Three weeks in
Allison and I left Rochester exactly three weeks ago. We spent a night in Toronto and about two days in transit between Toronto and Bangkok, which means we've been in Thailand NEARLY three weeks, but not quite. I like keeping track of these milestones: weeks, months ... years? It's like I continually need to prove to myself that I CAN DO THIS. I can travel, I'm not afraid, I know what I'm doing—I like it. Marking time is a good way to do that, although I suppose it suggests something punitive as well; it's not so dissimilar to tracking days in prison with little crosshatchings on the wall. Of course, I'm not in prison; I'm adrift in the world, trapped only—perhaps—in my own mind. How many months until I am allowed to return to the United States?
Six, minimum. Anything less would be "a failure."
But that's crazy. This is not a prison sentence. I travel because I like it.
I keep fantasizing about renting a little bungalow on a beach in Cambodia somewhere—because, as it turns out, while Thailand is certainly cheaper than the U.S., it's not THAT cheap.
I am working though. My current crop of editing and copy-editing clients have stuck with me, although perhaps the work has slowed somewhat. Hopefully it will pick back up again. Because after all, that is what I really want—not to take a vacation, or to "travel," per se, but simply to go wherever I want and continue to work at the same time.
People frequently call that "the dream." But why should we all have to pick a place and just stay there?
I feel like I've been trying to arrange my life this way for years. Perhaps I've finally done it? (It's too early to tell.) A lot depends on what Allison's stamina for this kind of thing is. She's more into the "travel" aspect of being in a foreign country than I am. She likes researching new towns, nearby national parks, bus schedules, train schedules, packing her bag as efficiently as possible, going to new places, doing and seeing as much as possible. But she also talks about what our life will look like when we get back to America—and I'm like Jesus, why do you want to think about that?!
America? What even is that place anymore?
I want to find that beach in Cambodia.
We've taken to calling Allison my "secretary"—and it's true, she takes care of all the details that I either find too tedious or admit she's simply better at. For instance, she researches the hotels and takes care of booking them—with my approval and credit card. If there's a problem when we get there, like there aren't enough towels or the toilet paper has run out, she's the one who goes downstairs and has some broken-English/broken-Thai conversation with the girls at the reception desk. (She's better at picking up languages and talking to people in general than I am, so it's a good arrangement for both of us.)
So far we've been to Bangkok, Hua Hin, Kao Sam Roi Yot National Park, Kanchanaburi, Erawan National Park, and now we're back in Bangkok, where Allison's friend Claire has met up with us. They've just come back from shopping, and Claire is ecstatically giddy about some knock-off Yeezys with light-up bottoms she just bought. That must mean it's time to party ...