They are coming. My pals Maureen, Mike and Chris left LA and are (according to the flight stalker web sites that I have viewed) in the air, arriving tomorrow morning. They will soon be followed by Jeff from KL and Keith from San Francisco. I get all dewy thinking about them coming here to help me celebrate turning 40. I mean, that is one long ass way to come just for a party.
It is raining like crazy here in Bangkok, but I kinda like it. Here I sit in front of my blog thinking in depth about the past 9 months, what led me here, what I (thought I) wanted to accomplish with this entire trip. And even though it isn’t over, this is a bit of a stopping point, a time to reflect on what I wanted.
I wanted to take time out and think about things I hadn’t thought about before. That certainly has happened. I have been exposed to massive amounts of culture that I had never seen before. This in turn has led me to a greater understanding of how things within my own culture are constructed.
Without sounding morbid, I wanted to think about death. This trip, for a variety of reasons (including scary bus rides) has made me explore life and death in far more depth than before. And I am grateful for it.
I didn’t plan it this way, but this trip has really been an exploration of belief systems. All kinds. I have been able to connect in a meaningful way with a variety of belief systems and faiths, and ask honest questions. I have been lucky to transform my formerly sneering disdain for all things spiritual into an honest curiosity about the nature of belief and how people connect with the divine. I have come to understand and refine my own sense of metaphysics, and am much more accepting of the variety of tools that people use to come to terms with the infinite.
Perhaps this is a summing up of the above, but I wanted to be ok with turning 40. I wasn’t particularly bothered about it before, but neither was I convinced that leading up to this milestone (and it is a milestone) that I was as conscious about living as I wanted to be. This trip has forced me into the present moment in so many ways, and I am so much the happier for it.
I am sure that embarking on this journey was the best decision I have ever made. Because let’s face it, at the end of it all, we regret the things we didn’t do, not the things we did.