About getting lost and finding yourself

The end is getting closer. Not that I want to but I can feel it. I can’t help to keep looking for Wi-Fi everywhere in a desperated attempt to keep in touch with those I miss. With those that bring me some familiarity with something. Also, some stuff is going on inside. But I started feeling I am missing way too many things. And that I don’t want to be as far as this and feel as left behind as I do.

I know that I always get the homesick feeling after saying goodbye to people I truly connected with: the break up syndrom. But this time feels, somehow, a bit different. Not that I have lost my fear to settle down. None of that, it still scares me. But I started missing a lot of stuff that I didn’t care about before. I started feeling uncomfortable by things that I didn’t mind previously. And I have lost interest in many things that kept me moving before.
Neither I have decided what to do with myself. There has been two questions I have been hearing continuously. The first one is: when are you back? The second one is: so are you going to stay in Spain or go back to Dublin? As there were only those two possibilities! Hilarious.
None of the big questions are answered yet. But none of the small ones are, either. And it doesn’t bother me now. What confuses me is the fact that I don’t know what I want. Me, always extremely decided on everything and driven by my thoughts. Me, obstinated in accomplishing everything that crosses my mind, eternally pursuing goals. I find very lost without one. But after more than 8 months on the road I think I got used to feel lost.
When I decided to start my journey, contrarily to what everyone  could think, it was never about finding myself. Actually, now that I think about it, I was never lost before. So I didn’t need to find myself. Maybe it was about getting lost. So now that I am so lost, can I come back and find a new purpose? Maybe come back to find myself.
Where everyone goes away to find themselves, I go to get lost and now I need to find myself. Sounds about right. Sounds just like me.

New philosophies

Lately I have been reading and learning a lot about letting go. About how attachments imply suffering. Living in the past or thinking too much about the future, both generate worryings on us and bring us unhappiness. So we must avoid all tha in order to reach happiness, or so we are told.

In an attempt to take the Buddhist philosophy to its maximum and mix it with our current carpe diem philosophy, where we look only for pleasure and wellness by living in the very present and not caring about any other thing, we have developed a tendency to avoid feelings in order to avoid getting hurt. It seems like giving too much, getting too involved or in general feeling too much when we are not sure about what is going to bring us and what is going to be result is certainly an unnecessary risk to suffer when the link is removed. Or maybe is our nature just creating expectations and expecting something in return for the feelings invested, for the effort, for the actions. Although we know we shouldn’t expect and we shouldn’t create an attachment, the truth is that we do.

The human being is emotional. I have no doubts about it. We feel and, most of the times, we hide those feelings to pretend strength. They are considered a weakness, they reveal too much. Other times, we pretend we don’t have them or we don’t care. Most of the times, we are scared of them. They constitute a part of us that yes, it is looking for the instant pleasure, the part where we get a good feeling from it. But also they get us too involved in something that will be our weakness, will make us feel too much and bring us uncertainty about what we are getting on in return, how things will end and of course, the suffering it will bring once this stimule is removed. We also remember past experiences that generally didn’t end up well for us and left us hurt and therefore, we reject and fight our own feelings in order to avoid the situation happening again.
This is the world we live in. Too scared to love free and openly. Too afraid of not getting anything in return or having our feelings hurt. Too many expectations are in place and we suffer when they are not met. So we avoid to give freely, to love freely. Is it worth it?
Instead of embracing our feelings we push them away, limiting ourselves because of the possibility of getting hurt. We give more importance to a possibility in the future than the actual present in the attempt to maximise the instant pleasure search. That  keeps us from the rewards we could get and the marvellous feeling that love is, sentencing us to the miserable and ordinary because we were too scared.
Why don’t we just truly forget about the past and the future, live here and now? Give love, smile, feel the butterflies in your stomach…whatever it is, embrace it, feel it and take it. Because no matter how much pain it will cause in a future, it is always be worth it to feel intensely, to live intensely, to not be scared anymore.

Dreams and hopes

It scares me how easily everything can be ruined. How one single event can finish a dream. I realised I kind of live waiting for that thing to happen. Inevitably, it will. I don’t fool myself.

Now, it is up to me how to take the events. The end of a dream doesn’t necessarily mean the start of a nightmare. It can be just an unsettling wake up until you get back to sleep to catch your best dreams. Or so you are hoping while you get back to sleep.

What nobody tells you about travelling

Everybody including me, talks about how wonderful it is to have the journey of your life and all the cool pictures that you have taken and how beautiful and happy you look in all of them…. Nobody sees that behind the scenes there is effort, discomfort and a lot of sweat. Specially sweat, let’s be honest, there is a lot of that.

Half of the time while I am travelling I spend it eating or thinking where I am going to eat. Which is nice if you like food like me, but can be stressful at times. Because sometimes, you cannot choose what you are going to eat. Most of the times, the vast majority of the choices (at least the cheap ones, considering I am travelling on budget) are unhealthy and eating healthily becomes a nightmare or simply expensive. Other times, the food is not good although, I have to say this has only happened very punctually. And many many times, I have found myself eating from a place where I was almost sure I would get sick. But again, this hardly ever happened, my stomach is Asian-proof now.

