April 19th, 2013 - Galway, Ireland
It’s been 1 month since I left home. I’ve been to 6 different countries, 15 cities, and slept in 20 different beds. My hair is getting longer than I usually allow. Jeans covered in dirt. The whites of my shoes no longer white.
Still, I’m okay. I’m getting proper rest each night. I have the privilege of hot showers to keep me clean, and I have a full stomach (despite some difficulty eating healthy). I haven't gotten sick or anything yet, so that's a plus.
It’s not easy huh? Constantly moving around like this… living out your backpack… looking in the mirror everyday and trying not to ask yourself that damn question, “What the hell are you doing here?”
The time zones change, the foods change, people, languages, accents, the taste of the water, the smell of the air. All that remains constant is the fact that I’m still me when I wake up in the morning. Human beings are superior because we are able to adapt, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Traveling isn’t easy… you’re constantly being tested, constantly getting lost, constantly having to trust complete strangers…
It’s true we don’t need much to survive, or even to live a happy life. I’m not bashing the privileges of having a large house and delicious food filling our stomaches, but I do like these “reference points”, so to speak. In this way, whenever I feel that I’m going through a hard time, I can remind myself, “Hey, I lived out of a backpack for half a year and did fine,” or “I took cold showers for an entire month in Africa,” or “I ate nothing but peanut butter, bread, and bananas at one point in my life”.
The more I travel, the more grateful and appreciative I am of the life I have.
by Jason Lam