A long way from home

Koh Samui, Thailand.

I am on the fast ferry to Koh Samui. I am on a visa run. It is funny that people have created a word for the adventure you have to go through to have your visa extended. Because I passed on an invitation to go on an epic hike through Alaska I can spend more time in Asia and Australia. I have decided to go visit my brother. He lives in Bali.

To be honest I feel deeply sad, lost and lonely. I feel like a ghost, going through the obligatory motions. Perhaps for the first time I don’t feel free to write my truth because I am embarrassed that some things that are supposed to be dealt with are still unresolved or surfaced again. I fear that I made wrong investments this month and that I am throwing my money away. Maybe I want results too fast and am I too impatient. But I was really looking forward to a month of practice after working on Hong Kong and I feel like I made zero progress. I don’t feel free from ‘chords’ and I feel not one chakra spinning. I feel disappointed and empty-handed.

I have arrived in Koh Samui and after a ride on a motorbike taxi to the immigration office I applied for the visa extension. I was told to come back in two hours. Since I don’t really know where I was but kind of hungry I walked outside, kind of lost. Turns out that across the street is a small coffee and internet shop with arguably the best coffee I drank in Thailand so far. Also I had a red curry that tasted well too.

I still feel sad but now I feel taken care of too. The loneliness is fading away. Interesting to see what a bit of nutrition and a small lucky break can do. It is also interesting how much influence external factors have on my experience of reality. I am resting in my sadness; it is getting softer.

When I was in Hong Kong I wrote about how all our fears are connected to the fear of death. There is nothing rational about being stuck in feelings of resistance and fear. When something doesn’t go as hoped or planned in this very moment it implies that the whole chain of envisioned events becomes jeopardized. We have to let go of our expectations. And for me the current ‘disappointments’ make me feel that everything will go wrong from now. I know it is irrational but it is still what I feel. This feeling becomes extra vivid because when I make a change in my itinerary I have to change the whole plan: the chain reaction happens right in from of me.

After my adventure of being professionally successful in Hong Kong I wanted to celebrate my success by investing in myself, practice and be inspired. I wanted to meet the warrior-monk outside Chiang Rai and hoped to meet inspiring yogis on Koh Phanghan and learn interesting yoga stuff. It is not working out that way. And since I have decided to go to Bali to see my brother I am concerned that I am losing the connection with my initial mission: to find and meet inspiring people; the warriors of our time. I am not supposed to be on a holiday. But not seeing my brother when I am traveling the world and am in his region also doesn’t feel right.

It seems that one of my biggest challenges is to be completely at ease with myself, even – or especially – when I am not working, training, improving or practicing. Many people that I meet on the road feel very free because they left all the pressure behind and sold their belongings. By going on a mission I took pressure, expectations, hope and desires with me. It seems that it is my task to free myself from them.

It scares the shit out of me. I don’t know what to do and how to do it. The idea of not succeeding in my mission is terrifying. I will not go home before I have some kind of resolution and enough data for an interesting book. This probably means I have a very long way ahead of me. I feel further away from home than ever.

And then, as I thought I had arrived at the end of my sad and self-pitiful post, I see that the driver of the motorbike has waited for me all these hours to bring me back to the ferry. His whole afternoon is organized around two measly drives: from the ferry to the immigration office and back. It will make him 120 baht, which is 3 euros or 3.8 dollars. As he found out that I am still typing he asked me permission to get his child from school and come back afterwards.

It put things into perspective.

EDIT: On the way back to Koh Phangan the engine of the ferry broke down. Turned out we were bouncing on the water for 2.5 hours before we were rescued. But when I shot the first vid I didn’t know that. It was a day of difficulties indeed.

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  1. Pausha Foley says

    I find that my unhappiness, depression and fear (fear most of all) come not from whatever happens in the moment that is “wrong”, but from my immediate assumption that “it’s always going to be like this”.

    For some reason I expect happiness to end and go away, but I expect that the unhappiness will stay forever and never change. And that assumed and totally imaginary (and totally inaccurate) idea of permanence is what freaks me out.

  2. Mam says

    Hé lieverd, je bent niet te verstaan op deze videootjes, but I think we all got the message!
    Don’t lose courage, you’re doing great!!

  3. Holly says

    Reading this post was like a breath of fresh air.
    Because really we are all practicing to go beyond our limitations and live out our highest purpose…but fuck sometimes it is just a confusing mess? I also was having a crappy day of doubt and fear. That you have the courage to see it for what it is and speak up about it, makes me not feel so alone in this world. Thank you. Keep up the good work, and have a great day! 😉

    • says

      Yes, sometimes life is a confusing mess. And for me it gives me some sort of relief that by sharing my doubts and fears I am sometimes of service to others. This way even may crappy days can become meaningful, soothing and/or healing. For me this is the miracle of openness. That is why I am unconditional about writing my truth: just speaking about the nice parts and leaving out the difficult parts would create an illusion but by being honest I allow the other to resonate. That doesn’t make my crappy days less crappy though. But at least I didn’t feel crappy for no reason. 😉

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