02 July 2012

Slow Boat, Slow Thoughts, and the Future

A fellow passenger lost in thought

I'm making the pilgrimage via slow boat to Luang Prabang, Cambodia that so many backpackers make.  Seven hours the first day, nine hours the second… that is when the boat people finally decide to leave.  Everything here is on Laos time…. Which consistently seems to be 45 minutes behind schedule.  No rush, we’ll get there.  At some point. 

The slow boat is filled with 70-100 people or so all occupying their time in a variety of ways: lots of reading, photography, eating, drinking beer, chatting, playing with the local kids, gawking at the locals who get on at various stops with tons of bags (they look like they’re moving onto the boat with all of their belongings), some looking out at the gorgeous, ever changing views, some listening to music, others sleeping, playing games, practicing a foreign language, playing on their phones, etc.  This really does give you the time to slow down and just enjoy whatever it is that you want to do while confined to a small boat.  I’ve really enjoyed my time on the boat.  I’ve been reading, taking photos, sleeping, planning out my trip for Laos (seeing that I’ve only given myself 2 weeks here so I gotta have a game plan in place), and just reflecting on what I’ve done and what I’d like to do for the future.

For those of you I haven’t been in touch with recently, I’m planning on coming back to Thailand and becoming certified to teach English through a TEFL course likely in Chiang Mai.  It’s for one month and then it’s one month for volunteer/practice.  After that, I may stay in Asia or may head out to South America.  I really don’t know at this time, but I want to stay out in the world and this is a great way of doing it as remote villages aren’t exactly looking for event planners/caterers.  I have no desire to go back to that at this point in my life.  There’s more that life has in store for me and I want to do something where I can contribute to the world in a positive way and hopefully change lives of those who deserve a chance and additional resources for a better life.  I look back on my life and recall that in every job interview that has asked me the question “what is the most rewarding job you’ve ever had?”, my immediate answer is when I coached freshman girls volleyball.  There’s nothing quite like seeing the girls on day 1 where they have zero skills in, well anything related to volleyball or a team sport.  Then after a lot of hard work in identifying what each girl needs to work on, helping them out individually, getting the parents on my side to assist in helping their child focus, and then seeing the light turn on when they really get something new, I love that.  It was so rewarding to even see them after the season was over for them to run into me in the mall and tell me which club teams they made it on to and some even making the elite teams.  It’s hard not to think you had something to do with that, something that might help shape their future or a part of them.

One benefit to this of course is that I can travel with the job.  I don’t know where I want to end up yet, but I want to explore the options.  The world is too big to stay in one place for me.  There’s so much out here that I can’t wait to see as much of it as I can.  

Local kids seeing the new possibility for used Pringle cans


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