What if it’s the there
and not the here
that I long for?
and not the wait,
in the lost feet
the faraway street…
― Tyler Knott Gregson
You know… the Aqua man. No, I am not a fan. I saw him briefly in GOT and tried to watch the Aquaman movie a while ago but I find it chaotic and childish. So, after about a quarter of an hour I called it quits. Shorter than the time I tried to watch Harry Potter films. That was a record.
In my dream we were travelling somewhere together with D. and a girl-woman who was a bit of an alternative chick. Wears black; short bob hair and no face. She didn’t fancy Jason Momoa either. So it seemed. As expected; women fell around him wherever we went but he seemed oblivious to the fact. Instead he concentrated on us; me in particular. No, I am not narcissistic, no delusions of grandeur or anything or otherwise I would replace Aquaman with Nadal.
I think the place was Nepal or somewhere in the vicinity because the mountains are gorgeous (no, it wasn’t the Alps) and there were lots of indigenous people and culture a volonté. Plenty of nature and far away picture perfect scenery.
The longer we travel the more intimate Jason became with his sweet words and gestures. He begun touching me too. A hand there, an arm over my shoulder or on the small of my back. Longer eye contact too. To me, personally it is nothing. Been there done that in my younger years. Too much for my liking. The more he did those personalized attentions, the more the alternative chick disliked me. No, she didn’t say a thing but I am an expert on body language and reading between the lines. D. kept quiet.
One time D. went to the nearest ATM while Jason was showing me the range or mountains outside the window his arm around me while the girl-woman after a tantrum was decided to go on her own and was waiting for a ride sitting at the bus stop that looked like a piece of some amphitheater. All of us situated in one place in a triangular position within hearing distance of each other. How could that be? Perhaps the hotel or whatever it was me and Jason were in was in fact not a room but a veranda that’s why I could see both D. and the alternative chick and they could see me.
After a time, D. came back with a series of figures on a piece of paper. To make the story short, he was accusing me in a subtle way ( he is always subtle) of withdrawing some amount from our joint account and giving them to Aquaman. I started bawling out of misery. How could he thought of me that way. I never give money to a guy. My attention for a while is more than enough I always believe. Anyway, in the middle of my bawling I suddenly stopped and thought: Hmmm… Perhaps he was reversing the situation. Maybe it was him who gave some dough to that alternative chick. Come to think of it, she is more his type than I am and she clearly showed some hidden soft spot for him and why should Jason be interested in our money? So, I told D. to produce some evidence in a form of bank statement/balance that showing I withdraw some money from our account and he had to prove that he didn’t do it either.
Then, I woke up.
Recalling the dream I realized that there could be another side to the story. Maybe Jason Momoa and the girl-woman were on it together. Perhaps they made an agreement to con us. Work the lady I work the man and see who is going to melt first. If that was true. I’m sure D. would be the one who will succumb to the temptation. Why I think that? Because Like I said before, I’ve been there done that hundred times and back and I could proudly say it never happened to me. D. on the other hand is more gullible when it comes to this sort of things. I will not elaborate but I have a proof to my claim. Besides, he is somewhat innocent and totally lack of any experience dealing with people. He simply could not read them and their intentions.
Why it is that whenever D. appeared in my dreams it was always either he is leaving me or exchanging me for another woman. Don’t say it’s my hidden fear because it is not. My hidden fear is being buried alive.
Anyway, having an almost romantic encounter with Jason Momoa in a dream is preferable than having an affair with a bald politician or my nipple being sucked by a singer who actually cannot sing.
Till next time.
I am running out of ideas on how to entertain myself during Corona Lockdown.
I am used to self- imposed quarantine. I could go on for years without talking to anyone. That’s not the problem. The trouble is my world suddenly becomes smaller.
How long you could run around the neighborhood and be still in awe of what you see?
I love nature. But believe you me, no matter how great that love is, if I see another river, another poor excuse for waterfalls, another forest, another mountain tops, I would scream till I have no voice anymore left out of sheer frustration.
How many versions of those one could take without being bored to death?
Trees are just trees and water is just water no matter from which angle you view them.
