If I ever met love, she would be a passionate kiss, a push and a challenge to be more than I could ever see within mysel
If I were to meet hate he would try to punch me in the gut so I never forget the pain.
If I ever met joy she would be a smile that lights up the room.
If I were to meet sorrow she would be a violin playing in the dark, making me think of the hurt.
If I ever met thought he would write it all down so he could break it down into its parts and find how they work.
If I were to meet action he would grab me and throw me into the thick of things so all I could do is react.
If I ever met laughter he would be doing stand up out in front unafraid of the boos and getting high of the LOL.
If I were to meet despair she would cast a shadow over everything out in front but I shall run towards the light at the horizon’s edge.
If I ever met fear he would make me run far away but I would turn around to face him so I can break his chains.
If I were to meet calm she would face the storm and calm the waves.
If I ever met confidence he would swagger into any room and make every person sit up and take notice.
If I were to meet doubt he would wear the words “you can’t” on his shirt but every time I see it I will prove to him that “I can”.
If I ever met reward he would be a leprechaun at the end of the rainbow with a mischievous grin knowing there is father to go.
If I were to meet risk he would be standing in front of cliff at the edge of the rainbow reminding me this is what I must get past.
I hope I can meet them all, to understand who they are so I can know myself, my limits and how to go beyond them. These are people we meet and there are so many more of them but it’s how we respond that defines who they are within each of us.
If I ever met…. then it would be a gift, a reminder, a hope, a challenge, a path to be in the moment and see the possibility for tomorrow.
So I’ve traveled for 2 years, more than half of that was done wandering Asia, the rest hanging out in Pai, Thailand doing Muay Thai. If there is one thing I know is that many tourists that come in and out are about maximizing their short time in a place which is understandable. I did the same thing for a long time, spending no more than a few days in any one place before moving on knowing I had very little time until I had to move on.
I tell people I meet that you should really throw out your list of places to see and things to do sometimes or at least strip it back so you can stop going place to place without catching a breath and slow down at some point to experience more than what the guide books say. Too often I’ve seen people doing tours just for a good photo-op without stopping to really take a look around them.
I’ve gotten lost a few times just wandering around and seeing that just steps away from the tourists there are people living in small homes next to bridges, streams and even underpasses that you may never see. It is all too easy to tune out all the noise and in doing so we can often tune out the humanity that is all around us.
I’ve wanted to take a train to a random place and just see what happens, its something I did with I decided to go to Pai, Thailand to do Muay Thai. I kind of knew what I was going to do but it wasn’t until I got to Chiang Mai that I really made up my mind to come up here. That was in August 2014 and I am still here now.
When you have a limited amount of time you want to make it all count, you want to get the most done within your time constraints but make sure to build into your checklist some time for the unexpected. A chance to go to a new place that maybe wasn’t in some guide-book that you heard about from a locale or another traveler.
I let go of having to see everything, whatever I get to is good enough because missing some sight or experience is just another reason you have to return to that place. For me I didn’t get a chance to see Sapa because I didn’t have enough time which gives me one great reason to go back one of these days.
I want to be surprised, take chances, do things I never would have considered before. Today I want to travel to learn about the places I am visiting. It is a privilege to travel like I am doing, like many of us do. It is a window into the world beyond our normal and each day I am honoured to have been changed by the journey.
I want to experience not just see a place, you don’t need a long time for that if you can slow down and see it for all the wonder and noise that makes that place unique. To know the ins and out, have your favorite coffee place to read and hang at, when they know exactly what you are going to get. It makes a place feel more like home than just a stop on the road.
What you come to realize about wandering the world is that it opens a door you never want to close, it is as if you have been without the sun and you now get to bask in its glow. After that it’s hard to want to go back indoors because you’ll always look out the window and want to reach for today, instead of just planning for tomorrow.
People travel the world for a number of reasons this is what we say for many it is a holiday, the ability to explore, the oh so common I’m finding myself, to having to do or see something very specific. I don’t think those are at the root of why we need to wander. Sure they are part of the reason but not the stem from which the reason grows.
We can only speak for ourselves and the reasons we have are personal but after spending a long time failing to grasp the future I decided it was time to live for today. I lived in Toronto for years trying and failing to build a life for myself. I went to Toronto after I got a job that allowed me to leave home. I jumped at the chance but it was short-lived, the job was a sales position doing and I wasn’t cut out for it at the time but I learned a lot from going through it.
I just couldn’t find a way, I lived in a box on the cheap that sapped the life out of me metaphorically. It was a cage that I holed up in private while pretending all was well and good to all my acquaintances. You keep on trying but there comes a point when all the rejection gets internalized. There were many times I probably wasn’t the right candidate and others where I know I could have rocked it but at the end of it all before I left on this journey I felt like I had nothing to offer, anyone let alone any employer.
