the departure

Sometimes, I only look left once before crossing.  When the date said January 9th on my yogurt this morning, I ate it anyway.  I run the occasional red light if no one is coming (and if there’s no cop around).  And finally, there are times when I don’t return a phone call to my sister or my mom for more than 24 hours.

I live life on the edge, as you can tell.  You remember; you read about my train station experience last week.

Yesterday, though, I got caught up in the overabundance of marginal-quality information about our first stop, Ko Phangan.  I poured over the guidebook and the godforsaken internet for hours, even breaking my own rule by looking for images of certain beaches facing west.  Instead of writing a heartfelt letter to my family about old fashioned letter-writing, I tried to find the perfect beach with sunsets.  You’d think I’d never seen a sunset before.

While they are important, sunsets will not be the only determiner.  There are basic facilities that must be present.  And sand and turquoise water and opportunities to snorkel and a short walk to the beach.  Surely, there’ll be times when we’re roughing it (3 weeks on the trail in April, for example), but the first week is not one of those times.

There are just so many options when it comes to travel, so many things to do, that I feel I am missing out on something great if we don’t choose the right place.  A similar concern comes when trying to anticipate all the dangers.  Just yesterday, when writing about Thorung La, I was driven to anxiety about this danger or that.  It’s been a long time since I really traveled.  It’s been a long time since I didn’t have to be anywhere.  It’s been a long time since I didn’t try to make people and time bend to my will.  This is not just a vacation, a honeymoon; it is also a departure from the regular ways of doing things, a study of how to go without.  This undertaking is to try to find a way to integrate this new-old way of doing things, a way to add dimensions to the relationships with my friends and family.  This departure from old habits and certain addictions could add dimensions to my relationship with my Self.

This Self of mine may soon be no more; he’ll be departed.  In his place may step a greater being; in any case: changed, different.

The idea for the first week is to plant our asses on a beach; knowing me, that probably won’t keep, and I’ll be looking for a trek to go on.  As much as we can plan, not everything will go to plan.  All we can hope is that we get an opportunity to say, “We couldn’t have planned this better.”

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