Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ultimate freedom and the travel bug

I checked out the beginning of my blog, from when i first stated writing it, and was kind of amused at how much my plans changed by the end of the trip. I had almost completely forgot about my original plans and itinerary that I had come up with from my couch back home, probably because I was/am pretty satisfied with how it all ended up. This also reminded me of one of my favorite things about traveling alone in developing countries; the feeling complete and pure freedom.

First of all, in able to ensure my feeling of complete freedom, before I left home I got rid of my apartment, car payment and insurance, cell phone bill etc. Whatever I didn't throw away, I put in storage,I wanted nothing back home to have to stress about. I had no worries or responsibilities back home, and had only myself to be concerned about. I did have a general idea about where I wanted to go, and how I was going to get there, but any plans I had quickly went out the window, and I'm glad.

Here is one reason of why I was glad that I was willing to divert from any set plans I had, and just go with the flow. When I was in Malawi I met a cool guy from Ireland who I ended up hanging out and traveling around allot with. We had an awesome time but then it was time to move on. we both planned on traveling north, but he had a set-in-stone plan and itinerary, and the next thing on his calendar was to fly to Egypt. With all the riots and revolution stuff going on in Egypt at the time, I tried to convince him that he might have allot more fun in Zanzibar with me. Long story short, while I was drinking margaritas on the beach with my feet in the Indian ocean, he ended up getting stuck in Cairo for a couple weeks, scared for his life.

Not having a schedule or anywhere I HAVE to be, I was free to wake up at noon, mosey down to the beach, go sight seeing in places you would never find on the Internet from back home, or just be ready to embrace the unknown. I've never felt happier than when I would wake up in an awesome place that I loved being, having nowhere I was required to be, and knowing that there was no end to the adventures. I never woke up thinking "yesterday was fun, but it totally sucks that I have to leave tomorrow", instead I would ask myself what I wanted to do that day, then went and did it. That is the feeling of true freedom. I felt sorry for the few tourists that I met, that had worked hard for a whole year to earn their two week vacation, and would be trying to get the most out of their short trip as they could, probably tormented that they were doomed to return to the rat race very soon.

Now I've been home for six months or so, and the travel bug has struck again. This bug can't be avoided, and is like malaria; once you have it, it never goes away, it just flares up once in a while. I tried to avoid it and be a good little student, but I always end up staring out the window dreamily instead of doing homework. It not something you can really talk to your friends about, unless they have the same sickness and can relate. If they don't, they just try to shoot you down with comments like "it would be nice to go where ever, but welcome to the real world", or "it's time to grow up and settle down". Well, chasing your dreams might be irrational to the typical American, but it seems perfectly plausible to me, and when I get something in my head, I'm not satisfied until I make it happen. That's why when the option to go work and study and explore in Australia and meet up with some old friends comes up, it's really hard to ignore it. So now it's time to plan and scheme, and make it happen. Diving in the Great Barrier, ya that doesn't sound too awful.

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