I find it funny how easy it is to slip back into your comfort zone so quickly after living outside it. Over the past three years since my first backpacking excursion, I’ve found myself continuing the adventure and self discovery every chance I get. I haven’t, however, experienced a culture shock since the month I spent in Thailand. That kind of travel makes for an entirely different experience. It isn’t an experience that I’ll ever forget by any means but I very quickly adjusted to my old and privileged habits after returning home.
For every traveller, it’s a struggle to return from a trip abroad and take with you every single thing you’ve learned, every new outlook you’ve adapted to and use it in your day-to-day life. Old habits die hard, man. I don’t doubt that I change quite a bit with every trip and that I become far, far more aware of my actions and mindset. I just know that I’m human as well and we mould to what we’ve always been familiar with.
It goes without saying that the world has us asking a lot of questions these days. Usually it’s not a struggle for me to look at the positive going on amongst the negative but this time was different. I let the darkness of the world completely consume me to the point where I even considered not travelling to Bali at all. I was nervous to fly, I was nervous to be in an airport halfway across the world. I let it weigh me down. I never want to disregard the reality of what goes on in a country other than my own. I don’t want to turn a blind eye or become naive to the truth of world issues, but letting the fear of possibilities run my life to the point of me not living at all is letting the darkness win. Did I really want to let fear run the show?
Thankfully, I didn’t. I now find myself in an area of Bali called Canggu. I’m living in a villa with 29 other eager and like-minded writers. Once again, I am reminded of how much I enjoy Asia and all it has to offer. There’s no doubt that my experience here is extremely Westernized. It certainly has had its moments. But I try my best to look beyond that. I’ve been focusing on the landscapes and nature as much as I can. I’m trying to order local dishes whenever possible. I want to spend more time scootering through the back roads. We’re all taking language classes so speaking Indonesian is a steady work in progress. Through my photography, I love learning more about the people that live here, of course. There are so many things about being somewhere new, especially in a place so starkly different from your home, that I nearly looked past and had forgotten about. I’m remembering how to trust the flow of a journey as much as I used to. Things are falling into place and every day I learn new things from my surroundings.
Before I left, someone explained to me how important love is. Love at the root of all things can change so many outcomes. In the same sense, it’s important to continue spreading goodness when things seem helpless.
Without knowing it, you could be consciously missing out what makes the world beautiful, the experiences that represent the light it holds. You could be the light someone needs. In my opinion, those aspects always triumph.