I turned 30 last month; a lot has changed in the past 10 years! Here’s the TL; DR of the longer intro I’m not going to write: I turned 30; here are some ways that I’ve changed and some things that I’ve learned along the way about travel, sexuality, introversion, and wisdom teeth.
It’s a new year: a time for new beginnings, and new seasons of my favourite TV shows! I have some life goals in progress right now, so rather than set resolutions for the future, I thought I’d look to the past for inspiration.
Six years ago, I’d recently come home from my first long trip. I had spent 13 months working and travelling in Australia and then visiting Southeast Asia. I was having trouble adjusting to being home, and I desperately wanted to write about travel so that I could continue to feel immersed in it. The letter that I came up with is the closest I’ve ever come to time travel; I ended up writing a letter to myself in the future! Some of it makes me cringe, but I’m going to include it anyway, in the interest of vulnerability (with minor edits for comprehension):
‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through Korea
People were freezing, due to winds from Siberia;
The passports were placed by the front door with care,
In hopes that Leslie Teacher soon would not be there;
The children were sniffling and picking their noses,
I even had one kid throw up on his clothe-es!
And me in my jacket, scarf, boots, mitts and cap,
Thought: “It’s definitely colder than home now, what crap!”
But decorations are up, I have holiday cheer!
(And I wouldn’t turn down a good holiday beer.)
I have a small tree, and some half-working lights,
And a plan for avoiding a cold Christmas night;
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
Like Dasher and Dancer, I’ll mount to the sky!
I will sure miss seeing you all, that is true,
But I will be travelling (’cause that’s what I do!)
That’s right, while you’re trudging through snow that’s knee deep,
I’ll be indulging in a massage in Siem Reap! (Sorry!)
Now I may not be getting a new Christmas toy,
But I’ll be saying “Happy New Year” from Hanoi!
The whole time I’ll be thinking of family (and food),
Of gingerbread, injera, the holiday mood;
Guitar songs, board games, Secret Santa, and more,
That special warmth you can’t get from a store. (Thanks, Grinch.)
Now perhaps I will see all of you soon on Skype,
But in case there are technical difficulties, I’ll type:
Though I’m not there person (which just isn’t right!),
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
*Last year was the third time I was away from home at Christmas. (I spent it in Siem Reap… I know, I know. Life is rough.) I was feeling inspired on a lunch break, and sent this out to my relatives.