A month ago today, we were sitting inside the Tom Bradley International teminal at LAX ready to board our Philippine Airlines flight to Bangkok with nothing but a rough idea of where we wanted to go over the next seven months. In some ways it feels like we've been living this vagabond life forever. In other ways, it feels like this month has zoomed by. We've explored Bangkok, southern Thailand and Malaysia, and we're preparing to leave for Cambodia this week. I think we've finally got our sea legs, so to speak, and we're excited for all that awaits. It's not all rosy--living out of a suitcase, enduring hot, sweaty train rides, walking for miles and miles with a hungry belly--but it's all worth it.
I've had a number of thoughts about what the purpose of my travel right now is and I haven't come up with a good answer. But that's okay. I know I'm where I need to be and there's already been some moments of serendipity where I've seen different life experiences and decisions come together in a way I never would have dreamed up myself to create some insane moments of pure gratitude.
There have been moments of joy and wonder and amazement and there have been moments where I've thought to myself "what have I gotten myself into?" and wished desperately I could be back in my home sitting in the safety of my white couch. Those moments don't last very long at all though.
There's a free printable floating around Pinterest that says "Let's be adventurers." Before our trip, I thought that was such a cute, romantic little poster. There have been a few times in the last month, specifically when we found ourselves stranded on a coastline in Malaysia literally between a rock and a hard place after having already hiked (in sandals) and waded through neck-deep water for an hour across wet, rocky terrain that gave us cuts and bruises, not knowing how we were gonna get to safety where I've thought back specifically to that cute, little poster and thought "Eff that little printable. Eff Pinterest." Haha.
But, mostly I'm so so grateful for this journey I get to be on with Bradford. I'm so grateful for his knowledge, his travel confidence, and his awesome Thai language skills!!
Last week was my grandfather's birthday and I spent some time reflecting on his life and the influence he's had on me. I realized something profound:
I travel not only because I want to, but because I need to.