Hey y’all, I’m still here. I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated, but I’ve just been living & enjoying life on the road. I told myself when I left Europe I wouldn’t blog during my time in Asia and I haven’t done so. The last 5 months in Asia have been a crazy roller coaster of emotions. From 10 days in Seoul to a month in Tokyo and spending 4 months across Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos & Thailand it’s been full of amazing and frustrating adventures that I will share later. For now though I want to write what’s on my mind… you know my thoughts on turning 30 and because it’s my birthday I can blog if I want to!!!
—How I spent my last Saturday in my 30s in Bangkok.—
I woke up this morning in Bangkok, Thailand and I’m the big THREE ZERO.
Yeah, today February 24, 2016 I turned 30.
I say it out loud and it sounds strange. I can’t believe my twenties are over & I’m now in my thirties. EEEEeeeeee I’m getting old.
You know what’s crazy is when I was in my teens I didn’t I want to live past 30. I know that sounds morbid, but I didn’t. When I was younger I was confused with who I was (especially my sexuality) and life in general and thought if I lived to be 30 it would be long enough. I mean 30 years is quite a long time after all. Right? If you break it down it seems even insanely longer:
It’s 3 decades.
It’s 360 months.
It’s 10950 days.
It’s 262800 hours.
In the end I know turning 30 is an age a lot of people never live to see and I’m grateful I have. Today I’m beyond happy to have lived to turn 30 and now want to live well past them… into old age. Ahhh that would be amazing and is way different then I used to think when I was younger.
I look back at my life and can’t believe how far I’ve come and grown. I mean in my twenties alone I finally came out of the closet once and for all to everyone in my life (yeah I came out twice, once in my teens and again in my twenties… very long story).
I did the typical single gay guy bar life and then was arrested for drinking and driving at age 23. I hit rock bottom and was depressed, but little did I know that was going to be the best thing to ever happen in my life. As cliche as it sounds that moment is the moment that changed my life for ever.
While on a year of probation, sober and basically under house arrest I did a lot of soul searching to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I still remember vividly laying on the floor of my closet listening to Kelly Clarkson on repeat in tears wanting it to all be over and contemplating our purpose in life.
I thought the “American Dream” would answer all my life’s problems. I went back to school after quitting at 19 and quit again and back again because I felt I needed that to live the life I had been conditioned to have. I finally quit once and for all, because I realized I was unhappy and school wasn’t for me. I felt guilty and still do sometimes, but have been happy with my decision since then. Maybe one day I’ll go back… who knows.
During my probation and all the free time I had I planned the trip of a lifetime. I had always wanted to travel the world, but didn’t know it was possible. I did lots of research and was going to quit my job that paid well, but hated to travel 3 months in Europe. Well after reading tons of travel blogs that idea turned into a 2 year trip around the world. Because of that I even started this crazy blog and have managed to stay true to myself in being completely honest.
So yeah I sold just about everything I owned and at 25 let my thoughts and dreams consume me and hit the road never having traveled outside of the USA or Mexico or solo or staying in a hostel or living out of a backpack. I took a chance and it’s a chance I’ve never regretted and one that again changed my life.
—After a 5 day trek I made it to Machu Picchu.—
During those two years I was held at gun point, almost arrested and sent to jail, I fell in love in Egypt, pondered if we live in transition and even the purpose of life. I saw some of the most amazing sights on earth and made friends with people from every corner of the world. I experienced more during that time than ever before. It changed the way I saw the world, my own beliefs in life, in religion, and after coming home and dealing with reverse culture shock and semi depression realized it changed the core of who I was for ever.
I got back and got a 9-5 job that paid less, but I actually loved. I knew I wanted to get back out to see more of the world and eventually return to the man I love in Egypt. So am doing just that. I left and started my trip in Mexico, but then went back home to work a bit more and 14 months ago left again to travel the world with no return date back and very soon I’m heading back to Egypt (that’s a whole other story and a whole other bag of emotions).
I would have never imagined I’d be in Bangkok spending my 30th birthday with amazing friends I would have never met if I had never decided to leave home.
According to the world I’m technically a millennial. I’m supposed to be a selfish, self entitled little brat who wants everything handed to them. Honestly, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I know many of the things I have done in my life I couldn’t have done without the help of my family and friends who I love and cherish dearly. I also know I’ve made tons of sacrifices and worked my ass off to be living the life I’m living today. I prefer working like crazy, saving like crazy for a while and then enjoy the fruits of that hard labor on memories not things.
—One of the stunning views during a 3 day hike in Myanmar to Inle Lake.—
While doing that and over the many years of travel I’ve learned that I want a simple life. I don’t want a lot of money or material things. I just want the bit I need to survive with the man I love and live without having to worry about the future because I can survive in the now and know I don’t need a lot of things to live and enjoy life.
I won’t lie life on the road isn’t always easy. It’s not all unicorns and cupcakes as most people imagine. It’s exhausting, frustrating with tons of emotions you never feel unless you’re on the road full time. It’s a side most long term travelers don’t like talking about because we don’t want to sound spoiled and ungrateful. I’ll tell ya now I am exhausted and know I’m ready to settle down for a long while. No worries though I’m not done traveling I still have plenty crazy adventures in the back of my mind that I want to do in my life time. Like the Silk Road (Beijing to Istanbul overland) or the V in Africa (Marrakech to Cape Town to Cairo overland) or spend a year living in Australia. I figured I can do those later in life and if they never happen I’m happy with the adventures I’ve lived already.
I know I have made plenty of mistakes in my life, but I know I’ve learned from them. I have lived life to the fullest and a life I want on my terms. Even if I could I wouldn’t change a thing. Not a single thing, because I know all my past mistakes, heartaches and every moment has brought me to where and who I am today. I always say “we live and we learn” and that’s the best way to live. Learning and growing from our mistakes and our past.
—Looking out into the Red Sea in Dahab, Egypt.—
Ahhhhh I now sit here at the edge of a pool thinking about the many years that I hopefully have ahead. Hell I think about the next year ahead and I have no clue what to expect. The truth is I have no clue what I am doing with my life, but making sure that what I do makes me truly happy. That’s how I think we should all live our lives. Find out what makes you happy and go for it! We have one life to live so why not make the most it. Right?
As for the rest of my life that’s a big mystery… I have plans to go back to Egypt very soon to see what happens with him and if that works out that will take my life in one crazy adventure that may be difficult, but worth it cus love and if not it will go in another direction with a broken heart that I’m sure I’ll overcome and I’ll still make it one crazy amazing adventure.
I know for a fact I don’t want a career and really I have no plans for the next few years of my life and that’s so not like me, but I’ve learned most people don’t know what they’re doing with their lives and that it’s okay to not know. My minor OCD and the control freak in me likes to have things planned and know what’s gonna to happen next, but not for now. I’ve been truly happy for a long time and am fine with not having any big plans and just living in the moment. I’m saying fuck it and gonna let the universe take me on the rest of this wild ride we call life…