I turned down the first offer in Japan. There were simply too many unknowns and too short a time to give an answer. I’m still in communication with the company for additional postings, but my mind is drifting elsewhere…
There’s a lot I left unresolved in Asia. I’m one of those travelers who intentionally doesn’t take the best pictures with his camera so I can keep those shots in my memory. By the same token, I always leave some adventures unfinished so I have excuses to go back: the 88-temple walk in Japan, not seeing the aurora in Alaska, hunting down and eating a moa in New Zealand (kidding, kidding).
As is often the case when I find myself free to start a new journey, I get torn in a dozen different directions. Norwegian Air is offering ridiculously cheap flights to Sweden and Norway for a while, and I still have almost 100,000 United Mileage Plus points to use up. I’ve been plotting to fly into Stockholm to see the aurora, then cash in my points for a first class ticket – finally; I’ve never flown anything other than economy international – to Phnom Penh. Finally, I’d be able to see Angkor Wat.
And yet, I promised myself if I returned to that region that I would finally take the opportunity to visit Chiang Mai. Bangkok and the south has gotten all my attention on past trips; it would be nice to see elephants outside of city streets and escape some of the aggressive tourism.
What I miss most about starting a new adventure is the promise. The promise of the unknown, possibilities around every corner. After a time, reality sets in a bit, but this feeling of promise is what I need to keep striving to achieve. Travelers can sense it in airports when they board one plane but want to be on twelve. Sense it when you finally click that button to buy a ticket to Africa instead of South America. If I can learn to feel this way all the time, regardless of contributing anything of significance to humanity, I think I’ll be happy.