Friday, July 19, 2013

Airport thoughts

As I sit here at a coffee shop in the Taipei airport, waiting to embark on the third leg of my 30 hour plane journey, a journey ending in Jakarta,  a mix of thoughts are swirling through my mind. For one, I am a foreigner; unaware of their language, customs, or religions, I sit alone in the cafe watching the interactions of the people. I have always found places of transit - airports, train stations, bus terminals - to be incredibly romantic. There is something beautiful in the loneliness of these places, especially in the dark hours of the night. Within the walls of the airport, the lives of people from all different walks of life intersect, if only for a short period of time. Although they cross paths briefly, they have been brought there for different purposes: some are traveling for business, others for pleasure, and some even for love. People are waiting anxiously to be reunited with loved ones, others are leaving home, and some lonely travelers, like me, are traveling for the sole purpose of getting lost. Surrounded by a chaotic mixture of words that I do not understand, I am a foreigner. This feeling of being a foreigner in an unknown land, waking up in a country where not a single person knows your name, is freedom to me. Freedom to let go of all the labels that identify us back home - a sister, a daughter, a girlfriend, a student - here across the world without any deadlines or friends, I am just me. That is one of my favourite things about traveling alone; when you let go of all your usual identifications, you learn to define yourself in an entire new way. You learn things about yourself that the comforts of home can never teach you. You learn to rely on other things than language to get around - you learn how to speak the language of the world. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

S.E. Asia here I come!! (again!)

"The essence of pleasure is spontaneity"

I cannot agree more with these words, as I do not think there is a single thing in this world that is as exhilarating, yet equally terrifying, as booking a last minute plane ticket to one of the most exotic destinations in the world. Today I booked my flight to.....(drumroll please)....INDONESIA! Wanna know the craziest part? It leaves in 2 days. Yepppp, you read that right. I don't know if there's anybody crazy enough to book a 30 hour flight across the world with only 48 hours to prepare - but I guess I am that person! 

For 3 weeks, I will make my way down Indonesia, an archipelagic country in South East Asia made up of over 17,000 individual islands (!!!!!!), starting in the capital city of Jakarta, and ending in the beautiful island of Bali. 

As always, there is an omnipresent fear amidst all my excitement - but it's a good fear; a fear of the unknown. Not knowing what I'm about to embark on is one of the greatest pleasures in life, and it's what I live for. Although there are a million negative thoughts racing through my mind (What if something bad happens?! What if my belongings get stolen?! What if I get hurt?!), I know that letting these thoughts dwindle for too long can be poisonous in themselves. 

Sometimes jumping into the unknown turns out to be the best decision of your life. 

I gotta start packing!!!