Indonesia: At the end of the line
There is so much still to see. So much still to experience. So much still to understand. But all true travelling must end at some point – endless travel is just another routine, after all – and so I have returned home. To apple-cloud-blossoming trees, to family, to familiarity, to my appartment and a balcony that is waiting to be turned into a garden for summer. To responsibilities and the hugs of colleagues and the wagging tail of a dog and other warm welcomes. But also to streets empty of people, to a limited number of vegetables in the supermarket, to no greetings on the public transport and a certain blandness in the looks and appearances of the people around me. And to a state of mind where I can feel things slipping away from me: memories, insights, resolutions. I have tried to record the memories in my diary as well as I can, and I have photos to remind me of things. But I am afraid of loosing sight of the things I learned about myself, that felt so profound and so important, the moments when I felt enlightened with self-knowledge and saw the paths that lay before me so clearly. So I did what I do and I wrote everything down, all those things I do not want to forget in the rush and the sameness of daily life.
- I will adopt a dog – because I want one, because it will be good for my mental health and my overall health and because I have always wanted one.
- I will learn Salsa dancing – because it will get me far out of my comfort zone and I need that.
- I will do a drumming workshop.
- I will not hold back anymore.
- I will open my heart and mind for the possibility of romantic love.
- I will write the book – because I have every right to do it and noone, least of all myself, has the power to take that away from me.
- I will go on eating very healthily, and try to avoid animal products as much as possible.
- I will learn about edible wild plants and grow more veggies and herbs on the balcony.
- I will meditate – especially when I feel like I have no time for it.
- I will go running or swimming or biking regularly.
- I will be more of a tourist in my daily life, looking for the extraordinary and the joyous details and taking photos of everyday things to realize how not everyday they are.
- I will travel more, even short trips, even just a day – seeing new things invigorates me deeply.
- I will go hiking more often and probably join the local hiking club as well.
- I will continue to be loving and kind to myself.
- I will never ever forget again or doubt that I am a really interesting person and someone worth talking to.
- I will keep the new friendships I have made.
- I will never apologize or compensate for who I am again. If I am too overpowering for someone, or too much in some other way, I am sorry for that, but I won’t change my behaviour because of it or make myself smaller or less important to myself.
- I will get an alarm clock and not take my phone to bed to avoid starting the day with reading horrible news that make me angry and sad.
- I will try and keep a regular diary, write every day just to keep my hand moving and my eyes open for the wonder and the details.
- I will start a writing and/or creativity group where I live – build a community of like-minded people.
- I will continue to learn Spanish, maybe with a tandem partner.
- I will continue to learn Bahasa Indonesia – or at least not forget what I have picked up.
- I will read about and keep up with the history, society and news of both Indonesia and México, and their respective global regions.
- I will try new recipes, even if I am just cooking for myself. In fact, I will cook really well especially for myself and not become bored with feeding myself again.
- I will host gatherings and parties, even if they aren’t perfectly organized, even if they are spontaneous, even if only few people can come.
- I will write more letters.
I am not sure how this blog will continue – if I will re-invent it in some sort, if it will continue under a different look and overall theme, or if it will continue at all. One thing you can be sure of is that I will continue to write. I have many more things to say about travelling, about the world, about the things I see and think about. This series, however, is coming to a stop at this point, because everything else will be written retrospectively and not out of the moment as each of these entries have been.
Thank you for reading, thank you for your kind words and your sometimes deeply moving responses – I appreciate it more than I can say and you have all contributed to my being – this time deeply seriously – committed to writing the book.
P.S. The title of this post is referencing the song “At the end of the line” by Leif Vollebekk, whose super-excellent album “North Americana” has, for reasons that aren’t quite clear to me because it is so very USAmerican in sound, been a major soundtrack to this trip.