Friday, June 26, 2009

Sleepless Night

At night, just before I close my eyes and put myself to rest, I think of them--the family that fed me in the jungle, the little boy that played peek-a-boo with my camera, or the old man in India that talked to me about the U.S Presidential election by simply saying the only two foreign names he knew: "McCain, Obama." And when I asked him who he would vote for if he could, he simply shook his head. Priceless.

It's strange. Sometimes, in the midst of trying to fall asleep, I'd toss and turn, look for comfort, only to find myself lost in reflection--drowning in a sea of memories--memories that, at the time, seemed more like moments of wasted thought. But in retrospect, those are the moments that mean the most to me.

When I first started traveling extensively, I promised myself that I'd savour every moment of my adventures--every step and every breath had to mean the world to me. But after a while, slowly, either by choice or fate, I forgot about the promise I had made to myself--and ultimately, my mind began to ease; and like an epiphany in the making, I saw more than the destination, more than the excitement that defined the term "traveling," and realized that my purpose for traveling was to understand, to view the world in a different light. And by doing so, I see so much more than the obvious, the normal and the plain. I see things take shape, elements colliding in an ever changing world--creating a symphony of sublime intervention not noticeable to the naked eye.

So as I lay here tonight, trying to fall asleep, I am reminded not of the places I've been or the attractions I've paid to see, but of the people I've met--the people who mean the world to me, those who enter my life for reasons beyond my control. And because of them, I am able to enjoy my travels without having to worry about the destination; because I know that I'm brought there for a reason--no matter where it may be.

And like love, life is blind. You just never know where you'll be, who you'll meet or why you're doing what you do. It's the beauty of living.

Tomorrow morning I depart for another whirlwind trip around the world--on foreign assignment in Samoa, Australia, and Hawaii.

Hmmm, I wonder why I can't fall asleep tonight...


Jay said...

..."And like love, life is blind"

I love that. so. much.

This is a great post, Ron. So often in life we spend so much time trying to reach a certain destination, to accomplish a certain goal. We strive so hard for that moment... that we miss out on the ones that we experience on they way. Often we don't get a chance to revel in them like we should or want to. I know that I find myself doing that way too often.. and with a little one, way more than I should.

I have this araound a mirror in my house:

"I've learned to love the journey, not the destination... that life is not a dress rehearsal and today is the only guarantee that you get."

In reading it, it sometimes helps me to remember the small things along the way.

I, too, am not sleeping tonight. Thanks for sharing.

waiting for the next vlog,

I want to adopt the kid in the picture.

Rhiccups said...

I love this post.

We are so destination orientated. Everything is about the end result instead of the journey to get there.

And that's sad, becauase we end up missing out on SO much.

harmony said...

Interesting post...especially considering all of the loss today. Don't get me wrong..people die everyday and just because celebrities died today doesn't make it any more or less powerful.
I liked how you mentioned meeting people on your travels for a reason. I believe this is the difference from standard vacation traveling to life traveling.
Kudos to you and your life. Awesome travel stories ahead...I feel it.
I look forward to your posts.

The Rambler said...

Your posts are also so thought provoking!

I loved the line..."like love, life is blind".

You'll be in my neck of the woods. Mmm, I can't wait to see what images you'll be capturing?

Indrayani aka, Indi! said...

WOW..I could feel everything you wrote..
yesterday I wrote about "sleeplessness" too...but now my reason seems sooo silly!

Lovely emotional post...

Javier said...

Hello Ron,

I'd very much like to have a job that means something... that makes me feel full inside. I don't seem to find anything that's of any value to me, and I really feel empty inside. I thank you once again for sharing your travels with us and thus letting me feel a little of the value of what you do.

Cheers and bon voyage!!!

John said...

Have a good trip bro, and sleep tight. At least you won't be meeting those evil little bloodsuckers on your trip this time round.

Ava said...

I agree with you that it's all about the people. Like the farewell messages that we've been receiving at work, almost all of them said they will miss the colleagues, not the company.

Sarah, The New Girl said...

each post just wants me to travel more! I miss it!

Even if it's just a movie that I watched which really affected me, I might stay up for an hour thinking about it before I finally fall asleep. For real, personal and meaningful human interaction, especially in a different culture or country... I can't imagine how you ever sleep!!

I can still replay really fun or valuable conversations I've had while traveling in my head. I bet you can too, just lots more of them. Maybe you should right a book :)

TheChicGeek said...

"And like love, life is blind." I love that too :D
You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself, Ron. I love the picture too :D
Blessings :D

Diana Saw said...

Awwww....what a cute kid. Love the photo. Really made my day :)