What it is happening all the time is that I eat out. Something that hardly ever happens when you are settled somewhere and let’s be honest, what is a pleasure at home becomes the norm while travelling and it is not necessarily good. I miss cooking my own food. I miss to know what’s inside what I am eating. Hell, I miss to know what I am eating, because most of the times I will just point at something unknown and eat it. I miss going to the groceries and choosing what I will be eating, making something balanced out of it.
All this results on weight variation depending on how sick I got or how little choice there is. Not that I care much about that, as long I am healthy, but this combined with the lack of regular exercise is not good either.
I also miss western food at times, but I try to think I will never get the flavours I am having here whenever I am back. But let’s be honest. When you spend a whole day eating rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner and repeat next day, and the following….and like that for a couple of weeks until you can have a break of rice and substitute them with noodles. Or you are staying in a hostel with breakfast included and you get toast and butter. I know I will never look at a paella in the same way.
And on this matter, I consider myself one of the lucky ones! I feel sorry for all the vegetarians and vegans of this planet travelling around. The only real problem I face is to get a banana with my free breakfast, which I usually give away to some other traveller.
Now, the other half of the time travelling, is usually spent in transportation. Nobody talks about the queues you have to face, the touts at the stations, the busy buses with no comforts, the lack of personal space at times, the problems faced at immigration (I get stopped and pulled out a lot lately), the issues with security, the nightmare to keep a carry on luggage when flying, the sweat when carrying the backpack under the sun, the times you unpack and pack your bag…. I could go on forever.
To have a fair idea. I move every 3 days more or less, depending where I am and what I am doing. Sometimes I have to change hostels during those days because they get full or they have bedbugs or a thousand other reasons. Which means I am unpacking and packing at least 4 times. It is exhausting.
Then, I have to look for accommodation for the next place I am visiting or try my luck whenever I get there, depending on the situation. This requires time and effort whether through internet or at my arrival just by walking around with the backpack on. I also have to check how  am going to get wherever I am going to. Although I sometimes don’t do it at all and most of the times I just have a rough idea (this is: name of the destination, preferred mean of transport and any possible transit or change I need to make). So, in a typical journey there will be involved at least a way to get to the station, which I will walk to it if the distance is walkable (it saves money and add up some extra effort, although at times the effort will be equally required to bargain a fair price for the ride). There will be also a bus, train or plane involved, usually whatever is cheaper. At least one of these will be getting me to my destination, but sometimes I will need to transfer and change buses two and three times, with the hassle of avoiding touts, finding the right bus, paying attention on where to get off, taking the backpack out and in several times or going through another security screen for the eleventh time… And finally, once my destination is reached, I ONLY need to figure out where exactly I got dropped, see where I want to go or where my accommodation is or in the worse cases, find an area where there is accommodation and ask and bargain around. All these can be translated into getting the backpack again and carry it, or bargain a tuktuk or similar or finding out where the local bus that takes you close to somewhere in a cheap way is stopping…. Anything really.
It gets funny when you have to do this l at night and you don’t find accommodation or after spending the night in a bus/train/plane where you didn’t get much sleep at all and you were woken up by somebody or by a noise or by arriving to somewhere you don’t even know where… Then, you are cranky and all you want is to get to your place as soon as possible but oh! Wait! Your place turns out to be crowded with cockroaches. Or bedbugs. Or maybe you only can check in at 12pm or 2pm or whatever time they tell you to but, it is still 6am and you get to hang out without a bed to stay, sweaty, smelly, cranky and tired. And you might get some sleep at a sofa at reception if you are lucky, or on the floor of the common area or wherever you can until people at the hostel wake up and wake you up again. And you still have the balls to think hey, I am in a new place! Let’s get some breakfast and explore the city a bit. Because the excitement is not washed away.
It didn’t matter if on the way they tried to tricked you, or you were held and interrogated at immigration control or you only got 3 or 4 hours of solid sleep or you arrived hungry, or sick or dying-sick… It didn’t matter if you were starred by a bunch of men. If you were intimidated or annoyed or if you got a boyfriend and/or marriage proposal on the way. Once more, you arrived, you are at a new place with more stories to tell and more adventures to live. With more illusion and excitement but also with the uncertainty of what is going to happen next. And that is where the magic happens. Maybe it is exactly what makea it special, the fact that you had to put effort to get there, as if you were  climbing a mountain and after effort and sweat, you get to enjoy the views.
Don’t I get tired of all that? Of course. And then I try to settle down for 5 days or a week or whatever time I find comfortable in a place I like. Or I lay down in a hostel and watch a movie and do nothing in the whole day because I need holidays from travelling. Of course I do get tired. I also get tired of saying goodbye to amazing people I met and got attached to. It is painful and afterwards I find myself melancholic, with no intention of becoming social again. But after a few days I get itchy feet again and I can’t wait to make a move. To explore, to experience, to live. It is the gypsy life, and all the way through I keep a smile on my face.