I could understand that the same rules apply if you go further abroad but that is not the point. Ever heard of the journey being more important than the destination? That is not the problem either. The problem is the journey on a familiar road going to an even more familiar destination is becoming tedious it drives me crazy.
I want to explore new horizons, do new things, see unknown whatever. Anywhere but here for crying out loud.
I want to see trees and water and rocks on foreign soil. Observe unfamiliar cultures. I want to taste and try new dishes, I want to experience life again!
But life would never be the same again. I see it now. By all means, as long as I can run around out there without restrictions, free as before then I’m okay. I don’t even have to talk to people. I just want to go places that’s all.
Who out there (like me) is craving/dreaming/ fantasizing about something like this?
It used to be my backyard. I grew up in places (yes places) like this one and that time like most people who are living in what westerners called “paradise” I didn’t realize how lucky I was. I wish to go back there right now. Not to live but to breathe, away from hassle and bustle of the rat race and soak the atmosphere and for a while relived the memories of my youth, when in spite of the “circumstances ” life is a little bit simpler.
… and still, the corona issue lingers.
I could sympathize with the sociables and extroverts out there who need human contact to properly function though I don’t share their predicaments. If truth is to be told, nothing really changes with my lifestyle since the lockdown. I have always been in self-imposed quarantine since I decided to distance myself with all the dramas of humankind. Most of the time I enjoy my solitude. Sometimes I want to be lost in anonymity among strangers who don’t know and want nothing from me. I like it that way.
Probably, the only setback I have experienced during this crisis is not being able to go on vacation and lost my booking. I got a form of a voucher claimable the next time I book a holiday and would be expired within a year. The catch is, nobody knows yet when people are allowed again to travel outside their own countries so, it’s a waiting game. I hope to be out here by October. Fingers cross.
They are predicting the hottest summer (which is becoming the norm these days) I have given up on gardening. My water bill is sky high already and it is not even summer. The driest month so far they say. If it gets even drier, there will be no plant left to water. I don’t know if it is good or bad.
Anyway, I hope June will be kind to you, and let’s pray that this crisis will be over soon.
See you around.
This land, although not my native land,
Will be remembered forever.
And the sea’s lightly iced,
The sand on the bottom is whiter than chalk,
The air is heady, like wine,
And the rosy body of the pines
Is naked in the sunset hour.
And the sunset itself on such waves of ether
That I just can’t comprehend
Whether it is the end of the day, the end of the world,
Or the mystery of mysteries in me again.
Of this I am absolutely sure: Do not reach the era of child-rearing and real jobs with a guitar case full of crushing regret for all the things you wished you’d done in your youth. I know too many people who didn’t do those things. They all end up mingy, addled, shrink-wrapped versions of the people they intended to be. – Cheryl Strayed
I didn’t want to get married and have children. I didn’t want to be a wife or a mother. Or anything domesticated. I want to be Sinbad, Scully, Stephen King, Steve McQueen, Eric The Phantom and Indiana Jones or anything in between as long as it doesn’t spell boring. I want to be John Snow, Spirit of the Cimmaron Lara Croft and Aragorn. I want to be a gypsy child in the midst of Bohemianism.
To take the world as one finds it, the bad with the good, making the best of the present moment—to laugh at Fortune alike whether she be generous or unkind—to spend freely when one has money, and to hope gaily when one has none—to fleet the time carelessly, living for love and art— for in Bohemia one may find almost every sin save that of Hypocrisy. [source: Wikipedia]
What, then, is it that makes this mystical empire of Bohemia unique, and what is the charm of its mental fairyland? It is this: there are no roads in all Bohemia! One must choose and find one’s own path, be one’s own self, live one’s own life. — Ayloh, 1902
Look where I am now!
But then again, I have lived a thousand lives others can’t even imagine in their wildest dreams. I’ve’ walked to hell and back, visited heaven and been everywhere in between. People often say I’ve been there done that when what they really meant is they know how it feels to stand at the edge of a crater but they never really experience how it is to descend to the bottom. I can honestly say I did. Countless times.
