I have felt the pull of a vacation for several months. Being the self-diagnosed and self-treated escape artist that I am, I keep abreast of various airline prices on Travelocity.
I feel like I'm at my best when I go wandering; routine bores the hell out of me, even though I say things aloud like, "I long for normalcy". I know that I really don't mean it.
Today, I checked on flights to Bangkok and discovered that they are not outrageously priced. It's not that I really have an extra $900 under my mattress, but bear in mind that I have a place to stay with a good friend of mine once I'm there, and the opportunity to actually visit someone I know there may not present itself again. Everything is so cheap anyway, it's not like I'll be spending that much more once I arrive.
I feel like there so few things left in my life where I am capable of exploring things in a wide-eyed, child-like sort of way. I realize that this is perhaps the reason why I love to travel so much--because I don't possess any a preconceived agendas when it comes to taking in all things in the present tense. Traveling is a way for me to suspend my doubt and explore my innocence. The act of traveling for me is undoubtedly spiritual--it's a way of feeling deeply connected to my own sense of truth, because in essence it's a test of everything I know about myself through the process of engaging in new, foreign Others. It makes me feel my own sense of humanness and humanity, which, after all, is the purpose of believing in God, is it not? Thus, in the midst of so much turbulence, I am consumed by a Janus-faced sensation of seeing in two directions. However, instead of seeing past and future, I am within and without myself--deeply rooted to my core, and yet a constant observer, a witness to the moment.
I feast upon the adrenaline rush that comes from internalizing it all. And ever since I can remember, I've wanted to travel throughout SE Asia, but there's a part of me that has always had reservations about doing this alone. I can't quite explain why. I've spent a great deal of time in other destinations with me, myself, and my backpack...and yet for what it's worth, in my mind I somehow conceptualize time spent in this part of the world with my friend there beside me. Why?
My friend. Mmmm...He's part of a small handful of people who read this blog and actually know me intimately. (Hi, Grasshopper!--Yes, it was only a matter of time until I wrote about you. I know, I'm like a goddamn stand-up comic here.) What can I say about him? First, he's incredible. Truly. He's sharp and analytical, fun, resourceful and generally very clear-thinking. He can be a formidable challenge to me sometimes, in a way where we both come out swinging at our own invisible enemies, stop, look at each other, and wonder what got us so worked up in the first place?
Ahhh,Grasshopper is in Thailand right now. And he knows of my desire to visit. But the question is, can he accommodate me? If the shoes were reversed, I would be honored to show him my temporary home, take his hand, and guide him through the sights and sounds that thrill me about the place. And while I am perfectly capable of entertaining myself in a locked shoebox, this is not the point. But rather, the point is feeling welcomed and wanted there. After all of these years, I still am not completely sure that he wants to share the world (or, at least his part of it) with me. And I'm certainly not making any stipulations or demands. There's nothing worse than the feeling of not being welcome.
Travel...Thailand...and Grasshopper. Ha. What an interesting and unexpected cocktail. Once upon a time, Grasshopper said to me, "Yeah, I've come to the conclusion that it's going to take me years to figure out my shit with you". I took no offense whatsoever...only because I knew that the feeling was mutual.
"Take me to the places on the earth that teach you how to dance,
the places where you can risk letting the world break your heart.
And I will take you to the places where the earth beneath my feet and the stars overhead make my heart whole again and again."