Tomorrow, I’m starting the long journey back to the U.S. for a while, with a several hour stop over in Tokyo, Japan airport (maybe enough time for a quick tour). It’s been exciting, depressing, terrifying, humbling, eye opening, psychedelic and grounding this past half a year living in India (Goa (in a grass hut), Rishikesh, Varanasi) and Thailand (Bangkok, Chiang Mai). I jumped into the deep shit by hitting India first, where many experienced travelers take years to work up to. I almost turned back due to getting way too sick, but decided it was do or die.
I learned a lot about myself and human nature, while vastly improving my eCommerce consulting business (eCommerce Warriors), which was the overall goal. Some fun was had along the way as well!
While one expects a ‘culture shock’ living in strange lands, it becomes more challenging over a long period of time when you can’t relate to the customs, people or language, and you find yourself speaking in broken English (if not pointing and grunting). Connecting with transient backpackers or bitter expats doesn’t do much for comfort. All of your ‘crutches’ to deal with reality are stripped away, with every day seeming like the first day of school.
I view it as an initiation, and building a pillar of strength. Having the balls to walk away from the best job I ever had, sell my stuff, give up a great place to live and go solo with a backpack and drum. I’m happy it happened, and I plan to do it again.
For now, I’m going to reintegrate what I’ve learned around the fire this summer/fall driving around the U.S. to many festivals like Starwood, Sirius Rising, Florida Pagan Gathering, Phoenix Phyre, Earthdance, Paralounge and a couple of others. I’m coming back specifically for this, or else I’d stay longer.
As our society is sorely lacking in ‘rites of passage’, this was step 1 of a self created path of initiation, leaping head first into Chaos. Step 2 is being planned
To celebrate this transformation, I obtained a new mask to signify a level of maturity, gained wisdom and desire to be back with my drum around friends, a fire and forest folk.