Symptoms and Diagnosis

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Symptoms:

– Restlessness
– Occasionally tantrums for no apparently reason
– Obsessively reading through travel blogs on the internet
– Staring at the world map and having fun looking at all the countries I’ve never been to
– Wandering into the travel section of book stores
– Secretly being jealous of other people’s travel on social media

Diagnosis:

These symptoms appeared a month and a half ago or so. I didn’t understand what it was all about. Other than R’s insanely long tax season which took a slight toll on me, I was otherwise a happy camper. It wasn’t until I started reading a lot of travel blogs, and talking things out with R that I realized I need to pack up and travel again.

When I started sharing my concerns with some friends, the unanimously response was: “You just came back from Denmark and Sweden 3.5 months ago. And not to mention 3.5 months before that you were in Turkey and the Balkans.”

I stared blankly at them. I believe I’ve come to accept the fact that the more I traveled, the more I need to travel. It sounds like the vicious cycle of a drug user.

With that being said, R and I have a long over due trip and yesterday we finally booked our next destination.

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In less than 2 months, we will be going from YYZ > HKG > KTM > HKG > YYZ. We have a 1 day layover in HKG on our way there and on the way back. I honestly have not been back to HKG for over 8 years now. I’m sure a lot has changed and I’m really excited to see what it’s all about. This time, I’ll have my camera with me as well. I’m really hoping to get some nice photos of HKG. In addition to seeing Em, shopping, food..etc

As for KTM, I can not contain my excitement. Don’t even ask me about our plans because I will not be able to stop gloating. We have a little more than 2 weeks in KTM, and we are planning on seeing the Kathmandu Valley as well as trekking to Everest Base Camp. I’m a little nervous about the altitude sickness and the weather. I hope we will get some fantastic weather for the 2 weeks, but it’s unrealistic to hope for no rain at all. We will have to be extra prepared.

We started doing a lot of research already, and I will be updating this blog with progress of our prep work.

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Standing Tall

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Photo: Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey

I’ve always considered myself to be very lucky.  Through traveling and various lucky encounters I had the opportunity to meet a lot of really amazing people in my life.

Today, for whatever reason I thought about my encounters with Spencer West.  I was really lucky to have met him through Alex, a friend from SGI.  The first time I met him was through SGI meetings, then I saw him again when I volunteered for We Day.  I also have a few friends that work for Free the Children so I was lucky enough to get a signed copy of Spencer’s book, ” Standing Tall: My Journey”.  In the book he wrote, “Stand tall Stella”. It was so encouraging and inspiring.

Spencer’s story is amazing if you have not heard of him yet. Reading his story made me realize that the a lot of the limitations in our lives are the ones we place ourselves. We must overcome our own weakness and fears if we want to take on the bigger challenge of helping others become happy.

Along the same lines, when I took this picture I marveled at all tall and straight the trees are. It made me think of this quote from Nichiren Daishonin:

A blue fly, if it clings to the tail of a thoroughbred horse, can travel ten thousand miles, and the green ivy that twines around the tall pine can grow to a thousand feet.

This quote talks about the importance of having a correct life philosophy.  Something that will withstand the test of time, and a philosophy that is for the people.  I find this is true if you have true friends in life.  Friends and mentors that can become your tree, people that can help you surpass your limit.

Friends that can help you stand tall.
So that you can stand tall for others.

Dancing in the rain…

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For the past week, I’ve been sitting antsy in my 5 x 5 cubicle at work, in my 20 x 15 study, and laying restless staring up at my 15 x 15 room ceiling.  There are a number of things that I’m definitely not good at, and leading the lineup is patience.  I’m very much a go go go kind of person, and being patient has always been an ideology not often practiced by me.  Let me begin by explaining why it’s hard for me.

Time is the resource constraint.  Remember that movie with Justin Timberlake – In Time? I love it.  The movie explores a fascinating concept where time is the new currency.  If I’m going to be patient and take my time, then it means I am going to invest time in “X”.  Any wise investor would then ask themselves, is this the best investment vehicle or are there other options?  The process involves weighing out the possibilities and options.  Keeping things simple, according to Wiki Answer there are approximately 620 verbs in the English language.  Let’s say only 25% of those verbs is applicable in the given situation.  That still leaves 155 possible actions that can be taken.   Short of having to sit down and draw out a decision tree, this is the thought process I have to go through before I decide that not doing anything is the best option.  80% of the time I run through the list of possible the actions and have come to a decision before reaching the last resort of not taking action.  This is a long and cumbersome process, and trust me not every situation will command this kind of analysis from me.  An initial cost benefit is done before such a detail decision process is undertaken.  If I decide that the issue is of non-importance, then I will file it into the “I don’t give a shit” cabinet and move on.

In short, if I have not taken action it could mean one of two things.

  1. You are so important that I have decided you warrant my time. I will practice patience.
  2. You are sitting in the “I don’t give a shit” cabinet.

I have rambled on for a bit, but the point is there are so many options that one can take, and yet so many chose to sit still and wait for the storm to pass…

Instead of waiting for the storm to pass, learn to dance in the rain.

What if the storm never passes, the door never opens,  the email never comes…?  No patience in this world will help you clear the clouds, open doors, or fill your inbox.  So without further adieu, put on some rain boots and get outside!