It’s time to travel.
It’s time to travel because you have time to read this and, whilst this might be shooting myself in the world-dusty foot, travel is far more worth your time than anything I have to say.
And travel is worth your time, because you are worth your time.
All you ever really had was yourself and the Earth.
I think I’ll try some larger font sizes to encourage you to do it; maybe if the writing is thuddier – you’ll get to it.
Besides the talent, brains, good looks and whatever else you thought others had to their advantage, you still had yourself and you still had the Earth.
So go plunder and soak-up the soak-up-ables of this world, because of the greatest regrets the occupants of deathbeds claim (other than not learning another language – which’d is hardly comparable to travelling: you’d just end up saying you regret not-travelling in stunted Francais) – the most claimed and most rued truth is the road most travelled having been merely stomped on by yet another.
These are the times you need to think back in history, when the Earth was slightly less ancient and joining/being press-ganged into the military was your best chance of seeing the world and therein giving some kudos to the definition of ‘living’.
‘Living’ isn’t in the cubical, nor is it the job title on the door to the office you’re yet to occupy.
Nobody looks back on their life wishing they’d played more Candy Crush, unless of course it were whilst whiling away the hours in the back of a tour bus – but that’s a real waste of scenery.
I’d done a fair bit of here-and-there-ing in my 27 years of life, and whilst those times were tremendous – it was my 7 months of travel through South East Asia, Australasia, New Zealand and North America that really sealed the deal as to how I felt about Earth and why I was strolling around upon it.
Get gone and (no offence) just go away.
Now I’ve been home for several months now and have gone about day-to-day life as best I can, and thus I’ve had the time to process the experiences of my travel and what they now mean to me.
And here’s what’s key in my thinking: travel is not my everything, but my everything is very different now I’ve travelled.
It’s hard to return to the corporate world and give two tupenny tosses about the printer machine’s new button and how only Bodoni MT Condensed is the only font capable of truly expressing us as a company.
Instead, I remember flying…on a bus.
It’s an easily achievable method of motion once your driver realises that (1.) he is incredibly late for the tour’s scheduled arrival and (2.) you get more job satisfaction when you’ve put your passengers in surreal danger and gotten them out from it because you were dangerous.
We were hurtling our way through some ethereal mountain roads in Vietnam – heading north to Dalat at speeds illegal outside of South East Asia.
The view was typical of Vietnam; four feet away and consisting of a thick grey mist that a bus’s headlights couldn’t penetrate (but the rest of it certainly could at top speed) – with intermittent splashes of wondrous valleys and awe-inspiring mountains of that dark green that speaks such a wealth of nature one can only feel a little hurt at how the Earth has got so much going on besides you.
And despite our 10-moutains-per-hour speed – some corners required the nuances instilled from days as an experienced mountain bus driver. It was on one of these two-minute turns in which the passengers clenched their stomachs, buttocks and Candy Crush drenched Ipads in preparation for the imminent through-the-floor pedalling that our driver was treating us with, that I looked out of my window to see what locals were nearing the bus.
Three young children, looking very cold and very wet, took steps towards us in crappy plastic shoes, their hands upturned and out-stretched in the international sign for begging, though with that hurried professional assuredness that comes from knowing the passengers on board had gold to spare and the indulgence with which to sprinkle it like fairy dust all over Vietnam.
We knew they would act upon our pity, big eyes and little feet in even crappier plastic shoes than the last sentence, calling to us: “Please!” whilst we did our best to ignore; knowing that a dollar now meant it was less likely they’d ever be sent into school and have a chance to learn their way out of those shoes and down from the mountain.
Seeing life like that makes you put down the donut.
But what I saw next as we sped away from these three children made me want to throw a donut into the sky, thump it with a baseball bat with all the strength I could muster into the mouth of anyone who wanted to join the game, all due to the sheer fact that satisfying hunger is fine, but some things are eternally fun.
Another corner, another three children come into view, utterly and completely uninterested in the potential for making out-of-school money from enormous tourists…because they were – gleefully as I’ve learnt only people doing this can be – playing with a fireball.
They didn’t have lunch, but they sure as sweet hell had a fireball. And it was satisfying.
I don’t know where they got it from, but they had gotten themselves a fireball and were being entirely appropriate with it – picking it up barehanded, throwing it at (not ‘to’; fuck ‘to’) one another (the drizzle cooled them down), kicking it up and down the mountain and smiling their teeth into another dimension.
I’ve never seen humans do anything better than how those little Vietnamese children conducted themselves with their fireball guest of gusto, their small bundle of vibrant, amazing joy that excited them so much that hunger could go and fuck itself.
Additionally, I promise you that this is not metaphorical. They were holding a fireball and lobbing it at their friends.
I wish I had a fireball, and sitting at a desk, reading a snooty email either complimenting or complaining (I can’t be bothered to find out which) about my choice of font, I remember the two trios I encountered in those Vietnamese mountains.
The three hungry children and the three fireballers. Both living total alternatives to the life of a typical Englishman, and now I step forward knowing of them both.
That’s progress, that’s healthy, that’s an experience you tell the grandchildren about and that’s travelling.
And again, this experience was not my everything, but now my everything means something very different to me.
Travel – either do that or cure cancer with video games; one’s more likely and one’s possibly even more enjoyable (not that I’ve cured cancer with video games).
Fireballs and hunger, hunger and fireballs.
Sometimes I blindside myself with the question: “Do you have any fears?”
I don’t know why I do that, aside from the fact that it’s a good conversation starter…when I want to talk to myself.
