A continuing journey

A year ago today, I hit the pause button on my life in Vancouver. I stepped aboard that Boeing 777 and landed up somewhere halfway around the world, carrying two large packpacks, a large suitcase, and a camera bag. How in the world was I expecting to survive a year off just these things, I thought to myself. Here I am a year later, having neither gained nor lost much of that material stuff, but with a new perspective.

It has been an amazing year so far having visited 8 countries, spending just under $22k, including all my flights and daily expenses. I’m a bit of an organizational and note-keeping freak, so when people tell me things like “wow, you must be rich or have a lot saved up to travel for so long”, I can tell them exactly how much (or little) I have spent.

As to how my last few months have been: to quote my current boss, it has been “sensational” – that feeling of waking up everyday and wanting to jump into work, even if it means having to get up at 5:30 in the morning. And I swear it’s not all the coffee I drink :)

You hear about this concept of “the pursuit of happiness.” I believe it’s not just the overall goal at the end of the tunnel, but the little things in life that lead up to it. I think the reason why I’ve come to love Sydney so much is that fact that I’m quite content spending the time outside of work eating/drinking with both new and old friends, exploring new neighbourhoods and cafes, viewing the harbour from the ferry, checking out the festivals that happen year-round, and something as simple as just walking in a park with a coffee in hand (and as weird as it sounds… grocery shopping).

Life somehow always seems more exciting through others’ eyes though. I’m not living the life, but I’m just living my life. It’s common that the crude elements of our everyday lives gets filtered and are generally kept more private as compared to our successes and happiness, which is why it seems more fun and exciting. Some know that I’ve experienced my ups and downs, and that I may not always have the best outcomes but I try to make the best of what I have. Having just recently fallen short of landing a career opportunity of a lifetime at one of my dream companies, and a possibility of getting a sponsored working visa, it was tough to see the upside of things. But I was reminded by a friend that the missed opportunity might be a natural calling for something else – something that I do not yet understand until I connect the dots looking backwards (to quote one of his favourite idol).

It may be a fact that the further along I am in this journey, the further I’m distancing myself from my previous experiences, jeopardizing my chances of ever stepping back into the career path I was on. Do I know the risk? Quite well. Did I enjoy what I did? Yes. Was that something I want to continue to do for the next little while? I’m not so sure – yet.

Thank you for your support through good times, and even more importantly, the rough times. Thank you for your constant encouragement and belief in me. I know I have missed a lot of details in the lives of the people I care about over the past year (and even worse with my terrible gold fish memory), but I always try to keep updated through the wonderful world of social media and messaging.

Life’s not a journey until you’ve lived it yourself – you have the right to be picky. Sometimes it’s the unknown that makes us stronger.

For now, let’s try to hold that pause button just a little longer…

2 Comments

  1. Ken

    My biatch is growing up! lol.

    I totally understand how you feel.

    Sometimes I wish I had the guts to step out of what is set ahead of me and experience what the world has to offer. But I instead took the steady life of marriage and steady job. Not that I am unhappy with my current life (coz I am very happy with what I have so far anyways lol) I wish I had that chance.

    Anyways I am so glad to hear that my third hometown is treating you well. Hopefully one day I will get to live there!

    Stop by Japan too on your way back. I am expecting a visit! lol

    • Sam

      I’m glad that you and others can relate. I agree it’s not the lifestyle or choice for everyone. There is definitely nothing wrong with what you have chosen – going with the steady life, work, marriage path you’re on. Sometimes, I wonder what mine would be like if it went that way. But at least neither of us regret taking the path that we’ve taken (which is the most important thing!)

      I’m also sure you’ve had your share of good fun while you were living here mate. You’ve been here so you know how good it can be here.

      Definitely hoping for that long overdue visit to Japan soon!

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