Since I’ve been traveling I find myself in one of 3 modes, where I run and gun from place to place doing the tourist thing or staying in one place and settling in. I’ve done it multiple times on this trip. At the beginning it tends to be the former where you know that there are more things to see and do than you could ever hope to accomplish.
This leads many to run and gun through places with epic lists of things to do. I find that kind of travel is more prevalent when you are traveling for short periods of time and is due in part to time maximization. People want to get as much out of a trip as possible and plan more which if they stick with the plan takes some of the surprise out of the adventure.
When you travel for a long time you get to miss having a rhythm, it doesn’t necessarily having a set routine but it does mean learning to know a place and get a feel for the people and places around you. There have been several places I’ve stayed for a week or longer just because it felt good even if only for a few days to have a rhythm. To have that favourite street food person, or coffee shop or stop and not have to worry about getting used to a new place again.
The fun about being always on the move is that you have to constantly reorient yourself because you are moving so fast, the downside is you don’t spend enough time in places to actually understand the people and culture you are inhabiting. It is always about the little things, getting to know the locals and having them become more than just a person you meet but being able to call them friends.
The rawness of southeast Asia is something that comes across in how the work life balance isn’t separate, it’s just life. For instance a lot of families run small shops out of their homes, which makes it easier to watch their kids while they work. In the west there is a distinct separation between the two and while you find the separation in the big cities with many jobs, there are so many others where there is no distinction.
In some ways I wish we had that same flexibility back home, it is done out of necessity here but its only something you really notice when you stop just passing through and get a chance to see and talk to the who live and work there.
I will end up running and gunning again later but for now it is about focus, to go in and really do something that I could have never seen myself doing one year ago and Muay Thai definitely qualifies. It is about more than travel for me now, it is about a mission and I have 3, to get good at Muay Thai, write a story that will change my life and be better every day than I was the day before.
Muay Thai is a physical and mental challenge that feels right, that pushes be to go beyond what I know and that is good enough for me. It is not about just the physical change but about dissipating the fear and lack of belief and to find the ability to belief that I can reach farther. If I can do that then everything will come into view and at this very moment I believe everything is possible.