Perpetual travel requires endurance.
Visiting home for the holidays requires resilience.
This holiday season I’ve been sojourning my home soil of NYC and New England. I’ve been travelling more miles then I do while living in Thailand. It’s not the miles that require resilience but rather, having to see myself. Culture shock is difficult, but reverse culture shock is overwhelming. Traveling through a foreign culture challenges me but often allows me to ignore myself. The busy-ness of travel often makes me lazy about sitting with myself in the present moment. It’s akin to the anonymity of being in a big city (such as NYC). Whereas visiting home demands that I face my patterns, dysfunctions, pathologies and delusions.
With every return home another veil of ignorance is lifted.
Once again I can speak the language and so lying is easier.
Once again I stuff and hide emotions from friends and family who can see me clearly.
Once again I am present with my family and friend’s suffering.
Once again I feel a shame that only “home culture” can provoke.
Once again I am paralyzed by beautiful women.
Once again I compare my life with my friend’s lives.
Once again I am defined by my cultural ego.
Once again I try to distract, avoid and deflect.
Once again I vainly hope for fantasies.
Once again I am confused and conflicted.
But this time I’m mindful of it.
This time I have insight.
This time is simply now.
“Who looks outside, dream. Who looks inside, awakens.” – C.G. Jung