Challenges

Since Kim and I started traveling, there have been many challenges we’ve faced. Language barriers, staying within our budget, and finding wifi are constant challenges, to the point where they feel like traveling partners. But these problems are solved fairly easily: hand gestures and knowing a few simple phrases can overcome most language barriers, spending habits can be changed, and wifi has been common (though working is a different story).

The two main challenges I have found myself facing since we set off traveling is burnout and feeling like a productive member of society.

Before we left, I imagined traveling as constantly moving from one place to another, seeing the sights of the world, and having the time of my life everywhere we went. It was like the longest and best movie montage ever, and I was the star of the movie.

We started out traveling in my movie montage inspired way, and it was great. We made great memories and had a lot of fun doing so. But my mind left some scenes on the editing room floor: 24 hour bus rides, the different beds every few nights, the haggling over one dollar (not because you don’t want to spend the dollar, you just know that what you are haggling over should be a dollar cheaper – its the principle, damn it!). In short: the day in/day out stuff that you aren’t used to, any one of which you can deal with, but when put together, they wear you down and exhaust you like an energy sucking Voltron.

So we ditched my movie script and settled down in Goa for a while and it was great: a beach paradise where you could spend all day on the beach reading a book. When you get hungry, you just walk up the beach to one of the dozen or so beachfront restaurants and have a meal for a few dollars. It was the change of pace I needed to cure my burnout blues.

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The beach life in Goa

But after a little while, the challenge of feeling like a productive member of society started to creep in. Instead of traveling all the time and trying to fit everything in, I found myself with not enough to do to fill my days. As much as I love the Game of Thrones books, there are only so many days I can read about the Lannisters and Baratheons before I start to go crazy.

Having nothing to do and no discernible structure to my life (other than the occasional rumbling in my belly telling me it was meal time) caused me to become complacent, lazy, and pretty much useless. There would be days on end where I couldn’t motivate myself to do anything. I thought to myself that since I didn’t have anything to do, whatever I needed to do (go to the store for food, email friends and family, etc) could be done later. Later would turn into tomorrow, tomorrow would turn into the next day, and so on. I spent a few weeks in a funk and wasted my days doing pretty much nothing.

Brian Jaisalmer

Even this guy started to make me look bad…

I decided that what I needed was some structure in my life. This blog is part of that structure.

I am challenging myself to write every day. This is something that I thought I would never do, as I am not a ‘writer’ by nature (I think I am the only traveler that doesn’t keep a journal). But it feels good to have something to do, to have a purpose. It’s a change for the better. I feel like I am working towards something, not letting life just happen to me.

I have read and heard from many people who have traveled that traveling will change you, and I fully expected traveling to change me as well. I expected a more ‘worldly’ outlook on things, understanding different perspectives, that sort of thing. What I didn’t expect was finding myself wanting for something to do, and I really didn’t expect finding an artistic outlet to fill that void.

So…that’s the story of how Wandering Sasquatch came to be. Thank you for reading this and letting me share my stories with you.

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Author: Brian

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