The thought of things coming to an end is scary. But the fact that our time together is limited is also what defines it, it's what makes that time so special.
I spent most of today driving around picking up last minute things I need and filtering through all my clothes. Here is every single thing I'll be carrying on my back for the next three months:
- Lonely Planet Travel guide
- Mediatations by Marcus Aurelius
- Being and Time by Heidegger
- Leather Journal + Muji Pen for sketching
- 2 Letters
- 2 Tobacco pipes + supporting cast, I'm bringing two, because what's the point of a pipe if you can't share it?
- Sony a5000 camera
- SD card adapter for iPad
- Day pack
- Indestructible watch
- Sleeping bag liner
- Travel towel
- 3 Shorts and 1 bathing suit
- 3 Sleveless shirts, 2 tshirts, 1 long sleeve
- 4 Boxers
- 4 Pairs of socks
- 2 button downs
- Double edged razor, blades, aftershave
- Jack Purcell converse
- Hiking boots
- Big backpack
iPad + Camera vs iPhone
I could do everything that my iPad and Camera do with my iPhone. However, I want a break from my phone, from the constant buzzing of notifications, from the mindless unlocking/locking of the screen. Bringing an iPad and camera will force me to be deliberate about the things I do and the pictures I take.
16 hours till departure. I can't wait.
What are you doing after graduation?
In life there are questions like these that define a lot of the big transitions that we go through. It starts with: What AP’s are you taking? What’re your top three schools? What are you going to major in? And finally, what are you doing after graduation, which could also be rewritten as what are you going to do with your life? At this pace I’m sure “where’s the bride” isn’t too far off in the future either.
Questions like this are so common, everybody asks them, and yet they’re so difficult to answer. How do you cram all your hopes and aspirations for the future into one answer? How do you do justice to everything that you’ve been working for and dreaming of? How do you explain the person that you are and the person that you dream of becoming?
This is my attempt at answering that question.
So, what am I doing after graduation?
I’m buying a one way ticket to the other side of the world and staying there until I run out of money.
This May, three days after graduation, I will be flying to South East Asia for three months. I’m buying a one way ticket to Bangkok and figuring things out as I go. For the first month I’ll be joined by one of my closest friends and for the following two months I’ll be completely on my own. I’ve got about $6,000 put aside and assuming I’m spending around $50 a day I’ll be there for close to 3 months.
UNDERSTANDING THE COST
With every decision comes a cost and I think it’s important to recognize what that is. By choosing to travel for three months right after I graduate I’m effectively putting a hold on finding a job after graduation. I want to work for a startup and the best jobs usually don’t come up three months ahead of time. So while most people are already landing jobs and securing salaries, I most likely won’t begin looking until August. That’s scary.
I’m leaving a summer with friends behind, a city that I love and entering a world of pure unknowns. Where will I go when I come back? Move to California? Move back in with my parents?
Worst of all, I’ll be traveling knowing that my parents are back home worried about where I’ll be and whether I’ll be safe.
So why, why am I going?
“I believe that the longer you can hang with that ambiguity or unknown, the greater the results will be at the end.” — Elle Luna
EXPERIENCES, GROWTH AND PEOPLE
Let me begin by explaining some of the things I hold truest in life.
I believe life is about the adventures you embark on and the stories you create.
I believe that learning doesn’t happen in the classroom, it happens out in the world. It happens late at night during whiskey-fueled conversations. It happens when you surround yourself with people much more talented than yourself.
I believe that the people you meet and the relationships you make are the most valuable things in life.
Which brings me to why I’m going, I want an adventure.
I want to learn more about myself and more about the world. I want to be surrounded by people who have lived their lives completely different from mine. I want to rely entirely on myself to create the experience that I want to have. I want to eat great food and have beers with complete strangers.
So that’s what I’m going to do.
On May 12th I’ll land in Bangkok and embark on an adventure.
Want to follow along? I’ll be keeping a travel blog at maroun.co/asia (still under construction). The best way to follow along will be by adding your email to the list below. Note: I absolutely value your emails and promise to keep the emails I send interesting and useful. By adding your email to this list you’ll only receive blog posts about my trip, which should be about 1–5 from now until May and then at most 1–2 times a week while I’m in Asia.