You never really get used to saying goodbye, but you wind up saying it a lot here. The Spaniard headed back home for a while, then on to Bangkok, then Puerto Vallarta. We went out for a couple beers and a long talk of places to travel. Ireland, Thailand, Cambodia, Ankgor Wat. So many places to see. I was planning on skipping Thailand, but the light in his eyes when he talks about the country is staying with me. Maybe just for a summer.
He mentioned Portugal also, very relaxed place. I could see myself in Lisbon instead of Florence. Portugese shouldn’t be too hard since I already have a start with Spanish. The end of my resume is going to wind up being a list of a dozen languages by the time I’m done moving around.
Every time I think I have a plan I start to see where it’s going sideways. I still need an escape route, but I’m getting used to the idea of going headlong into the unknown. I took the safe route here in Mexico, but I doubt that will be in my future. Miles to go before I rest.
I see myself climbing through the ancient forests of Southeast Asia, seeing ancient ruins that were lost for millennia, pretending to be Indiana Jones, searching for fortune and glory. Wandering the streets of Bangkok, in the only country to never be colonized by the West. Practicing Kung Fu in Taiwan, where the remnants of the ancient traditions still remain. I’ve been looking at the endless steppes of Mongolia, far from the things of man. The lie of the dark heart of Africa, and I wonder what the truth of the place is. I realize I can’t even imagine how much there is to see out there, or how much I can take before I need to step back. I wish I could take a dog with me, but there are too many countries to see, and who knows what restrictions they might have.
There are always questions of dealing with the immigration system wherever I go, but I still have the benefit of being what they expect an American to be. The more I study the more I realize the cost of what I have by birth for so many others. Studying minority relations throughout the world is not the same as living out here, and I lack the ignorance of so many others who travel. I envy them sometimes. The inherent fear of my upbringing mixed with Buddhism. I have lessened the control of the fear, but not the awareness.
Sometimes I love being able to see the world differently than everyone else. Sometimes it’s just lonely. I am amazed at how often I hear a person start a sentence with, “I don’t understand why…” Nothing is ever as complicated as people seem to make it. People are never that complicated, when you get down to it. The few people who are tend to be the most interesting.
I passed through San Diego last Saturday, only in town for 24 hours. I finally got to see a couple of people that I missed last time out. Fire and her children are doing well, and they learned to love the beach like true Californians. I finally managed to go visit Sifu and learn the last of the Tai Chi straight sword form I was missing. It was a good day, busy and long, then I slept on the plane, and for most of Sunday.
I don’t know how I feel about San Diego anymore. It’s not the same when you can’t go home. My friend Prague just headed back there after two years, and she had the feeling down right, you can never really go home, and nothing and no one is ever the same. Frustration, loss, and questions shouted into the void. I keep waiting for the void to shout back. I know it watches me, but I still don’t understand.
Anticipation and anxiety, fighting for space in my life. I choose anticipation when I can, but anxiety is an old friend. I choose my path as I go, but the road less traveled is a lot busier these days.