Don’t worry; I haven’t started having conversations with inanimate objects. Anyway, if milk bottles could talk I doubt they’d be wasting their time giving me wisdom, they’d probably be more interested in talking about cows or cereal.
I haven’t gone crazy just yet, but I recently received a sign that it’s time to get excited about my trip. In the past I looked forward to certain things so much that it started to have a negative impact on the time in between. Sometimes it felt like I was treading water waiting to finish university or finish a contract. I decided that I couldn’t live in the future so much, so now when I buy a bottle of milk that has a use by date that is past the date I’ve been looking forward to, it’s time to let my mind wander. Before that time I’ve tried my hardest to live in the moment and enjoy each day.
It’s been difficult this time around, as the journey I’m about to embark on is by far the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me. I’ve saved enough money to travel for a few years (if I want to), and there’s a possibility I might never need a “real job” again. Working is something I’ve always put up with but never really enjoyed, but it wasn’t long ago that I was resigned to working normal jobs for the rest of my life. It’s a life that many people have, and many also enjoy, but it’s not for me. I like seeing new things, and when you work in 1 place for years on end those work days are usually filled with the same scenes. This familiarity is what some people crave, but an increasing number are realising that a life full of adventure and travel is a possibility.
This is my number 1 reason for wanting to travel. When you are an employee of a company you no longer have complete control over your life. I used to think the best job in the world would be a professional athlete, but recently I’ve rethought that. Athletes are usually contracted to a team for at least a few years. They have to train intensely, listen to coaches, and they don’t have the freedom to do or say what they want in public. This job suddenly sounds a lot less appealing. I now think a self employed travel writer could be the dream job, and I might one day be in the position to make that happen.
I’ve got a pretty busy couple of months planned. I’ll head to Malaysia for 2 weeks, followed by a few days in Brunei, then on to Southern China for a month followed by a week and a half in the Philippines. After that, who knows? I’ll stick around Asia until the end of the year as there is still so much I want to see. I haven’t been to India, Nepal or Japan yet, and I’d love to revisit a few places in Southeast Asia. At the end of the year I’ll be heading to South/Central/North America, then probably on to Europe, Africa and wherever else I feel like going. I’d love to eventually own a guesthouse somewhere in Southeast Asia, but that might be a few years in the making.
Some thoughts on living in Singapore
I’ve lived in Singapore for nearly 2 years and there are definitely aspects of it that I’ll miss. Mostly I’ll miss my girlfriend (one of the reasons I’m staying in Asia until the end of the year), the food and the ease of living. I’ll also miss my job; I’ve worked with some awesome people during my 2 years of teaching and have also taught some great kids. It’s always a bit sad leaving the kids, but after a few weeks they usually forget their old teacher anyway.
Xuan Xuan, one of my favourite students, looks sad that I’m leaving!
Even though I’ve enjoyed my time in Singapore it’s definitely time to leave. I came here 2 years ago having just completed my first big travel experience (6 months in Southeast Asia) and for a start it felt like my drug had been cut off. All I wanted to do was hit the road and not come back, but that becomes hard when you have no money. I quickly worked out that I could save enough to go anywhere in the world I wanted, but it would cost me 2 years. I decided that was a decent trade off, and now I’m about to see the fruits of that decision. 2 years was a daunting amount of time to think about, but it’s raced by, and now I’m ready to truly see the world.
Maybe my milk bottle thing won’t work in the future, especially if genetic engineering has any say. They might invent milk that lasts forever, but I’d hope they would use that technology to prolong human lives first. For now though, it works as a sign that something exciting is just around the corner – and that last bottle of milk tastes better than any other!
When do you think the right time is to get excited about something? Do you also follow the law of the milk? Let me know!
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