Jen YihComment

Solo Missioning

Jen YihComment
Solo Missioning

Here we are, two weeks into traveling solo mission.

From the second I sat down on my first flight, buckled my seat belt, and put my head against the aeroplane window - I knew it was already worth it. Airports and planes have always been a favorite place because for once, people from all different cities, countries, cultures are put onto common ground, in transit in peace... The airport is a place "in transition" you know? Not really a destination, get the metaphor? Anyway, before take-off when the flight attendant reminds me to unplug and put my phone on airplane mode for the next few hours, it's an excuse to check-out. While we're miles above ground, flying through the clouds I get to organize my thoughts, emotions, reflect, or replay memories in my mind usually to the one repeating playlist downloaded on my iPhone

I realized how grateful I was for my friends, family, and city up in the stratosphere as I flew an ocean away from them - like flying to the moon and looking back at your planet like "Wow, I love that weird little floating water ball...BUT...I'm on the god damn moon, let's look around." But unlike the moon, the second you touch down into a new country or place - you realize that although these people speak, eat, or worship different things than I, we're the same. Within a few short days, it wasn't hard to find "my tribe" and find home in some people as you put yourself out there & gravitate to the things you're passionate about.

But far more than making friends & taking in the new-ness of a foreign world - traveling alone changes things. There's been hours, day, days where I don't open my mouth to talk to anyone. These quiet hours alone, unlock insecurities, curiosities, and truths in the greatest ways - and sometimes things get a little weird/Kevin McCallister style where you take a really long eco-terrorist hot shower and clean everything including your belly button. I read a great quote the other day from Justin Vernon,

"I was by myself for a pretty long time. I needed to do that. I think everyone that I know has wanted to do that or needed to do that at some point. I think when you spend enough time when it's quiet around you and you don't open your mouth for three or four days, there's part of your brain that can rest. I think when we're out in the world and we have to talk to people, we edit ourselves. You know, we have to like, act a little bit. As honest as we may be as humans, when we're out here, we're all kind of wearing mirrors on our faces. You know, constantly reaching to how to react to the people around you. And I think when you're alone for a long enough time, you can feel a lot more at peace." 

I know not everybody can say f*ck it, drop everything and take off to some foreign land. But - taking some significant time alone with your own thoughts can help put more than you think in perspective (save you money on your therapy bill), maybe next time you're struggling through something or someone pissed you off or just need a new good idea - don't call your friend, mom, boyfriend & talk sh*t, maybe go be somewhere alone & think, figure some things out on your own without the influence or toxic fuel from other people. We're all playing for the same team...

So, as the days go by, each more entertaining than the next, less distracting than the other, more clarity about the past and present allow the future to take shape. I ran the beach tonight, finally out of the city for good, imagining my next steps for 2017, as if the waves, crispy air and sunset weren't enough - a huge rainbow crept up behind me. I hope this was a one of those right place right moment signs so I can put an end to the basic b travel blogging phase. ;)