a minibus or buried feet-deep in the sand on a beautiful beach i look off into the nothingness of things and see how small i am in this universe.  i see things for how they are.  i see that my world is nothing without the people who love me.  this is why i come back.  my motto has always been to 'run fool!' but i cannot go so far to say 'run away!'.  go out into the world and find yourself, you will be a much more interesting and well-rounded person who appreciates the company of those who love you.  your eyes will show your experiences well and those who have ever traveled or are curious about travel will be able to see a part of you that took you a lifetime of wandering to discover.