Thomas La Grua's Journey to Awakening

July 20, 2011

Travelling somewhere else, only to realize what has always been here

Filed under: Writing out the Mind: 2010-July 2, 2012 — Thomas La Grua @ 12:29 am

What a short trip it was.
I stayed in Singapore with my brother and his family for a week, and then flew to Bali. Singapore was fun, but Bali (Indonesia) was a rude awakening. I found it to be extremely crowded, overpriced, noisy, and dirty. Lying there in my uncomfortable budget accommodations, I wondered why I had come here in the first place; why I hadn’t simply stayed in Taiwan, taken the car and Happy around the island, camped on clean beaches, swam in cool rivers, and hiked in the mountains. The answer was because, I had to get away – get a different perspective. Twenty years ago, I told myself that I would live in Taiwan for 5, 10, 15, or as many as 20 years. This month, July 2011 marks the 20 year point. I’ve been acutely aware of this pending arrival date for some time now, and it has (for lack of a better term) shaken me because, I’ve always been a planner or strategist, and here I was at this point in the plan in which for some reason, time had become an obstacle. I had always thought that Apple and I would eventually move back to the US and do whatever it is we chose to do. However, when I looked at this option, I saw unequivocally that the United States was/is not where I want to be right now. In fact, I saw no reason for even leaving Taiwan. But that still didn’t change that fact that I was about to reach my 20 years and for some reason, I saw this as a barrier. I have had this plan for some time now to move to the mountains, buy a “free standing” house, grow vegetables, have a hot spring in the front yard, and teach local kids. But it’s strange because, even though I had this cool plan, something was missing; I needed clarity; I needed to get out of Taiwan. So I did a runner. I told Apple that I was going to travel for 2-6 months to decide what I wanted to do next. I think – no I’m certain – that I put more time into preparing to travel, than I did actually travelling. It’s amazing how quickly a different perspective can assist one in seeing the path. I see it as a midlife crisis that I was going through because, the real reason I went travelling was to get back to a place that I once was, a place that once held amazement, danger, excitement and most of all the certainty of something new, just around the corner – right there with just me, my backpack and the open road. How romantic it sounded, but the reality is that I can-and-will never go back to that time – it’s done and I must move on. The cool part is that for a midlife crisis, it only lasted a short time and the hardest part was simply allowing self to realize that changing my physical location doesn’t change me or my situation. Regardless of where I am, I’m still always here. So, I’m going to follow through with my original plan to move to central Taiwan, but I’m going to remain flexible, and this time I’m not placing any time constrains. Finally, in answer to the question that’s sure to arise, Mom; Yes, I’m sure that Apple will eventually join me – when she’s ready.


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