Archive for June, 2010

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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

I feel absolutely ridiculous complaining about it, but it’s been tough. I just don’t know what to do with myself. An existential struggle, I suppose. Some would call it a good problem, but it fills me with doubt and I have no clear path or vision for my future.

I must disclose to you my immediate circumstances. I live with my extraordinarily generous and patient parents who support me fully and ask for less than a pinch of responsibility in return. I generally laze about the house and accomplish little to nothing with my days. I drink too much and spend most of my active time socializing. That, in all fairness, has been great. But it can’t go on forever.

And I had a dream once. I wanted to wander through some places that, in today’s world, count as difficult or dangerous. It wasn’t slashing through the Amazon, sure, but it was something that took preparation and confidence. I would go overland, circling the Arabian Sea from India and making my way south through Africa. And I was ready.

And then I skidded off the road and flipped over my handle bars. The doctor could have felt my heart hit the floor when he told me I needed surgery.

I sought a second opinion. I confidently told my parents the big, private hospitals would take care of me. World class medicine, all that. At my third hospital in two days, I watched the doctor lean back, lifting the x-ray to the light. He looked at me evenly.

“I believe your best option is returning to your home country.”

Finished.

So here I am. And I’m more lost than I ever was on the side of some rural road with an idling bike and a map and a gaggle of English-free rice farmers smiling at me.

Is it ridiculous, saying something like that? I have money and no obligations, and I could just ship off and wander a bunch more, either back in South Asia or, really, anywhere else in the world. But it doesn’t feel right. I just don’t find inspiration in it the way I used to. The wanderlust seems to have dried up. I think.

The other main option – workrentgroceriesdataplan – has its appeal, but it is also far from inspiring. When I returned from my last trip, I’d been away for two years and felt ready to settle down and live a centered life for a while. But this time I got cut off halfway through. It was a forced homecoming.

Hence the doubt. I’ve started preparing cover letters and sending in resumes. If I get a good job that makes me feel like I’m contributing I could see myself staying. But it’s hard because the jobs I really want I’m completely unqualified for.

I’m about eighty percent sure that I’ll slog it out for now. My life as a traveler isn’t over, I hope, but it is on hiatus. I’m sorry for taking so long to wrap up my trip and explain what happened, but I have only recently come to terms with it myself. There was supposed to be so much more.

I’ll try to post a few retrospectives soon. I hope it won’t take me as long to come up with them as it did to write this.