For the next three and a half weeks I'll be traveling in Japan and Thailand. From May 2 - May 25th I'll be on the road, in a plane, on a boat, potentially on the back of an elephant, (under only the most humane circumstances, otherwise I'll decline) on a motorbike, in the back of a tuk tuk, smiling over a bowl of delicious ramen, or generally gawping at the beauty and madness on the other side of the world. It will be my first time meaningfully exploring Asia. Almost a decade ago, I was staying on the Asian side of Istanbul, "The Gateway to the East" they call it. That time I didn't make it past the threshold. This time I'm going deep.
There will be temples, monasteries, restaurants, hotels, cities, forests, jungles, rivers, parks, anime, cherry blossoms, manga, beaches, islands... I'm ready for an adventure. And prepared for a culture shock that may take a few days (weeks? years?) to subside. Many of the therapies and techniques I'm trained in are based in Eastern philosophies put through Western filters. I'm beyond excited to see that second layer finally removed.
Leaving NY has got me thinking about NY. Whenever I travel there's a part of my mind meditating on home. And this particular trip already feels different. My girlfriend and partner, Sarah, recently completed her grad program (She was valedictorian!) and she's now launching her practice as an Acupuncturist. Her business is called Sanctuary and at this early stage, it's set up for success. There is a lot to celebrate. Yet leaving can feel like abandoning multiple projects midstream, even though everything is prepared and leaving is essential. Such is the mindset of concrete, steel and glass. It's like the illusion that holding on tighter will draw something closer, or make it more dear. One more day of the (true) joy of work, and then... holiday.