Thankful

We are back in Singapore and I had given myself a two-week break from blogging to concentrate on what’s important: Stuffing our faces with much-missed food from home.

But today, I decided to take a break from my break from blogging (and stuffing), not to show off the sh*t that we have been gorging ourselves with, but to give thanks.

I know, I sound like a pretentious douche to myself too, since we don’t really do the Thanksgiving thing here in Singapore. But as we continue with our extended travelling, I find myself appreciating the concept of setting time aside to think about the good things in life… things that we are thankful for.

First off…

This Opportunity to Travel

As much as I’d like to believe that we had just dropped everything and go, it did not happen that way. There was considerable planning and quite a bit of hard work to save up along the way. Regardless, I believe that no amount of planning/saving could  have placed us in the unique time/place that allowed us to do what we are doing right now.

For this to happen, we more or less had all our dominoes lined up in a row. We were lucky to have good jobs prior to the travelling, that as long as we were willing to work hard, we never really had to worry about putting food on the table. Consequently, as long as we were prudent, we were able to squirrel away a bit of our savings every month to contribute to the travelling funds. Coupled with the relatively strong Singapore dollar, the little bit of savings every month goes a long way.

Furthermore, at this stage in our lives, we are still not too encumbered with responsibilities yet. In short, on this front at least, our dreams were within reach. We just needed to close our eyes and jump.

Which brings me to…

(More or less) supportive folks

Like anyone who love us, there were… “voices” of concern when we announced that we were gonna commit financial kamikaze and crawl our way into the uncivilized bowels of the earth.

We had a mortgage to pay off and tonnes of bills to pay. Yet, here we are, giving up stable jobs and steady pay cheques for some pipe dream of traipsing around the world. To make matters worse, we don’t even have a concrete exit strategy. What do we do after the madness is over? Are we going to sleep on the streets? And are we really certain that the places we go are safe? What if we get mugged and are left to bleed out on some remote corners of the earth?

I know there was a fair share of eye-rolling and exasperated sighs on my part when we heard the protests, but I just want to say that we know that everything that was said was said out of love. We are grateful that in spite of all the uncertainties and doubts that you guys have, you decided to let us do things our way and letting us know in no uncertain terms that you’d have our backs when if we screw this up.

I guess what I want to say is that we’re thankful to have family members who were crazy enough to (more or less) trust that we had a method to our madness.

Old Friends that care and new friends that share

Sometime over the past few days, I came up with a startling revelation, “Some friendships are like Farmville vegetables… they spoil if you don’t tend to them for a period of time.” (I think I went on a bit of a gaming spree since we came back too)

In this respect, we are lucky to have some mutant superstrain of vegetables. They forgave our absence at important life events (weddings, births, deaths, breakups and hook ups) and actually made the effort to keep in touch to update us on the happenings at home.

And then there are the new friends we meet along the way. Beside the comfort of knowing that we are not alone in doing what are doing, it is a blessing that we came across so many who inspired us in ways that we never thought possible. We’ve seen some truly amazing sights so far in our trip, but I’m sure that the things that we would remember the most are the times we spent trudging through the wilderness together and the numerous (sometimes literal) fireside chats.

Of course, for myself, I am extremely thankful for…

The best travelling companion anyone can ever ask for

Other than the seemingly impossible ability to fall asleep at any time and in any place, Jo has got to be one of the least fussy and lowest maintenance travel companion around. She would agree to go on 72-hour bus rides without batting an eyelid and actually survived the trauma with relatively little side effects (the only casualty being a chunk of her hair #anotherstoryforanotherday). All things considered, her complaints of not having enough pretty clothes seemed rather mild for the amount of shit that we had to go through.

But more than that, I am thankful for her sense of wonder (Spoiler: Jo teared up when she first saw Machu Picchu). Her ability to see the wonder in the wonders around us makes me even more appreciative of the wonderful life that we are leading right now.

Of course, I don’t want to belabour the awesomeness of being able to travel with my best friend.

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Regular programming will (more or less) resume next week. First off.. Santiago de Chile

Slumming it out with awesome Chilean street art

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