Is it the end of a journey, the middle of an adventure or the start of a new life? I think this as I'm on hour 5 of my layover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (on my way to New Zealand). I can't tell which it is. South East Asia has come to an end, for now. I definitely feel different. I'm not sure how or what, but I feel a little new, really odd and especially grateful.
Of all the locals I spoke with over the month, I always asked them the same question: 'have you ever left your country?' Surprisingly, they all had the same answer, laughing they said 'of course not, that costs money.'
It's peculiar that something that is so important to you can never be a reality for someone else. Traveling is my passion, it's my priority. To meet people who would like to visit their neighboring country but cannot because of a mere $100 is heartbreaking to me. I'm very grounded by this and more importantly, I feel forever thankful that I have the opportunity to do what I love. I've been raised by a stupendous family who have (whether they liked it or not) supported my needs and desires to travel. There is something about leaving homebase for 2 days or 33 days that is quite freeing. Nothing to worry about but that day, the prestent.
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, that is why they call it the present. That was a quote from a book that I had read on this trip that was so fitting. This is what I've gained, embracing the now. Living like the old man in Chang Mai, peacefully, calmly, independently and most of all appreciatively. Thank you world, universe and gods. To be carefree and worry-less is freedom.
My eyes have soaked in many memorable things that I will never forget. Tiny village girls dropping their price by 90% just to make a snippet of money. Tuk tuk drivers racing across the street for your business because it's been days since they've made one dollar. Girls leaving home to teach cooking classes just so they can save money to go to school. Guides taking you on a tour who have lost someone in a genocide. Walking on strewn clothing and bones of a grave site. It's all extremely grounding and really makes you think at the end of the day how lucky we are, how lucky I am and what can I do to make a difference.
My eyes have been opened. My heart has been filled. This has been an uplifting experience and I just hope that it continues. I hope that I forever grow and meet new people and share experiences. Love love.