It just so happened that this year i spent the time around christmas and new year in Indonesia. I changed my plan a bit, cause actually i wanted to continue my travel in Malaysia and after that heading to Singapore. But after a couple of days in Kuala Lumpur i felt bit sick of big cities, so that i decided to fly to Indonesia right away. Like a little escape. It is always good to trust your gut feeling, as i was reaffirmed again.
However, christmas was not a big thing here. I mean you could hear Mariah’s “All i want for Christmas is you” basically on each street corner, but the christmas-feeling i know from home didn’t come up… which was good, because like every year i wasn’t prepared for it yet, and happily this year i didn’t need to be prepared. But it was interesting to see, how much we are influenced by our environment. Like, when there are no signs of christmas around me, why should i actually celebrate it? Same with New Year’s Eve and New Year. This is rather a day of religious celebrations in the biggest muslim country worldwide, which Indonesia in fact is.
But like i mentioned in the header, the end of the year is traditionally a good time to come up with resolutions. I mean, i dont want to take a stock or something. And yet, in the 2,5 months that i’m travelling so far, i have already learned a lot, or better to say, have become aware of certain things. Things that i would like to deepen or to implement in my life the coming year. Well, we all know how it is with good intentions… but at least i want to try!
So here we go…
(…and in order to make it a bit more interesting and varied, i added a fitting picture to each point, which i recently shot here on Java island…)
CREATING INSTEAD OF CONSUMING
This is something that i am most aware of at the moment. Instead of focusing on producing and creating something, we are actually just busy consuming something. Well, i’m not talking about everyone here, but i’m sure about a majority. Including myself. It is of course particularly crazy here in asia. People seem to live for shopping and spending money on odds and ends. Even if i ask locals what to do and see, shopping malls are usually the most common answers.
But with consuming i don’t necessarily just mean buying things. I generally mean the consumption of media as well. Especially social media. I constantly keep catching myself wasting time with senseless scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. It’s captivating, no question, to see all this stories and places and fun times. But it is superficial and it stops me of doing so many more useful things. Often i even feel kind of bad or unsatisfied, because i might discover something nice and interesting in other people’s life that i dont have right now. The whole thing is a blessing and a curse at the same time (…and i know, i am not telling anything new).
So my goal for this year is to be more concerned with creating something instead of just consuming it. Maybe to learn to play an instrument or to restart drawing. This blog can be an example too. Now one might say that blogging is kind of social media, too. Which is true, but it has such a different quality. It’s not only about self-expression or profiling, it is about giving insights on a special topic. Another difference to social media is, that i invest quite a lot of time in producing the content. I take pictures, i rework, i write texts, i design… all of this is creative work and it brings me more satisfaction than any “Like” ever could.
Being an introvert and overthinker, this is something what is difficult for me from the start. I keep brooding over things that happened in the past or being worried about things that could happen in the future constantly. Of course, i know better, but the thoughts go round in circles.
I’ve had a few moments on my trip so far, when i was absolutely with myself and feeling the moment. When i had to climb a ladder 30 meters down to reach the waterfall, or when i had to concentrate on every step while walking along the edge of a volcanic crater, or when i kissed a guy in Bangkok’s urban jungle. This are always moments when you are totally focused on one thing and forget about everything around. And i think this is the habit which is important to be trained.
It might be the biggest challenge for me this year to implement that resolution on a daily basis. But well, knowing is the beginning…
BEING ACTIVE RATHER THAN PASSIVE
Well, the gay community will probably laugh when reading this, but it is not meant like that (…or not only, haha). I simply observe that i often have way too many doubts and therefore hesitate. Be it a moment while taking pictures, when you miss the crucial moment or when you’re just too shy to ask someone, whether to take a picture of you. Regretting it later of course…
So now actually is the best time to remove all the shyness and reservation and take the initiative. Because the good thing while travelling is, that nobody really knows you. So you can be whoever you want to be!
But, to be honest, it’s easier said than done.
However, this point somewhat contradicts my travel philosophy. Because i prefer a slower form of travel, with otiosity and time for resting. Activities and sightseeing are important, but not on a daily basis. I think it depends on a good measure and everyone is, of course, different in that way.
Last year can undoubtedly be called my year of letting go. After more than 10 years i quit my job, that i really liked most of the time. Then, my ex-boyfriend moved out of our apartment after living together for more than 7 years. It was such a hard and emotional moment, knowing that it was the best for both of us. But after going through all of this, i’m still alive and feel somehow even stronger than before. Because i realized that if you want to make your dreams come true (like this trip, for example), you have to be willing to give up on other things. You can’t have everything in life! And those who always compromise will sooner or later become unhappy.
But letting go can also be helpful in a materialistic sense. I am not a materialistic person, at least compared to others, LOL. But I’ve already lost a few things during this trip, unintentionally. My beloved travel-pillow for example, which i always used on long train- and bus rides. And at first, the loss is very painful and i start critizising myself for not paying more attention. But at some point the mind turns on again and you realize that these are just things you don’t really need to survive.
So this year i want to go on in practicing to let go. Things, and also people who are not meant to be for me. Because i think it is good for myself and kind of purging, even though it doesn’t feel comfortable in the beginning. But like it is said, not all positive changes feel positive in the beginning.
There are certainly many more points that would be important to implement in daily life, but this year i wanna focus on this ones and it will be hard enough. And i’m pretty sure to struggle with each of the mentioned points day by day, but i just want to continue on this path…