Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Quagmire (Rather, one of a Series!)

Thirteen flights in fourteen days - overkill or doable?

In about ten weeks, I am traveling solo to the other side of the world. It's been a little over a year since I did something like this, so I feel giddy all over as if I'm doing it again for the first time. I have about three weeks to get everything booked and when I cannot find answers, I resort to writing my thoughts down in the hopes that the answers will come.

The first leg of my trip is pretty much organized and booked. I will be in Hong Kong for two nights, cross over to Macau for half a day. Last night I was talking to Anthony (a magnificent soul who I just love to bits and pieces and who has remained anonymous until this time, but sometimes, sacred things, like mantras, need to remain a secret...) who steered the conversation to traveling to Hong Kong. His jaw dropped when I told him I am going to HK in a few weeks. It turns out, he has been cherishing an extremely strong desire to learn Yoga asanas from this Master who I have not heard of before. If you have been practicing Yoga asanas for a while now, you probably have seen his picture somewhere. Yogananth Andiappan, son of a(n) (Indian) Yoga guru, has been doing asanas since he was two and now teaches Ashtanga and a style I've never practiced before, Anahata (heart chakra) Yoga, at this studio at a high-rise in Hong Kong. The first leg of my trip suddenly became purposeful! I promised Anthony I will take a class or two while I'm there, absorb this guy's energy, and maybe bring some of his soul back to Anthony when I return to the U.S.

So this is where planning the trip gets difficult. I only have five nights to spend somewhere else in Asia before I fly to Motherland. I have decided that all those five nights will be in Thailand. It's perfect for what I would like to get out of this trip. I'm at a point in my life where the usual mundane things don't impress me anymore. I want to experience something different. Something deeper and more meaningful.

Here is what I am clear about:
  • I have always wanted my travels to be pilgrimages back to my soul instead of hedonistic trysts.
  • I would like to see and know how other cultures experience God.
  • And I would love to travel with as little guilt as possible by giving my business to establishments who give a sh*t about carbon footprint reduction.
  • I would really love to experience the beach like I've never experienced it before.
And here is where I'm screwed:
  • I really do not want to take a garish backpack that will be half my size. You know, the ghastly, manly "backpacker" kind. If I could get away with it, I really, really, really would like to take, at the very least, a mid-size roller with me, with all my toiletries and pretty shoes. Oh my trivial concerns.
  • My desire is to spend time two nights in Chiang Mai, two in Koh Laoliang, and a night in Bangkok. For this to be possible though, I could not afford a single delayed flight. Yeah. Sure. That's something I'm totally in control of. And if I do this, I obviously need to trash the mid-size roller idea.
  • I worry that I will be in such a frenetic frenzy getting from place to place that I totally miss out on savoring and absorbing anything. What's the need to grab and grasp?
  • I am traveling solo, but for the life of me, I cannot ditch the Koh Laoliang idea. I just cannot. And I'm just going to have to do it even if I have to go alone. I cannot be in the sidelines of my own life waiting for that perfect travel companion. I just cannot do that. While I can come up with a handful of names who I can invite and who will most likely say yes, the nagging question in my head of "How much are you going to bargain your soul for it?" will not leave me. I am here and I need to live how I want to. And I'm going to. :)
And just like that, I think I figured out a game plan.

Talking is a cure. Hmmm. Imagine that.


  1. Great post Trish. I was recenty invited by a friend to join her and and her friends in Boracay. I have never been to Boracay, yes it's true. The invite seemed ill-timed at first but I realized the reason I have never been to Bora is because there was never a right time. This time, I decided to just do it. I was encouraged to bring a companion but alas there is no one available to come along. So I thought, why do I always find myself in situations where I have to be around complete strangers (this isn't the first time). But I suppose it's true, I cannot sit around and wait for the perfect travel companion, or just a companion even. There must still be a lot to learn and experience alone.

  2. Hi Marls! It still surprises me sometimes who reads this blog. I sometimes forget that I'm no longer talking to myself and that this is all public.

    Ahhh.. yes. Fearlessness of being fearless. I am an intrepid traveler and I am DONE living my life the way other people expect me to live my life. I have traveled alone quite a few times and I love it so much it's a challenge for me nowadays to travel with other people. The deepest connections I have made I have started with people I've met in foreign cities. There's a sense of liberation and inhibition, of nobody-ness, that is very appealing. I pretty much can do everything I want on my own time, without waiting for other people to get ready or to submit to their wishes.

    If my trip to Dharamsala (northern India) next year doesn't happen, I'm traveling to Europe - with or without a companion! :)