There And Back Again

Saturday, 10 September 2016.

How do you go back to your normal way of life, your everyday and ordinary, after having had an adventure that is completely out of the ordinary, such as I had in Hong Kong, Thailand, and Japan?

I know that many people have had the experience of travelling to another country, especially to a far-off country, and lived there, for however a short while, in a place that is different to their own. Some have travelled to multiple countries, and this even before they reached their 20s. Perhaps my experience is a bit different to others’ because my opportunity to travel, to a distant country, only came when I was 34. (The only other country that I had previously been to, besides my own, was Mozambique, for a two-week holiday, which is the northeastern neighbour of South Africa.)

I can now actually relate to how Bilbo Baggins must have felt, in Tolkien’s book The Hobbit, and for that fact Frodo Baggins too, when he returned to the Shire after having been on a journey of extraordinary proportions. An adventure that defined their lives. Every part of the journey was unknown to them and both were changed in fundamental ways, although who they were, their beliefs and character, and what they were able to do, their skills, ways, and abilities, played a great part in the success of the journey.

Stepping out of what is thought of as your fate, the cards that you have been dealt in life, your daily routine, and in my case for a period of four months, can have a dramatic and life-changing  effect on someone. Many have said that to travel changes your perspective on things, it changes how you see the world because suddenly the massive scale of the world, and its many unique places and cultures, becomes real in your life and you feel that you really are part of the greater story of mankind. You get exposed to new ways of life, languages and customs, which are sometimes completely unfamiliar to you, even though you may have seen and heard them countless times before in movies or on the internet, experiencing something in the physical can in no way be replaced by the virtual. The same goes for the spiritual, and this pertains to our earthly  stay, the spiritual and physical go hand in hand, you cannot have the one without the other, while in our bodies we remain.

So, what now you ask?

My extraordinary journey has come to an end. Like Bilbo, I have been there and, now, I am back again.

Is it back to the ordinary for me?

Before I left for Japan, I had the increasing need to change something in my life, my work situation, and what I did each day, my routine so to say. It felt as if I was walking around in circles, instead of moving forward, towards to a certain point or goal. This was especially the case with how I felt about my job. I therefore, made sure that my previous routine, or the direction that I was moving in in my life, came to an end as my journey to Japan started. Although, the past never truly leaves us and certain things do not end that easily, for the roots of some things, old things, go deep and it takes a while before it can be fully removed.

The whole trip was liberating in many ways, having left my job of 13 years, at the company that I co-founded. I felt a great sense of freedom in letting go of it, which was at times a great joy and at other times a great burden. I also ended the contract at the apartment I was renting. Having packed and stored my meager collection of worldly possessions at my parents’ house, which I was thankful for, I was truly leaving everything behind. Apart for my family back home, and my friends too, I could have stayed in Japan without anything else holding me back, except for not having a residency visa of course.

My next mission is, or was, to get into a working mindset again, which I have now attained. Four months of not working can take its toll on you, both financially and also in finding the motivation to sit down in one spot for a few hours a day and to work on other people’s wants and needs, and  in many cases fixing their problems, and not just laze around or travel in search of new things and places  each day. This will be followed by getting a more permanent dwelling while securing contracts and making business connections, and then, once my work setup is functional and flowing, I can travel to any country and settle there for a while, whilst still continuing with my work, accompanied by my lovely girlfriend Mai. Apart from all of that, I still have new music to release, a book to publish and a novel to complete.

Life has many choices, there are many roads to take, which one we choose is up to us, best we get on the right one unless we find regret in the end. There are countless things to keep us busy on the way, and as you can see in my case there are many, now how can anyone ever be bored?

That is the plan. That is the dream. I now have a goal. I know I have the means. With God’s help, and if it is in His will for me, I can do all these things.

Time waits for no one. So best to get at it, right away!

– Starr