I know I usually only write when the down days come so I wanted to pen down some other thoughts too, to show the reality of my mentality and persona nowadays. I want to also remind myself how my thought process and outlook about life has changed.
It’s an early morning, i can’t sleep anymore even though we all slept pretty late last night after pizza and beers.
M and I found ourselves in a nice little community in Berat, Albania. We are part of a team that takes cares of a hostel, we run it and work in different shifts starting from 830am to 1030pm. The synergy of the group is great, we all get along well and I’m really starting to make good connections with them.
Of the 7, we are 1 aussie, me, 3 Argentinians and 2 Chileans. We start talking about how we started slow traveling, and many of them shared that they were looking for better work opportunities abroad, since their countries are so poor. At this point, I take a mental note to appreciate how lucky I am to come from Singapore, where that’s the least of my concerns. I know that at any point in time, I can go back and earn a decent living, save up some money and go traveling again.
We talk about future plans and it seems like everyone is trying to go to Croatia from here. Croatia is an entry point into the rest of the EU so naturally, our plans gravitate towards entering Croatia from Albania. We worry about quarantine, about needing negative PCR tests, about whether there are workaway jobs there…… And then we all resign to the same slogan – Hakuna Matata.
There are worries of course. Many of them. But if I’ve learnt something about slow traveling, it is to let the tides push you along, instead of trying desperately to control every aspect of life. Not trying to plan has been a difficult lesson, but I think I’m getting a hang of it. Letting go of the reins is so freeing. It is knowing that difficulties will come, even more heartbreaks will happen, but that better things will follow too.
I’ve truly learnt to listen to what I want, instead of what I think I should want. Coming to Albania was completely not anything I ever planned to do, but I’m glad I allowed spontaneity to bring me here. Here, I’ve learnt how no plan is almost always the best plan.
It’s important to be authentic. I don’t regret anything that has happened before and I’m really glad I have learnt so much about myself over the last year.
I’m now sipping a cup of hot tea, with ginger, honey and lemon. Drinking too much raki has led me to lose my voice and get a bit of a cold. Cause and effect right? 😂
What I really do enjoy now is the freedom. The freedom to pursue my own set of perspectives, to carve out truths for myself. The freedom to go where I want, spend time with people I like, visit places I want to go to. The freedom from toxicity and negativity, from people who want to pull everyone around them into their psychotic chase of what they think will bring happiness.
Being kind is important, being compassionate is vital, and being all of that to yourself first, is life changing.
“why don’t you come home Jane? What are you looking for? Are you running away from your problems? “
At the start, staying away from Singapore was a desperate attempt to stay away from the memories. But now that I have started to move on well, pictures no longer bother me, and feelings about D are no longer jumbled up. I know very clearly how I feel about things now, and I feel good about the future. I don’t mean to say I don’t feel the sadness anymore, but as most grief exists, it never fully goes away. It remains somewhere in your life, having made a mark once. But it doesn’t hurt anymore.
I’m looking for inspiration for living. I’m looking to continue this nomad life, until one day I get sick of it. Until I want to find a permanent home for my toothbrush. I’m searching to learn even more about myself.
Of course I wanna go back to Singapore. And I probably will soon. I have to pack all my things and sell them. Catch up with old friends and say hi to family. And then ill be off again. If I meet you in Singapore, I’ll give you a hug!
I’ve had many people write to me, pouring out their hearts just as I have to you over the last 9 months. I want to embrace each and every one of you and thank you for being here with me. Your presence has been amazing for me, and I only hope I get to hear your stories one day.