OK I suppose this is going to have to fit into a new category of post which I will dub ‘ramblings’.
Currently sat at my computer, massively hungover. It’s days like this that I sometimes get travelling guilt. It’s the feeling that “Damn, I’m in China! I should be doing something, not sat here hanging.”. This is a feeling you get more often than many if you’re teaching ESL, I suppose. I forget sometimes that I have a job here, jobs require downtime or you burn out. Further to this, I am in China. 6 months ago I’d have been happy with that, that was the point right? Try and just live here. I’m still experiencing China by moping about my local area on a quest for a bottle of coke and paracetamol. This is the Catch 22 of attempting to ‘travel’ as an activity. If you set this as your purpose you’re setting yourself an endless task.
More than that, it’s a task that continually gets bigger. Not that this is unique, in fact I suppose it’s true of most things. The more you do/better you get at anything the more you realise how much more there is that can be done. But what can be hard, in particular, with ‘travelling’ (hate using this word in this way but seems appropriate) is that it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that you cannot do everything, and it’s likely that what you’ve done is be pretty damn cool!
But still, once you travel somewhere you learn more about it, learn what there is to do nearby. You become aware of places you didn’t even know existed before you arrived and feel compelled to visit them to. Prime example of this was going to Estonia, a country I knew nothing about beforehand. I had a great time, of course, but left knowing much more about that area of Europe and, as such, wanting to visit all these places I’d heard about there! So what starts out as, ‘Oh lets visit Estonia, would be nice to do and it’s another country I can tick off’. Bullshit. You never tick anywhere off, quite the opposite. You just make yourself aware of how little you’ve seen there.
I think this can get people down sometimes. Or maybe it’s just me? But I have occasions where I lose perspective and just think about how much there is to do and how little time there is. But that’s the beauty of it, thinking like that is positive really. You can’t do everything, no more than anyone partaking in any activity can really complete/perfect it. But knowing this is actually something to be proud of.
That’s what I loved about my degree. You leave a Philosophy degree realising you, in your life, really don’t know anything. Not for sure. So in a sense that philosophical pursuit just served to elucidate the fact that the pursuit of philosophy/knowledge is completely endless. But an awareness of this is something I wouldn’t have got otherwise and not something to be concerned about, in fact I feel it affects my life quite positively. And so it is with visiting China and other places. And this is fine!
Perspective is important and this is part of why I suppose this blog will be nice to have, to read back through and remember what I’ve done/seen.
This list of things to do in whatever you’re busying yourself with is getting exponentially longer, but the list of what has been done is ambling along just fine, don’t worry about it.