Wednesday, June 6, 2012

More Stamps On My Passport - Is It Getting Easier?

I arrived in Phuket yesterday afternoon. At first I felt a little depleted from the flight but then I was replenished by a mini-family reunion. 

Then, I woke up this morning and realized I should share my thoughts...

I once had (and still have at times) these James Bond meets Vagabond like fantasies about jet setting all over the globe. Picture me footloose and fancy free, on a budget like my fellow backpackers but I bring along class and style like a secret agent on an important mission. The reality is, I don't have the answers to every situation like a spy. I'm not getting the girl in every port, I'm not even meeting them. In fact, the hostels have been fairly empty for most of my travels this past year and that means it's often lonely out there for this wanna by super cool traveler. Add to that, airports are becoming a drag to me. I remember pre-911, thinking how cool it was whenever I flew somewhere. Do you remember how loved ones could meet you right at the gate when you come off the plane? In movies traveling looks so romantic as couples greet each other when one returns and they could always be together to see each other off. Those days are gone. I'm getting a different picture branded in my brain now and I'll admit, the whole rigmarole of: fingerprinting, the restrictions for carry on items and packed luggage, the x-rays, the strip down of shoes - watch - belt - empty pockets - unpack and separate electronics & laptop, added fees for bags - meals - drinks, the unfriendly security agents, going through customs, filling out forms, being treated like I don't belong and as if by traveling I've done something wrong, etc. all this and more serves to suck the life out of me! I know most of this is done with the idea of safety and I'm not really complaining about people just doing a job but seriously would it kill them to smile once in a while? I'm just doing my job too. Which currently, consists only of living while I'm still alive. It's not enough for me to just exist. I'm not content to be miserable. Therefore, I've pushed myself to live. Is life always fun and adventurous? Am I totally together, fearless and cool? No, but I still believe it's better if I smile. 

So, now that I've purged myself on you, poor unfortunate reader, please allow me to add back a little light into this post. I am still smiling! Well, at least I'm doing my best to find a smile throughout the day. I'm not walking around 24/7 looking like the Joker in a Batman film though. Who is happy all the time right? I'm handling things though and counting my blessings.

Now, for the really good news. It IS getting easier! Every time I do something that frightens me or seems like it will be overwhelming it's a little workout for my soul and it seems to be gaining some muscle. Lets see how much I can flex in time to come.

On another note, I'm staying with my aunt & uncle in their beautiful home. This is now a vacation! Also, it's a mini-family reunion. I spent last night dining at an authentic roadside Thai restaurant chatting away with them. Dinner was super delicious and super affordable. Plus, it was super spicy! My favorite. I had a mixed stir fry of prawns, pork, squid and chicken with green bean, cilantro, sprouts and chili's, served with rice. My aunt & uncle had traditional pad Thai dishes. After we ate we went back to their home and poured over pictures from when my uncle was in the states the year after I was born. Wow, is all I have to say about my mom's pants in 1975!

Anyway, to reiterate, the more I do the easier it gets and the more I smile. Until next time keep smiling!


  1. Keep smiling Michael have a great attitude and I totally respect that you are actually living and really you so brave to venture the way you do. Take care and thank you for making me smile as well.

    Cindy LW friend

  2. Hey Cindy,

    Truth is, it's not always easy. I've had more than my share of pessimistic exposure and allowed it cloud my thinking on a regular basis for too many years. It is true what they say though you can make a choice. I'm not saying I don't still falter. I do in fact all the time. I just have to catch myself and choose to smile instead of dwell. It's worth it. Life improves when my attitude does. As for being brave, well, that too comes from making a choice. If I want to do something badly enough even though it may terrify me I just make the choice to do it. Pretty cliche, I know, but all those people who spoke the same message before me where right. Keep smiling!


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