Around the World in 6 Months

I’m going through the photos of my Asia trip, which has brought me to think about where I have been this year. I can definitely say that it has been the craziest and best year of my life so far, both in terms of travel opportunities and discovering of myself.

An email from my brother on my birthday also reminded me of how lucky I am to have traveled so much.

I very much believe that I am very lucky and fortunate to have had the opportunities afforded to me up to this point in my life. At the same time (as a friend brought up), as attractive of a way to live as traveling is, it doesn’t allow one to form real, lasting relationships, or at least in those moments of voyage. That is my friend’s position, which I can somewhat agree with. The people you may meet traveling are great to be around and have fun with, but once you separate it’s far too easy to forget about them. That phenomenon also occurs with those who are behind, at home, in regards to how they think about you. As is true for an individual adapting to different environments while in a state of movement, it is equally the case for an individual and people in general to conform to changing surroundings. Once someone is gone, it is only natural for us to continue living our lives for there is nothing that we can do to immediately see them. Yet, what I find to happen more often than not is that it becomes easier and easier to lose touch with people. It also becomes easier and easier to forget about the person and become used to not having them around. It’s only a natural process that people change and move on. As is so cliché to say, but every bit true nonetheless: only with time can we “heal” certain situations. Directly following a departure, it is always the hardest. Progressively, however, we tend to lose those sentiments and we henceforth move on.

What do I think of it? Well, I try my best to stay in touch and I know that being away discerns who one’s real friends are and aren’t. I really like the quote “We are not friends because of where we are, but because of who are are.” But in all honesty, the citation highlights an important point. Many a time, proximity is such an overwhelming factor in human relationships that we become friends with a particular person solely because of the fact that they are near us. Once they are far from us, we move onto the next closest person. I’m not a fan of this sort of mentality, but it happens quite often I believe. Again, a true friend will treat you as if they saw you yesterday even if it has been years since your last encounter.

I’ll be the first to admit, I have lost touch with friends throughout the years that has been duly my fault, for lack of keeping a constant line of communication flowing. However, I now value very highly the importance of staying in touch with people, to maintain one’s social network. It will pay dividends in the future and I try to stay true to my word. It can sometimes be a bit of work to send emails, make calls, have lunch, drink cofee, or whatever other method necessary in order to maintain the contact. What’s more work, and can turn to be fruitless, is to make the effort when it is not reciprocated i.e. the other person does not respond. If anything, these past few years have taught me (albeit slowly) to move on from those who are not willing to stay in contact, and spend my time elsewhere. It is quite a hard decision to make, but in the end there is nothing else one can do. My hand is always out and I am always close by, it is simply up to the other person to reach out and grab it. I’ll try my best to hold onto others that are also outstretched : ) .

February 4th-Feburary 19th France

February 5th-11th Grenoble

February 11th-16th Lille

February 16th-19th Paris

February 19th-22nd Arizona, United States

February 22nd-25th Tokyo, Japan

February 25th-June 26th South Korea

February 25th-June 26th Seoul, South Korea (Yonsei University Exchange Program)

April 5th-6th Geongju

April25th-28th Busan

May 22nd-26th Jeju Island

-> February 22nd-24th Mt. Kumgangsang, North Korea

June 26th-July 16th People’s Republic of China

June 26th-June 30th Beijing

July 1st-July 4th Shanghai

July 5th-July 6th Huang Shan

July 7th-July 8th Yingtan

July 9th-11th Yanghsuo

-> July 12th-15th Hong Kong

-> July 15th-16th Macau

July 16th-July 28th Vietnam

July 16th-July 23rd Hanoi

July 23-24th Hoi An

July 24th-26th Nha Trang

July 26th-July 28th Ho Chi Minh (Saigon)

July 28th-July 31st Cambodia

July 28th-29th Phnom Penh

July 29th-31st Siem Riep

July 31st-August 5th Koh Chang

August 5th-6th Damnoen Saduak

August 6th-11th Bangkok

August 11th-16th Ko Phi Phi

August 16th-17th Ko Pha-ngan

August 17th-18th Ko Samoui

August 19th Zurich, Switzerland

August 19th Mulhouse, France

Je n’en reviens pas sur mon périple (I won’t forget about this journey). I’m still a little jet-lagged and I would like to finish editing my photos, all while watching the final moments of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Marathon Final.

Bonne nuit , Good night !

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