So here I am 21 months after I started traveling and all I know that if I go back to Canada I will have to start from almost the beginning again. I am not ready to return and maybe I will find I way to make a life in some unexpected location but I know that what I seek today is the ability to believe.
I lost that awhile ago and most people who have met me can feel the lack of confidence and belief, its easy to give off in sometimes subtle and not so subtle ways. I can’t get into the ring with that mindset or I will have already lost. I know that the battle for the ring is just as much about my mindset as it is about my physical ability.
If I can find a way to believe I will put in the work to win in the ring and I hope that can translate outside of it as well. I’ve read many of those articles about confidence and they come across as inspiring if hollow reads because the simplest things are the most challenging to change.
My action now is to write, to express and learn to see the challenges of my past not as failures but as lessons and the only way I can make them not matter is if I don’t learn from them. Sometimes we don’t learn those lessons right away after we can see the patterns that give them their power. My issues relate to an inability to believe that “I can.”
It’s not like I want to say that I can do anything because we all have limits not just the physical or the mental but limits of circumstance and so on. That doesn’t mean what you want is impossible but that it may have to take a different form. What you see is not what will happen because life is unpredictable but it’s not about the picture you have in your mind that matters it’s the consistent and focused actions you put towards that goal.
I have not been consistent, but I shall start by giving my self time to write daily and the belief even if I can’t see myself as a fighter today that I can see that in some future tomorrow, with each step, with each moment a version of the goal can be brought out from the fog of possibility and be made visible not for anyone else but for myself.
So my first step is give my own words voice even if it’s just the voice I hear in my head, that “I can” and not just in words but visualize it and focus on my efforts both to write and fight. That my path is not like anyone else’s and never compare what other people are doing to where you are except as fuel to push farther.
For me confidence is something that will just help me to progress as a person, to shed living in self-doubt and being able to go out and connect with others not without the fear of being rejected but being able to put that in context as that was one chance of many.
So as we each see the mountain in front of us let us not look to the top but to the steps ahead. Let us not be concerned if we take detours or that we find our way along a different path as long as we feel we move forward, keep growing and learning while seeing the wonders of life not its faults. That is what I choose, this day and all others from now on.
So I’ve been doing Muay Thai since August last year at Charn Chai in Pai, Thailand. I was never that physically active before this time. Since I’ve been traveling I’ve walked a ton, trekked mountains in 40 Degree Celsius heat but have never really been consistently physically active until now. So here I am thinking that after 7 months I should put the wheels in motion and prepare to get into the ring.
It is a scary thought, to train to be beat, to get kicked and punched for five 3 minute rounds against another person. I’ve never been a violent person, I never ever thought about doing martial arts in my life before meeting a friend in Taipei and just deciding to go and do it.
So here is the question, why should I get into the ring? To push my physical limits beyond what I believe I can do, to test you’re the techniques I’ve learned from the trainers and other people at the gym, to say I’ve done it, to become more physically confident, so that my body learns how to take a beating (although I would put this in both the pro and con lists). To
The why not is probably a bigger list but let’s go for it, the danger of getting hurt, the risks involved preparing which are getting hurt, the potential disappointment of losing and letting down everyone that helped you on the way, that I fight someone with way more experience who just wants to knock me out and it goes on and on.
I feel like I need to train to fight to raise my game, to do more and push harder otherwise I’m just doing this to be fit and that’s it and personally that isn’t enough for me. It will feel like I walked to the edge but didn’t jump. Fighting isn’t for everyone and I am not sure it is even for me but I will not know until I try. I have to try, I will not let fear drive me and I will use fear to motivate me, to banish it. Before I set off traveling I would have never thought about fighting and to actually do it would be a triumph.
I have to work my ass off, get hurt, be humble and say to myself every day that I can, not that I can’t or I shouldn’t. I’ve lived like that for far too long and why to get into the ring isn’t really about my opponent it is about my focus and dedication to put everything I have on the table. If I can do everything within my power to prepare then I want to know I can compete with the other person not out of fear but competitive drive and a belief in what I can do.
So let’s hear it to put it all on the table and prepare so that no matter what happens in the ring I can feel like I won…. Well screw that because I want to win. You never want to prepare except to win, that has to be the goal, the aim the mission. So let me begin the long walk, run and or sprint to the ring.
My flight to Myanmar from Thailand, just another road to travel upon.
I have no clue what I am doing, who I want to be or why I am here? I’ve traveled for more than a year and a half and although I am not the same person I was I am still searching for who it is I want to be. I guess we do that all our lives, that life is about a constant stand of reinvention from one version of ourselves to another. I always lived having the safety on, being careful. I was never a risk taker and I really wish I could say I was that but I am inching closer to be more of that but also have balance of when and what risks to take.
