Journal entry written June 2, 2017
I came back unexpectedly from my grand adventure, but maybe it wasn’t quite so unexpected. Sure, I didn’t plan for my dog back home to tear her ACL or get cancer, but maybe it was time. See, dreams can’t last forever, or at minimum, there’s got to be an intermission.
I believe, fiercely, that life isn’t meant to be lived in avoidance of pain. One must endure the bitter to have the privilege of savoring the sweet — and to make it taste that much sweeter.
So I’m back on my native soil, and my life is in disarray. But it’s as most transitions go. I’m doing what I returned to do, to be present for the beautiful birth of my first nephew and to care for my injured and sick dog. She lays next to me, sleeping peacefully, as I type this. Her surgery to remove the four cancerous masses they found is on Tuesday. The credit card bill to pay for her treatment will be due not long after.
I didn’t travel to travel. I traveled to accelerate my consumption of experiences and the lessons that result. I traveled to really feel life.
On the road, I experienced delays, robberies, illness, racism, radically changed plans, motorbike accidents, being taken advantage of financially and physically. My travel companion and I considered turning back on the fifth day of our trek up Annapurna because of illness. In Japan I was turned away from restaurants for being something other than what they allowed in their restaurant. My iPhone stolen while I was in Nepal was ransomed back to me six weeks later, when I was in Thailand. I was followed and nearly assaulted in Bali.
These experiences are trivial. So trivial, in fact, that as I write them, I wonder if I traveled, adventured hard enough. I could have dug deeper, gone further, taken more risk.
But I don’t care. There are no ’should haves’ when it comes to looking back, only ‘I’ll apply that observance at the next opportunity.’
The current state of my life — mostly alone, sometimes forgotten about, with family members vehemently opposed to my chosen lifestyle, a sick dog, adjusting to stationary life, light on cash, job seeking and with no idea what I’ll do next — is exactly what I was looking for in travel. It’s a real life, in your face, lesson-producing struggle. And I’m so grateful for it.
Remembering I might die tomorrow shows me the light in all things. It pulls me from self-pity and negativity in a way nothing else can. In the face of death, all the bullshit falls away. So now, as I put the pieces of my life back together, I remember that I am not ending a grand adventure. Traveling around the world was but just a piece of my great adventure: being so happy to be alive every single day.
Like this post? Share it, man! Love, Kate.