2 Years and 12 Countries (so far)

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In 2013 I had hit a wall that I just couldn’t get over, searching for work, scraping the bottom of the barrel for anything if only to keep busy. I didn’t believe that I could because I had been kicked to the gutter more times that I care to remember. Here is the thing I knew staying in Toronto offered no solution, that going home was a dead-end and that I needed to find a way to escape.

So I decided not to just move but travel the world and booked a one way ticket to Thailand, on June 17th, I flew to Vancouver and by the 21st I had made it to Thailand after a 12 hour delay in China. In the beginning of this trip when I was asked why I was out here I said I was running and that was the truth as I saw it.

I was running for the expectation and the disappointment I felt by not being successful when all my relatives were getting married, having kids and having good paying jobs or successful careers. I had none of that, I hid myself away, I lied through my teeth and eventually I just felt like I didn’t belong.

Today my life is not travel, I just live in Pai and am doing muay thai. If you would have asked me last August if I would ever consider getting into the ring, would have said you were crazy, that would never happen. Now here I am almost a year later with a goal of making it into the ring by my 1 year anniversary of starting muay thai.

I didn’t start traveling with a plan, I just winged it all the way, my only goal was that I couldn’t return home via the Pacific, I had to make my way around the other side. I’ve spent way more time in Asia than I ever thought I would. The reason it’s been cheap to live, the places to see and the people to meet are too numerable to count and I stopped just running away but realized I could be running towards.

I am not going to say that everything has amazed, no some days were horrible, like when my passport was stolen, when I was almost robbed by a drug dealer, when I was alone in India for the holidays, when went to the emergency room after passing out and living with a roommate that made a place you wanted to think of as home more like a nightmare. Hell everything I brought with me has had to been replaced and sometimes more than once.

You can never have the good without the bad. That doesn’t mean that the bad has to happen or even that the good will be what we expect but when you are traveling for an extended period it changes as you change. I was originally traveling for the experience, I’m not one that let’s go easily socially. I don’t really party, I rarely drink and in 2 years have not been with anyone.

In the end though the good far outweighs the bad though by an infinite margin, having trekked the Himalayas, seen ancient temples, learned to dive and learned to fight but it is the people I will remember the most. From the locals that helped me when I was lost, to those who shared a snack, gave directions or the people I see every day at Charn Chai or in Pai itself.

It is the people who make the place shine. I am now traveling to learn, now it is about muay thai, tomorrow it will be something else. While I’ve wandered I’ve met friends that I never would have expected and have become more willing to let go of the limits I’ve self-imposed and have boxed me in.

I was thinking of travel blogging after going to tbex in Toronto but I didn’t, it would have been amazing but it would have been work which I probably didn’t want to do after grinding it out in the job market. You could have said that if I would have started my blog in that capacity I would be further along but I can’t say I regret what I’ve experienced in the least.

So what lay ahead in my immediate future is to prep for a fight sometime soon, write a script for a sci-fi competition, get a working holiday visa for New Zealand and find a way to make some a little money so I can continue the ride.

Before traveling I was thinking about getting a personal coach, I just felt like such a failure I knew I needed to do something. I was close to doing it but then held off and a few months later at the spur of the moment decided to wander the world. I’ve made so many mistakes, been to the hopsital, was almost robbed by a drug dealer, got lost on a dive and it goes on and on but I would not trade it for anything.

What I need to learn now is to focus, on my training and on the art of words so that when this chapter ends I can put my best face forward for whatever comes next. I guess what I know now is to let go of expectation, to understand the doubt and go forward despite of it. To never apologize for who you are not because you are perfect but that at least you are trying to improve even if it isn’t straightforward, even if it hard, even if it takes years and many attempts it is worth the time.