I am not a child anymore I have limited experience in life in comparison to my peers but that’s OK, that allows me to see things from a perspective that others can’t because I frame my life differently based on what is yet to come. I can’t say I know what I will do but I do know that it isn’t time to go back to Canada. I’ll know when that comes but until then I keep on walking, stop just traveling and just try to find ways of making some income so I can keep this trip of a lifetime going.
How do you know you are different? Sometimes its in the subtle things, sometimes its obvious like when you get a tattoo or you meet someone. I hope to change in both physical and mental ways that will allow me to go beyond my preconceived limits and remove my fear of failing.
I want to have a clear direction of who I will be, I need it and I have to focus on just a few things that resonate with each other and get me to that goal. I plan on getting a story out if it kills me cause I know it is there deep down inside. I can feel it but now I must accelerate its rise to the surface of the sun because I can’t afford to wait a few million years before it is out in the world.
I will be open, experiment, do things I would not normally do and enjoy every moment as I can because each second I am out wandering is a second that was worth all the time I was lost because it is helping me finally be found, not be found by someone but find myself and define it on my terms and no one else’s.
As you search for inspiration for the story you are taking so much from the world you see but as you perceive it changes everything. It is the difference between seeing the brighter side of its darker one. I’m a science fiction guy, love the idea of looking up and wondering what is up there, what exists beyond not just our planet but our solar system.
So last year I decided to do some world building, I created a universe that I didn’t think exist, that I would want to read about. I’ve worked out the science, technology, development and places. I dove in before I ever had the story developed but I need to get beyond everything that I’ve already built to find the way to introduce it for me.
I thought about how transit seems impossible between Earth and another solar system, I wanted to take a different spin on faster than light travel, so I took a good hard look at it and tried to make my universe’s transit different but familiar at the same time. I thought about keeping it as real as possible.
Like many modern movies and stories I wanted to show that life, is rare and that intelligent life is rarer still, by magnitudes. The world sees the distance and the vastness and it isn’t forgotten, the dangers for traveling far are real and tangible in this world. It is not something that s like driving a car.
I wanted to set it at the point where we had climbed out of the nest but were still tethered to home, that the risks are unknown and the fact that intelligent life had not been found meant that people had free rein to do as they please. While this isn’t the case I wanted to open a door to a new world.
It is about feeling like you can look over the horizon and still not know what is out there, that there is still so much to discover and that you could be the first person to set their eyes upon the wonders we have yet to comprehend.
So I have more than 30 thousand words written of background, as John Truby would say the ghost. All this work is the foundation of the world I built but it isn’t the story that I have yet to find but each day I get closer to seeing what it should become. You can go anywhere, I can go anywhere and I want to make a world that feels like it can be real no matter how impossible it seems.
To make something that exists beyond a person but is felt to be owned my all those who read the words and imagine what it looks like to them. I think that’s my goal, what matters and that is why I write.
So what does it take to build a world that exists within the confines of your mind’s eye and give it some sort of tangibility in this world? I don’t know and I’ve been sitting on a world I created for the last year. I spent a ton of time in 2014 building the all the parts of the world. It is a science fiction world that I wrote a bible for before I got to the story and now I have all this material but no idea where to begin.
That’s the trick right now for me, taking everything I’ve thought about and making a story out of the world while also being internally consistent without losing the soul of what I’ve created. It’s hard to talk about something that you are so close too, that is a constant work in progress. I’ve asked people to destroy my world, break it down and nuke it to hell and back because at is the only way I know to make it better from the tatters of what it is right now.
They say to start with the story and build the world around it, as a gamer I think in those terms and built the world first as an exercise because I thought it would be fun but now I want to go deeper into this world and see what can be done within it. I remember first playing Mass Effect and the world seemed so large. As an RPG if felt like you could go almost anywhere and that was a thrilling experience.
Then as each game in the trilogy came and went that scope and scale seemed to shrink with each passing game. It’s not that it ever left completely but one of the big selling points of the game was that your choices would have meaning, making it feel even if it was just an illusion that your choices mattered. That grand ambition was scaled back as part of the game design process and it never felt like you reached those immersive heights that the first game was reaching for even if objectively Mass Effect 2 and 3 were far better games.
So I wonder if I should write it at all, this will be a time sink no matter what but I know I want to do it. I know it will be horrible but I have to try right? If I don’t what’s the point. Will this work, I doubt it, at least in the first incarnation, hell that’s what rewrites are for but if I can inch up the mountain just a little then maybe that will be enough.
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