From November 2010 to February 2011 Spencer and I travelled to SE Asia. We explored Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos for 3 months during the Washington winter.
We left about 6 months after I returned from Australia and after our first cross country road trip. I was hooked on travel and the adventure it brought. Most backpackers in Australia were either going to or coming from SE Asia and I had heard all about it. My interest was piqued and my mind was set.
Traveling on my own my journal had been my best friend in Australia. This time things were different. I had Spencer there to share my thoughts and experiences with and now all I have is one journal entry to show for the 3 months we spent on this adventure together. Don't get me wrong we have a lot of photos but they just don't express the same feelings, thoughts and emotions that journals do.
I read this entry for the first time in years just a few days ago and what I found reminded me how easy it is to forget things as we get carried away in life. Not just memories or experiences, but important things about ourselves and clues to our happiness and life path.
Here is an expert from that journal entry:
December 1st, 2010
It was weird, whenever we would tell people we were going to Asia for 3 months everyone asked, "Why?" That was such a silly question to me, but I never really had a good answer. All that ever came out was "Why not?," "To see another place," "Because..."
When I went to Asutralia it was right after college, it was something I had wanted to do for years and it seemed to make a bit more sense to people. This time it was as if I had to justify myself. Why is that? Why wouldn't you want to see and experience something new?
No, it's not for school or work, as many assumed. If it wasn't for monetary purposes it just didn't seem to make sense to people. Such a different mind set, but to each their own and now I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing and I love it.
I can't imagine not traveling. I can't imagine this not being my life. I feel so much more content on the road.
I am such a high stress person, and that doesn't change but in some way I'm more at ease. Happier.
We all change through time but that thing that makes our heart sing usually sticks around.
Other peoples expectations of us, the 'should's' of adulthood, our age, our fear of failure can all get us tripped up.
We end up on a long path going the wrong way.
Amazing things happened after that trip and I've grown tremendously as a person but in an effort to conform and to prove something I forgot to keep this thing that brought so much joy to me in my life.
It was so funny to read this and realize I went in a huge big circle that involved a lot of heartache, pain and unhappiness just to come back to where I started.
I guess that's all part of the hero's journey though.
It is easy to lose our way and sometimes we need help from ourselves to be guided back.
Keep a journal.
A pen and paper journal, or one you keep on your phone or computer. It could be sentences, words, phrases or drawings. Immortalize pieces of your life, even when they seem trivial because they will end up being your road map and your clues to your health and happiness.
Our journals are like the breadcrumbs on the trail. It's how we can find our way back when we inevitably get lost.
We are our own best guides. We have the solutions to creating our best life and self inside of us. In the moment we may not see clearly but we will if have the chance to step back for a bit.
So record, write, question, ponder....let it all flow out. In this moment it may not make sense but it may all come together in time.
You know the way, trust yourself.
PS. When was the last time you read your old journals? Find any gems or maybe just funny stories about ex boyfriend or middle school friend drama? Tell me about it in the comments below!!