The secret to conquering fear is: repetition until the sensation of swimming with piranhas is something you no longer notice.
Like when you shit. If you’d never shat before- you find it very surprising and feel the need to keep it from ever happening again.
I’d imagine that it’d be like shitting a cat. If you’ve never shat a live cat, and I doubt you have, then you’d want to prevent it from happening, because if you have had shat a cat, and I still doubt you have, then you’d have something new to fear.
There is one main method to dealing with these fears.
Deal with them.
Aggression, involvement and repetition, solve this.
Be involved with your neighbour and the world will be something you are part of, as opposed to something you are against.
Altogether- I’m against high-school shootings. They don’t work.
Just look at them, they don’t work. They are tragic and the ‘reason’ behind the children doing this was that they felt uninvolved. Isolation is a killer for a species such as ours, and the sense of scarcity in the footholds of these murderer’s social lives is what drives people like that to attempt to communicate with such hatred and fear. The firing of the guns was an expression of emotion from children that didn’t know how to talk yet.
There is one way to deal with this, and that is to delve a little deeper into the lives of those around you, and therefore the world around.
Neglect of your neighbour is an evil thing, mainly for you. When you don’t know your neighbour, then you doom yourself to masturbating those ninety years of life that you tremble at the thought of living. The trembling makes your genitals sway, and this is not how things are supposed to be.
Genitals should not sway; they should be thrust or spread. Swaying is for your hands in the air with a lighter well lit in them whilst acoustic guitar songs are performed. You wouldn’t put a lit lighter inside your genitals, and so therefore the analogy is complete.
An important point: IT IS NOT SAFER IN YOUR ROOM.
Just look at the holocausts.
Uhu. That’s right, I pluralised it. Holocausts.
Just look at the holocaust, and then the other holocaust, and then that other one.
Take the genocide of the Jewish (amongst a tragic number of other groups) in Europe- without that, in such modern times as these, we wouldn’t know how evil we can become when we neglect our neighbours. We know how evil ‘not paying attention’ can be, because of this. Good. Let’s not let it happen again.
But of course we did- the extermination throughout a couple of centuries in the New World. Native Americans, the First Nations…’Injuns’. Relatively- they are gonner’s. A people that would be easier to comprehend if they weren’t here anymore. We need to learn from this- the American Holocaust. From the extermination of various peoples and cultures as they are literally ‘removed’ across a continent, to the sterilising of Native American mothers so as to have less Native American mothers, the people have not only been ‘removed’- they’ve been screwed.
I hope for an overwhelming increase in First Nation offspring…and comedians. The comedians will be my favourite part of all this, aside from the lesson to never repeat it. But this being all to hope from this particular holocaust- I feel it is only evil. No lesson has yet be learnt, no good has yet come (no offense meant to the Native American comedy community).
Then look at what we had in Ancient China, and what the Mongolians did to them. Unfortunately, I believe it’s about the only thing Mongolia has ever done, but being that as may, the annihilation of one hundred million Ancient Chinese men, women and children, all in the name of…your own name and it’s glorification (which admittedly did get them what they wanted) and the perpetual goal of LOOT, is unacceptable. The tragic pain it undoubtedly was has been nullified by time, but still, we tend to view this holocaust as a something that happened, as opposed to…the holocaust.
I consider there to be many definitions of violence. One of them is that violence is the neglect of your neighbours to such a degree that you can’t last without them, whilst they are busy living without you. You are fucking yourself just as much as you are allowing your neighbour to be fucked. And not in a pleasant, “let’s insert one of this” or “how about enveloping that whilst being as wet as you can?”
And then…what do you fear?
Typically, we fear a lack of good people leading to a lack of our own personal comfort.
You fear spiders? Rather- you fear not having an arachnologist nearby so as to dash forwards with a handkerchief so as to dispose of the offending creature that was only trying to stand very still. If not this, then it’s because you fear spiders because you didn’t grow up stroking them, like you should have done.
You should have grown up stroking all creatures, purely for the reason that something you grew up stroking- you no longer fear. You might be bored of them (imagine being bored of tarantulas), but you will not fear them. “(Sigh) Enough with the tarantulas!”
Evidently, you’ve been neglecting your environment too.
I see you there, neglecting your environment. You’re good at it.
When was the last time you frolicked, pussy?
Go frolic, there’s really not much else to do apart from to go frolicking in the meadow. There’s no other reason for meadows. If you don’t frolic in the meadow, you’re doomed to something awful…like…kidnap, or something like that. I’m sure that there are many situations that can only be solved by frolicking, and you’ll be all out of practise. You won’t know how to roll around and jiggle in the meadow.
Being tied up and frolicking go hand in duct-taped hand. If you’ve frolicked enough; you’ll be free. Obviously don’t try this in terms of allowing kidnapping to happen to yourself; that would be silly.
Still- without a frolic to your name, or a name to your neighbour, your fears with grow and eat you bit by bit (always avoid being chewed) so my advice to you is as follows.
Speak to everyone around you. If you’re not good at that sort of thing, then have a set of questions ready. My preference of opening question is: “What’s your favourite colour”. It’s cute and endearing, in a fuck-fear kind of way.
Secondly. Go to the meadow and enjoy it for what it’s for. You know…frolicking.
Dealing with your fear is the only way to conquer it, and having fun whilst doing so is the means by which to kick fear whilst it sits stunned on the ground and you’re smiling.
Just go and frolic- I think I’ve made that clear by now. Jeez.
That’s where I’m going right now.
In the meadow.