In my dying bed, I will not lie there and regret everything I should have done but never dare or tried because I know for a fact that compared to most, I have lived a colorful life, even though none of those are the ones I truly wanted.
So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality, nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
― Christopher McCandless
“I’ve never been lonely. I’ve been in a room — I’ve felt suicidal. I’ve been depressed. I’ve felt awful — awful beyond all — but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me…or that any number of people could enter that room. In other words, loneliness is something I’ve never been bothered with because I’ve always had this terrible itch for solitude. It’s being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. I’ll quote Ibsen, “The strongest men are the most alone.” I’ve never thought, “Well, some beautiful blonde will come in here and give me a fuck-job, rub my balls, and I’ll feel good.” No, that won’t help. You know the typical crowd, “Wow, it’s Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?” Well, yeah. Because there’s nothing out there. It’s stupidity. Stupid people mingling with stupid people. Let them stupidify themselves. I’ve never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night. I hid in bars because I didn’t want to hide in factories. That’s all. Sorry for all the millions, but I’ve never been lonely. I like myself. I’m the best form of entertainment I have. Let’s drink more wine!”
Is that so?
When you hit rock bottom the only way is up?
Dangerous are the people who got nothing to lose
They up the stake and go all the way.
I feel like that sometimes.
Other times I worry about everything and nothing.
But one thing is true
The more you have, the more scared you get of losing them.
Same with people I guess.
The more you love them, the greater the fear.
Watching thriller and detective films sometimes, I curse when I learned that the leading character has a family, children especially. I think to myself: How stupid you are to have an Achilles heel. In that line of work, better to live alone and have nothing you cannot walk away from when the situation calls for it.
If I have got my wish, I am living that kind of life. Solitary. Lone wolf. Always in transition, nothing to lose, never vulnerable.
I will be a Ronin.
Yeah. I like that. A secret fantasy of mine.
I never walk into a place I don’t know how to walk out of.
And I never took a companion I cannot shoot in the head without a second thought.
By Lauren Klarfeld
What we carry in our backpacks is the weight of our fears.
Some backpacks are made on a swift decision. Others are planned months in advance and ticked off with a checklist. Certain backpacks are made out of choice, and sometimes others are made because we had no choice. Be it to go far or to go hide next door. When we are making a backpack, there is more to it than just physical weight.
As I laid out the remainder of my clothes on an empty table and zipped up my backpack, I knew I was trying to pack a mess. I made a decision almost a year ago that I didn’t want to be committed to an apartment, a contract, rent or a job that didn’t move me. That it had all seemed pointless after so many years to work so many hours, not only to support myself since I was 18 but also to work for things I didn’t always believe in. The home I was in, the job I had and some of the people I knew just didn’t feel like “home” anymore.
What I wanted was the freedom to go whenever I wanted to.
Go incognito and re-invent myself in every new place I was in. Dare to do those things I never felt comfortable doing before. My plan had been to volunteer from hostel to hostel paying no rent in exchange for free labour. The months that followed I walked around a city with the feeling that a weight had been taken off of me. I was alone but I had chosen to be alone. If anything I was a solitaire. And it was liberating for once to look at myself that way.
But like any backpacker, I had given up the vertical ease of a closet where all my clothes had been aligned for years for a horizontal goulash of textile wrapped one under the other. I had come with a full backpack and that was all I allowed myself to carry.
When we see things in such a constrained space or possibility, it somehow gives us perspective on the fact that one needs to be sure of their choices.
Suddenly, we cannot spend two hours trying on different clothes as we struggle with our own image—because there is just no space nor mirrors for us to do. Perfectly ironed t-shirts are a thing of the past too when you travel. And adding things to a backpack becomes a burden as it weighs heavier and heavier. And every time we pick out a t-shirt it is like rambling our hands through a lottery machine—one never knows what they’ll pick out.
The idea of leaving it all behind to live life like a vagabond has been very appealing for years in my generation. But we seldom realise that this kind of life without commitments sometimes comes at the cost of a life without the conveniences we once knew: a home to call our own, a toothbrush in a fixed place, old friends to go to when we’re having a bad day or even a home cooked meal from our mother.
