the beginning

i’ve not known what to write about the past few days. i’m having a hard time putting words to this feeling: more ache than nostalgia, more nostalgia than grief, more let-down than wistful, more overwhelmed than let-down. i don’t know how to describe my current state of mind, and that’s an unusual place for me to be. the internal landscape is foreign and i have no map. for the first time in this trip, i find i’m lost.

i don’t want to give the impression that i am depressed, because i’m not (not yet, at any rate) – and the last thing i want is to waste the last days of my adventure wallowing in “poor me”. yet it reminds me a bit of the crash that comes after planning a big wedding – you spend some much time and energy in planning, hoping, waiting, wanting, reveling, that once it’s over, inevitably you find yourself thinking “well… what now? what is there to look forward to next? what else is there to make me feel special? what else is there to fuss over?”

and there is nothing special. there is nothing for anyone to make a fuss over, or to celebrate. there is nothing big and amazing to dream about or plan for. there is nothing else on the horizon but an endless stretch of mundane for the forseeable future. i need more than that. i need something to look forward to.

and there is the sense of being different, in some imperceptible, indescribable way, but one that most people can’t relate to. that makes it sound as though i feel superior in some way (which i don’t) – i just that i worry i’ll find myself saying horribly smug sounding things like “well, when i was in laos…” and put people off, but that it’ll be even more difficult *not* to talk about it. even before i left, i found people had a limited tolerance for hearing about my trip plans – probably for the same reasons most people really aren’t all that interested in personal holiday photos. but the idea that after a week or two i’ll have to just put it away on a shelf and not talk about it… well that just kills me.

when we were in australia, we got a chance to visit with our friends leeann and blair who moved back to oz after spending a good long time using london as a crashpad. and whether they knew it or not, they were much of the inspiration for all this. they’ve been to more countries and done more traveling than anyone i know. but more than where they’ve gone, it’s their approach to travel that i have always been so envious of – the thirst to experience everything, be a part of other cultures. to see the world and then bring the best parts of the world back home. to have stories and photos that capture the colour of life. to have a memory chock full of souvenirs and mementos, and to be surrounded by reminders of wonder.

this is what i aspire to. i need to figure out how to make it happen.

so i feel like i need to process all this. mull it over. incorporate it into something new that i can hold on to. something different that reflects what this has all meant to me. it’s a big task, but an important one.

because as bittersweet as this ending is – it is also just a beginning.

5 Responses to “the beginning”

  1. Mum
    October 11th, 2006 02:57

    While this is the end of this”trip”,who knows what other new experiences await. Fall and winter are good times for reflection.and after you take care of the basics–food,shelter,jobs,etc., you’ll have time to just “be” and see what happens. Not every moment of life has to be part of the “plan”, and some times the best things are unscripted!Love

  2. Brett
    October 11th, 2006 03:53

    Hey Jen and Jonno,

    I’m so happy you’ve enjoyed your trip and have been happy to follow along here… here’s to your new beginning!


  3. Jen
    October 11th, 2006 21:42

    awww. thanks guys! i know there are other good things in store…

  4. daddio
    October 12th, 2006 02:42

    well if you havn’t figured it out on the trip, i’ll give my unsolicited advice…WRITE! you certainly have enough background material for a novel or two. i have already taken your blog and had it published as a book and am living high on the hog in the islands off the income it is producing.

    there’s gold in them there hills! could be a whole new career.



  5. kim
    October 12th, 2006 03:22

    hey girl, have to agree with daddio and your writings, but then again, you already know I think you are a fab writer. and here I was worried you were going to get bored of my asking to hear more about the trip and wanting to see even more photos – two weeks – get ready, you are going to be sharing stories for quite a while when staying at casa rushleigh! safe journeys back.

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