So I’ve been a bit silent lately. It’s been hard to find the time to sit down and write. Actually, let me rephrase that. It’s hard to get myself motivated to sit down and write.
It’s not like I’ve been super busy doing things all the time, trying something new and going somewhere everyday. It’s almost been the opposite. I found myself extremely comfortable and felt like I was at home at my hostel in Chiang Mai, so I acted as if I were at home. And at home I rarely wrote.
So on my travels, I’ve been sitting down, opening word, have my hands hovering over the keyboard and want to write, but words elude me and I end up reading my newsfeed over and over again on Facebook. I soon get sick of that so open up Candy Crush and other silly games on my phone. Then friends would appear, so we’d chat, play cards. And any other excuse I can think of.
I went to Pai for a few days – it was hot. Super hot and extremely humid. It wasn’t possible for my overheated body to do much. I spent a lazy afternoon lying on a hammock. I started with good intentions and had my laptop with me, but after losing all lives in my games, I settled back and had an afternoon nap. The laptop case left a lovely sweat mark on my lap.
But no more excuses. I have been up to some amazing things and I need to share them. Right now I’m sitting down by the banks of the Mekong River on the Thai / Laos border. I’m crossing into my fourth country tomorrow, I’ve been travelling for 12 weeks, and I’m sitting alone. No more excuses. I don’t want to come across as anti-social or unfriendly, but I have to do this. I need to write. Headphones in and iTunes rocking, this is going to happen.
I’ve also figured out that the guesthouse where I’m staying is facing east, so there should be an epic sunrise. I’ve managed one sunrise on this trip, I can manage another. And how memorable will a sunrise over the Mekong River be? So, once I’ve exhausted my words tonight, it’ll be straight to bed and ready for an early morning.
There is a lot to update you on and so much for me to try and put into words, words that will give justice to everything I’m experiencing, what I’m seeing and who I’m meeting. It will take more than a night with a full moon looking over me. For now, I’m satisfied with these little bits. It all needs to start somewhere.
I posted on Instagram that I was going to sit down for 30 minutes each day and write. Well, over a week later I’m finally doing that. And with two days ahead of me where I’ll be sitting on a slow boat from Thailand to Luang Prabang, I’ll have plenty more than 30 minutes a day to sit down.
What I have found is that while the motivation to sit down and write isn’t strong, the motivation for me to make notes along the way is almost overwhelming. I feel like I’m setting up a filing cabinet in my head and each time I take a picture I take a moment to reflect on it after it’s taken, I then look over it again at night. The memos app on my phone is also filling up with random thoughts, words and snippets of conversation. So I can be assured that I am doing something about getting serious about my writing. It may not be traditional, but I don’t think there are traditional writers out there. We all work differently and some methods work for some, while not for others.
One thing I have learnt, and am still learning, is that I need to forgive myself. We truly are our own worst critics and I’m backing away from that. I’m enjoying the moments for what they are, making memories and relishing life. The same is to be said about my writing, I’ve been annoyed with myself for not settling down and getting into it, I’ve been resenting the thought of doing it. So when I have sat down, fingers at the ready, I’ve gone into a complete writer’s block.
I’m not too sure what is different tonight, if it is the setting or perhaps that I’ve allowed myself to relax. I’ve left friends behind and while that has got me a little nervous, I’ll meet more people and make more friends. So as much as we’re all sitting in this guesthouse together, we don’t all have to make friends tonight. It’s okay for me to sit here in the common area with my headphones in and my fingers flying over the keyboard.
It’s oddly exhilarating. I haven’t typed like this in quite awhile – and I miss it. I’m enjoying it. I need to keep writing as a joy for me and not a chore. Yes, I want to go further with my writing and see what happens, but I don’t have to do it all now. I can relax and enjoy myself. I can set a rhythm now; get into a routine. And it can be fun.
I’m crossing the border into Laos tomorrow. My fourth country in three months and the one I know the least about. This is an exciting time and I’m looking forward to crossing new territories in my mind, exploring new places with my eyes and walking new steps with my feet. With all of this newness in front of me, how can I not write?
This certainly isn’t your usual travel blog. But I’m also not your average traveller. And I’m fine with that – travel isn’t just about getting from door to door. It’s a journey externally and internally; and I love the internal journey as much as I love the external journey. There’s nothing usual or average about any of this.
Sorry I haven’t written in awhile, but things are about to change.