So we’ve made it from April to April. How time flies.
I have stopped blogging regularly, you may have noticed. For me, this blog was always going to be a place to record the memories of our travels – to update friends and families but also so we could look back in years to come and reminisce.
As it happens, I’ve used Facebook to do that more and more over time. It’s just so much easier and more instant. So if we’re friends on Facebook (and we probably are, if you’ve found yourself here), you’re likely to know much of what we’ve been up to without the need for the blog.
That said, a blog can be a much better platform for reflecting, if I give myself the time to focus. So how do I reflect on a year of travelling? It’s odd that Facebook memories are already starting to surface showing the start of the adventure. It’s gone so quickly.
I think back to the reasons why we left – to escape the 9-5 lifestyle, to live more simply, to walk more closely with God. Have I achieved these objectives? To some extent, yes. But I don’t feel satisfied yet.
Sometimes I ask the question – am I just the same Dan in a different place? It’s funny how quickly patterns of travel emerge:
- Take a day off for the flight. Unpack and have a look around.
- Find a co-working space. Work as you were in the previous country.
- Befriend at least one person.
- Try and meet another worldschooling family.
- Eat local food.
It might be more varied for Suewan and Roobs as they tend to experience more of a city than I do. I still have to work. We still settle into routines of sleeping, waking and learning. So yes, at times it can seem like one place is much the same as any other.
That’s not really fair though, and would be doing each place a huge dis-service. We’ve enjoyed massive cultural diversity in our travels across Europe and Asia. We’ve enjoyed a wonderful variety of local cuisine. We’ve experienced all kinds of weather, from very cold in Japan to 40 degrees C in Thailand.
And actually, coming to Thailand has been really good, because for me it’s pulled me out of my comfort zone again. Actually Hong Kong and Japan were already familiar, and they are pretty sanitised. Thailand is loud, chaotic, smelly and dangerous. And amazing. We spent a whole day shooting strangers with water pistols and getting soaked by others during the Songkran festival!
So I do feel like I am evolving as a person, as we embrace new challenges. I’m becoming more comfortable with new situations and environments. I am a more confident traveller. We’re learning how to eat better, save better, and our family identity is strong.
And yet there’s still more to come, and questions to face. However we look at it, this is still mostly a selfish endeavour. We’re putting our family first – above our relatives, above our close friends who miss us, and perhaps above God too, if I’ll admit it. What happens if the situation changes and we need to look after a sick parent? Or support our closest friends through a challenging situation? What happens if God calls us, like he did once, to serve a small community?
Suewan and I both realise that everything has a season. This season is for travelling, and we’re not done yet.
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