Actually, the more I think about it the more significant the term “departure” really becomes. In a sense I can say that what I am departing from is the confines of everyday life, the chains that bind me to indentured servitude, and the daily struggle that fills my mind; make more, buy more, fill the void with more material goods. I’ve always been a restless soul. And with each step I take towards living a life that society deems as appropriate, I feel another piece of the adventurer in me dying off. But these trips to and from the great land of Thailand reignite within me the seeker of truth. This truth can be found anywhere, but for me it shines most through Muaythai. The people I meet, the places I go, they all act as mirrors which I must hold up to my own life. If those struggling for survival can be happy with so little, then why can’t I? It’s a personal battle that I have been winning, however, the victory has been slow.
I have learned over the years to be unprepared for Thailand. In my opinion it’s the only way to approach it. Looking back on all the greatest memories and learned lessons, they’ve all come from things that I was not prepared for. Life in America doesn’t prepare you for meeting a seven year old boy named Jap, who sleeps under a mosquito net in a boxing ring and runs off to school everyday wearing the same clothes, but has a smile that will remove any hardness about you. Nor does America prepare you for a civil uprising in which people are shot and killed right down the road from where you are staying. I’ll never look at a simple red shirt the same way ever again. I could sit here and go on and on about all the things I have experienced that weren’t part of my itinerary, but I’m sure the next month will provide me with more than enough material to write about here on MTiL.
I’d like to leave you with this. It’s a passage from Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey:
“You’re uncomfortable, feeling you no longer fit in with this drab, exhausted place. You may not know it, but your soon selected to become a hero, to join the select company of the Seekers, those who have always gone out to face the unknown. You’ll undertake a journey to restore life and heath to the entire Home Tribe, an adventure in which the only sure thing is that you’ll be changed. You’re uneasy, but there’s a thrill running through you. You’re poised to break free from this world, ready to enter the world of adventure.”