It feels like I have left home an eternity ago, and yet I am only just halfway through the journey. That is reassuring because I am not nearly ready to pull the curtains on this adventure. I am now venturing into a completely different world, like I did six months ago. The jump does not feel the same though, and I am not the same
I know we are about to land in Miami. I know that. Five minutes ago, I wasn’t so sure. For a confusing few seconds, I could not tell where I was. As for when, well I know I am nearing the end of a journey of an estimated fifty-four hours by way of Hong Kong, New York City, and unexpectedly, Miami. At this point, I have traveled through a significant number of time zones and suffered a fair amount of sleep deprivation. It has turned the journey into a bit of a blur.
Sitting on the aisle side, I take a minute to look back at my time in Asia. How it has nurtured and grown me in the last six months. From the first bus ride in India, to the night trains of China and the missed boat rides of Cambodia, how it has taught me so much. I look back at the mix of modern infrastructure and traditions in Japan, at the smiles of Vietnam, at the beauty of Myanmar, and I feel grateful for having seen a little but significant part of the continent that is home to more than half of the world’s population. And the people, they are the central point of my experience in the far East, for “a journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles,” as Tim Cahill put it.
It feels like I have left home an eternity ago, and yet I am only just halfway through the journey. That is reassuring because I am not nearly ready to pull the curtains on this adventure. I am now venturing into a completely different world, like I did six months ago. The jump does not feel the same though, and I am not the same. For a moment, I consider my flight out of Europe, in seat twenty-five-B, or was it C? I look back at my anxious departure, and the many questions rushing through my mind. I feel like a different man now, for I have seen a foreign land and ironically, it has taught me about myself. Asia has been a great teacher, not only because it gifted me values of togetherness, but because it has taken me away and afforded me a look on my own culture. I have observed great cultures, looked mine through a brand new prism, and I can now fully weigh the words of Mark Twain, that “broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.”
Funny how things have a way of working out. Or maybe they don’t, and we make do with what we get. Six months ago, I was sitting on another plane and I could not begin to imagine the places I would go, the things I would see, or the people I would meet. I was all questions then, and desired to find my place in the world so very desperately. I would lie if I said I figured that one out, though I am fairly confident that my place could very well be right here in these shoes. As for the rest, I will likely never know, and how perfect is that?! What really matters is the people. What really matters is the values I hold in my heart and those I stand against. I can only try to be a good, happy person. And you know what? Success and failure are but shade of the same intriguing color painted over this word, ‘TRY’. Neither counts but what you make of it.