Monday, November 7, 2011

My Happiest Moment

c/f depressing photography (for war-zone reporters, etc)
Disclaimer: This post is for a contest. However that shouldn't scare you away as thanks to the terms of the contest, I won't have to wax lyrical about a product that I've never had the chance to use (one reason for entering it). Anyway, the theme of the contest is to post a picture with an accompanying Massive Wall of Text- I mean, story/description. Click this if you'd like to be my competition. Oh, and the post has to be titled 'My Happiest Moment'- too simple for my liking, but what can I do. Without further ado...

Dad posing with street performers in Perth, Australia (2011)
Being lazy as usual I've decided that I might as meld two posts into one. No worries, judges- they're related. Here goes, then. I don't have any heart-breaking, sob inducing stories to share. I can't talk about how overjoyed I am to be in a beautiful long-lasting relationship, because I don't have one. Neither can I say much about my achievements- I don't really have anything to shout about yet. What I can talk about is, though this may seem contrary to the ordained theme by not sounding like something conventionally 'happy', is my love for traveling. You could even call it escapism if you like...

Far away
This ship is taking me far away
Far away from the memories 
Of the people who care if I live or die
-Starlight, Muse

Sad but true. I'm infected by wanderlust, and it's not entirely of the pure variety. A great part of my motivation to travel far from home is my wish to feel as disconnected from everyone and everything I know. It's an amazing feeling, being thousands of leagues away from my own world, where no one knows me and I have only myself to rely upon. Separated by time and space, only then am I free to simply exist, to move at my own pace, to breathe peacefully, to ponder whatever pointless thing I fancy without worrying about the consequences.

The starlight
I will be chasing a starlight
Until the end of my life
I don't know if it's worth it anymore
-Starlight, Muse

It's come to a point where I long to be away from home for the mere sake of being away. Simply going out for a gathering with old friends isn't enough. I couldn't even care less where, as long as I'd be traveling far away from home. I used to have soppy, dramatic expectations when traveling- a great adventure, a romantic fling, even mortal danger. I've pretty much given up hope for any of that. The closest I ever got was losing my passport in Singapore and having to camp on a park bench for a night, on new year's eve. I felt miserable... but wonderfully so.

My life
You electrify my life
Let's conspire to ignite
All the souls that would die just to feel alive
-Starlight, Muse

And yet, I will go on. Traveling will be a lifelong passion for me- I doubt I'd ever feel as at peace with myself lingering at home, crawling sluggishly through the same routine till the day I die. Though I've given up hoping for any drama while traveling, that doesn't mean that I don't welcome it should it decide to pay me a visit. I'd be delighted to play host. I've noticed that only when talking about my travels do I really light up, even if it doesn't really show on my eternally placid reflection, and it makes me look like an rich little globe-trotting bon-bon (I'm not, really).

I wonder why. It's not as if I'm not interested in anything else, though it is true that most of the people I know don't really share my interests. I weary of socio-political discourse. I don't care much for football or basketball or any other major sport that holds sway over the majority of male thought. My sex blocks me off from the females, though I feel more comfortable with them (this is apparently rather common- however my ego nibbles at my sleeve, saying that mine is on a different level entirely). My thirst for standing on my own solitary flying castle leaves me with nothing much to talk about. In short, I've cut myself out, with only a few strands left to connect me to home. Serves me right.
Forever 21:)
What I always tell myself: appreciate what I have. I've no right not being stupendously happy when, say for example, friends celebrate my birthday, though I've never cared much for it myself. Trust me guys, I do enjoy all the time spent together (even when it's horrible). It's just that nothing seems able to beat the immense rush of emotions that comes with traveling, especially traveling alone. Even if it results in me feeling inexplicably miserable and terribly sick, as was the case with my trip to Manila a few months ago.

I suppose I should at least say something about the photo I've chosen. It was taken in Perth this year- August, to be precise. It was my first trip overseas to a country not in the throes of a blistering summer- in fact, it was winter in Perth, with the temperature as low as 5 degrees early in the morning.

I went some five days ahead of the rest of the family, and it was worth every moment- learning the hard way not to joke with airline security staff (they have no sense of humor); walking some 15~20km from the airport to the Central Business District at 6.30am, massaging my ears most of the way so that they wouldn't fall off; hunting down a treasure trove of second-hand Japanese manga; happily bouncing from cafe to cafe; all the while pondering over why no one has yet to come up with a mannequin with a mirror for a head to how to achieve world peace; and generally enjoying the beautiful weather.

Good times, those. I wouldn't trade it for the world. So what if I have nothing much of interest to talk about beyond my travels. So what if I don't feel as happy at home or with friends as when I'm abroad. To everyone who says I've had enough of traveling, I say 'stuff it', and think to myself, 'where to next'?

...but before that, I'd better get my camera fixed... (or win this one, heh).

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