See, backpacks are emblems to travelers. They symbolize the travelers’ mobile nature and our need for freedom to go whenever we want to. They are built to accommodate easy access and storage. And a backpacker needs that like he needs air: the possibility and reminder that he can move and is constrained by nothing.
But when we spend enough time on the road, whether we want to or not, our backpacks mutate. And so do we.
As I moved to this kind of lifestyle in Madrid, I realized that what was once an emblem of mobility, now became a painstaking weight to carry around. I had gone from one store to the other buying new clothes just to fit with the local’s style. I bought one colorful dress after the other and thought it was a victory for the past tomboy that I was. I hated dresses really, but here abroad I thought I could push myself to like them and no one would notice. And the summer was the worst, as this frail white skinned Belgian girl who had never experienced a real summer suddenly had to walk legs and arms uncovered.
When traveling and wanting to change ourselves, we sometimes become schizophrenic chameleons in places whose language we are still learning and borrowing. And as thrilling as it is to go incognito anywhere and re-invent one’s self—some days, we just aren’t lively chameleons. Some days, we are just lost cats that hide under cars waiting for the traffic to pass.
Little do we know that sometimes the backpacks we are carrying are in fact heavy with burdensome personal baggage already. Somehow, all the while that we pack our underwear and t-shirts, our bags are already bursting with the layers of our constant self-questioning, our fears, our inner critic, and sometimes lack of self-love.
When we travel we get rid of our old comforts and routines. And so we grow more aware of who we are and who we aren’t, and of the difference between who we want to be and who we are right now. The kind of contrast we only ever really see when we get confronted with the blank canvas of ourselves echoed by the amount of free time and liberty we have when traveling or being in a new chapter of our lives.
In the end, it isn’t just about wanting to escape what we had before, it is mostly about escaping who we were before.
We are mostly introverts that are seeking a way to grow out of it. We rarely think that growth isn’t just about pushing ourselves to become who we want to be. Sometimes, we just become who we want to become eventually, by making the choices that we’re asked not by our mind or our heart, but by our gut. Sometimes, it’s when looking back, rather than forward, that we see better today the person we are becoming.
So that day as I made my backpack again in these last seven months. I was offered a lesson on acceptance. I laid all my clothes and beauty products on a bed, and decided I’d make two bags this time.
One with all the things that I had always felt resembled me and that I needed. And another with all the things I bought that I thought I might need. And left behind only the last one.
In life or in travel, if we want to set out on an adventure with ourselves, the best backpacks we’ll ever make are those that will leave extra room for our own personal baggage.
And acknowledging this is what will allow us to carry it in the first place…
When you grow up by the sea, you spend a good deal of time looking at the horizon. You wonder what on Earth the waves might bring – and where the sea might deposit you – until one day you know you have lived between two places, the scene of arrival and the point of departure. ~Andrew O’Hagan
I grew up by the sea and Indeed I spent a good deal of time looking at the horizon sitting on the breakwater my father had built waiting for the water to reach my feet. I never wonder what on earth the waves might bring but I once had a friend who gave me this copper ring which he made himself but had to throw it in the sea to keep me from being drowned by someone who wanted the ring so much. He said the sea will give it back to me when the time is right. The waves will deposit it at my feet wherever I am.
It didn’t happen of course and until this very moment I don’t know yet if I have lived between two places and I’m not sure if I understand where are the scene of arrival and the point of departure and how on earth I am going to recognize these places when the time comes. Perhaps it’s about being born and dying. Maybe the day you will understand you have lived between these two points is when you realized it’s your last day here on earth and it’s time to say goodbye.
The sea didn’t deposit me anywhere but a plane did. I traveled by air to hell in order to be saved. In a sense, I did live in two places and experienced both worlds. None of them is an ideal place to live but I never complain. There are worst situations than mine. There is no horizon to look at where I am now. In order to see it, I have to travel far, and when I reach there the view is often disappointing. How I wish I could say how I long for the peace and quiet of my childhood when sitting on a breakwater whole day was my only concern, but I would be lying. So, I would wish for peace of mind instead and hope it comes before I know I have lived between two places.