I am going through the border from Vietnam to Laos tomorrow when my visa expires today. Its a test in calm for me, and oddly enough I don’t feel very worried. Maybe I should be and I definitely could be but its going to be okay and if it becomes an issue I won’t waste my energy pre-suffering.
I’m realizing that I’m getting into the swing of things. I don’t plan very far ahead, I don’t worry about spending money hardly ever and I don’t worry so much nowadays. The only thing I haven’t found is a clearer mind, I keep filling my focus with many little things despite the opportunity to train my mind in the many expectation-less hours I have each day.
I say this because a long time ago I was in a place where my thoughts felt more in control, less wispy than they do now. Ever since then I have been trying to regain that sense of calm. I miss being able to hold an idea and fully digest it before choosing the next thought to process but part of me wonders if it can be reached without substantial life changes.
Still every day I try to practice using my mind in a intentional way. I try to practice visualizing and using my imagination or I’ll try to think up a poem without writing it down before its completed. I haven’t been able to do it yet but I’ll keep practicing.
I’ve found that what I remember changes, sometimes names are effortless to remember, and sometimes its ideas for my blog. I’ve had weeks traveling where I remember names even when they weren’t spoken to me but only overheard from someone else’s conversation. Now I’m not sure that my memory and my focus is particularly astute.
I use a notebook instead of having a phone while traveling and many times on my trip have I met people that are surprised that I don’t have a phone. They are surprised because its so much easier to travel with a smartphone. The maps, communication and research on the go makes a big difference. Its funny to me that even five years ago that probably would have been weird to think and ten years ago it would have been insane to think of having such a powerful device that would work so universally. I know first hand how much harder nearly everything is without a phone, I struggle to know where I am. I have had to find other ways to finding my way, I’ve learned to know where to look in business signs to find the city name so I can usually track where I am on the bus. I don’t book anything ahead of time because I usually can’t find a specific hostel and I find it much harder to meet up with people if I’m not staying at the same hostel.
I like the idea of knowing what a smartphone takes the place of.
Soon enough I will be back in a world where I will pick up my smartphone and be very happy to have that power back but for now it is an interesting journey using the quickly disappearing skills.