It was three in the morning. I was catching up with a couple of friends online. They were sharing their stories from recent adventures they’ve had. I closed my eyes and stopped typing inside the chatbox. I asked myself how I truly was and where I was at that point in my life. After a minute or so, I got an answer, “I’m generally happy, but my world is getting smaller – it’s just work and home and vice versa. I’m becoming short-sighted. My vision used to be broader and it included more people in it.”
I was surprised with the answer I gave myself.
I got scared for a moment thinking that how I felt rounded up the quality of relationships. I freaked out and fretted for a while thinking that I didn’t love my family and friends. Eventually, I came to terms with myself and realized that my world getting smaller reflected the quality of my relationship, not with family and friends but with just one person – myself.
I haven’t taken care of myself so well since I graduated from college. I let myself go and I grew fatter and fatter every month. I shut old friends out, and I ran as fast as I could when new people tried to get to know me. I stopped doing the things I loved – I stopped going out, spending time alone in silence in the park or a café, just writing or reading. I stopped making music. Ah, no wonder I was unhappy in spite of the loving people around me. I forgot loving myself.
So I booked that flight to Hong Kong and paid for the tickets right away. I was certain that I would have a lot of fun in Hong Kong.
Sure enough, I enjoyed every day I spent in Hong Kong. The trip was long overdue, and it was the best birthday gift I gave myself.
Traveling to Hong Kong alone let me learn things about myself – of what I was capable and incapable of doing and feeling. Fears were diminished, and inhibitions were washed away.
Yes, that’s what traveling can do to you – it lets you see yourself in a greater way – a kinder, more forgiving and gentler way. Traveling can cast a greater vision for yourself and let you see how capable you are of doing more and being more. You start seeing your place and your purpose. You start seeing how much compassion and hope this world craves, and you start understanding that you are actually one of those who can bring light to so many darkened souls. No matter what you do, whatever your career is, however your family set-up is, no matter how much your salary is, the life you live matters, and what you decide to do with your life can greatly affect so many others.
Before Hong Kong, I always asked myself what’s out there and what’s really out there for all of us. Well, Hong Kong gave me quite an answer, and it sure was loud and clear, yes?