With mere single digit weeks left in Korea, my friends and I are entering a full-on frenzied state of planning: planning travel, planning our futures, and just plain planning. Collectively, we’ve spent countless hours scouring Lonely Planet’s Southeast Asia on a Shoestring, scrolling through Trip Advisor reviews, writing and revising packing lists and despite all of the tips and tricks, it seems to me there have been more questions raised than answered!
Why do I want to travel Southeast Asia?
Where do I want to go?
What will I do there?
Why am I going at all?
I realized that this is the first trip of my life without well-defined, structured, purpose. I am writing this, without any of these questions really all that sorted out. I probably won’t discover the answers fully until I’m laughing in some hokey hostel in Vietnam with my best new hostel buddy about the time I was so naïve and ended up getting lost in Laos. Or maybe not even until I’m telling the story to my entire family in my Aunt’s living room at Thanksgiving while my Grandpa tries to sneak into the pies before everyone else.
While none of these things have actually happened yet, the point is that there is great potential in the uncertainty. There is still no telling who I will meet or where I will end up. While I know that clarity will eventually come, I’m focusing now on figuring out what I can before departing and taking peace in the lesson that I can’t find all the answers before I go. Because this would be impossible and because it inherently deflates this journey of the spontaneous goodness and growth that makes me desire to travel at all.
As I am constantly asking my students, I will continue to also ask myself, “Why?” But not with the expectation that the answer will be instantly apparent. For now, I’ll just continue to be me and walk forward until I hit a closed door and if I have to turn around or change directions to get past, then I will.