After The Travel High Wears Off…

Bali Guardian Sculptures

Writing this one from a cowork in Bali.

Since I’ve left Japan and come to Bali I’ve felt much better, but the initial high is wearing off.

I thought she would come.

But she didn’t.

I met an attractive girl toward the end of my stay in Paris.

We spent a bit of time together, culminating in a great trip to the northern coast of France. While I knew from the first date that we weren’t a good fit, my desire got the best of me, and we’ve continued to talk since I left France 2 months ago.

Etretat Beach,

Horrible photo of me, but great photo of the cliffs and beach in Etretat, France

We decided to meet up in Bali, and she planned to arrive 2 days ago.

I told her last week I didn’t want to keep talking, and I thought it as a bad idea that she came to Bali.

The reality of our differences had become too much to ignore, and it was still early enough to end things without it turning into a disaster.

She told me she still wanted to come to Bali.

I knew it was a bad idea, but a part of me was excited she was coming.

I thought she’d get here and she’d fight to spend time with me. That she would transform into this emotionally vulnerable person who would openly share her feelings and her fears with me.

But she didn’t come, she didn’t do any of that.

While I recognize this is better for both of us, I’m still hurt.

I’m hurt because I wanted her to give a shit, and I never felt like she did.

Sure, she let me see below the surface a few times, but it felt contrived. When she would open up, it felt like she was reading off a script.

My logical side knew she wasn’t going to change, but deep below that there was a whisper.

A whisper that told me she would come and fight for us to be together, that she would all the sudden open up.

She didn’t do that, and she’s not going to.

That’s not who she is.

I actually have no idea who she is, but I don’t want to enter into a relationship with someone based on who I hope they are. That’s not fair to either of us.

Since realizing this, I can feel myself feigning for someone to fill the void.

I find myself meeting women and building narratives in my mind of how incredible they are.

Trying to turn them into the person that will fix all my problems.

It’s all bullshit

The story lines I lay over what they tell me, the way I over inflate their positive aspects, it’s all nonsense.

I transform women I’m attracted to into a fairytale version of themselves. A version that exaggerates there positives and blissfully ignores their negatives.

Digital Nomad Working In Franschhoek, South Africa

A photo from my time in South Africa. Where I started realizing more of these impulses toward women.

In addition to this, my initial high from Bali is wearing off

Just like every other trip I’ve taken, after the first 2 weeks or so the high wears off. The sights and sounds that gave me euphoria when I arrived are beginning to dull, as the monotony of day-to-day life sets in.

The people who seemed so friendly and welcoming are after all humans. Humans who have their own lives, good days and bad days, biases I don’t agree with, etc.

So now I guess I’m left with me. With where I’m currently at.

With the reality of things

With no path to liberation from my feelings and the monotony of my life.

I can’t rely on the high of a new landscape to save me from myself, and I don’t want to find another woman I barely know, then build her up in my mind to distract me from the reality of day to day life.

For all my life I could always find a plan to fix any negative emotions I had.

I’m out of plans.

There are no more magic fixes to my life, to my feelings, to my loneliness.

I can’t find one, and I’m fucking exhausted of chasing after one illusion of happiness to the next.

A shot from my hitchiking days, the beginning of chasing after highs around the world. (and nearly getting murdered)

I think I’ve realized the root of this chasing

Last night I watched American Beauty. A great movie, in that movie one of the characters is a shallow, pretty high school girl who says “there’s nothing worse than being normal”.

When she said that it struck me, that’s exactly how I feel.

There’s nothing worse than being normal.

The thought that this monotony of life, the reality of how I feel, that this is it.

Normal. That life is normal, and that I’m normal. I’m not special, or better than others around me.

I hate that idea.

Cycling From Athens To Istanbul - Sunset outside of Kesan, Turkey

A shot from my bike trip from Athens to Istanbul. The first time I realized how much my intense drive can hurt me.

It’s something I’ve ran away from for as long as I can remember. Being normal.

After 32 years of running I’m worn out man, and I don’t want to keep running.

I think I’m ready to accept the normalcy of myself, and the world around me.

I go into a silent 10 day Vipassana Retreat in about 3 weeks. I think that will be my biggest intention. To accept that I’m normal, and go with the flow of life more.

I can feel an deep aversion to this, an impulse in my stomach saying

“No, fuck that man. You don’t accept life as it is, you build the life you want. Others accept what’s given to them, and trudge through life, but not you. You’re special. You don’t accept things as they are, you build what you want.”

I’m not totally sure how to reconcile these two aspects of myself. I love what I’ve done with my life in so many ways.

My incessant drive to fix any problems or sadness I had.

To fight in the pursuit of my happiness.

Struggling to build my ideal life.

On the other hand, I can’t continue fighting against the reality of the world, I need to give in a bit more.

It will be interesting to see where I land at in the balance between acceptance & imposing my will on the world.

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