Saturday, September 26, 2009

We shall never cease from exploration

After having some personal time of meditation and quickly nearing the one month mark of my trip; I thought it would be a good time to make a reflective post on my overall travels thus far.

I never realized the importance of getting out of your own shell and opening up to see the world. I never traveled much before this trip, and this trip has casted some different ideas out of me. Part of it is the pure goodness of experiencing foreign cultures, languages, and people, it is hard to figure out just how much of your own cocoon environment is just a self-sense of comfort that we most often take for granted. How much of our sense of "normalcy" and "civilization" is really just having our own culture accepted as normal in our ideology. How orientalists view the world are much different once a traveler is transplanted to a environment that is completely different from home.

There is no real normalcy or the civilized in this world, I believe we all lead our lives differently, and there is no one way that is better than the other. Traveling has been good to my soul, to be often remind that, apart from our family and friends, we are a very small being in this universe. History is so deep and long that we would all fall into the dark lonely abyss without someones shoulders to lean on. This world is so vast that we could easily get trapped in our own environment without exploring others. How unfortunate would that be.

It's good to realize that America, Liberalism, and unabashed over-consumption is not the way of life for most humans. The United States is not the center of the universe. My lifestyle and cultural preferences are not the "norm" of humanity. I believe in our hearts we all know that, however, it is good to be reminded of the fact.

It's good to be completely out of the North American way of life and into another culture. It feels great to be bewildered by another language that I have no idea how to communicate in. I've been trying to learn new words and phrases in every country I go to be more respectful. It is extremely refreshing to talk to the locals, who think their small little village, their city, and their small possessions are all they need to make them happy. Happiness in life is in you to lead and have, its their for the taking. Growing up you often feel this unrelenting pressure to meet lofty ambitions, obtain new possessions, and seek un-needed pleasures. However, love and happiness are simply too beautiful of a thing to fit into strict guidelines of wants and needs.

Traveling has definitely taught me to exhibit a greater sense of humility
. We're all missing out if we don't embark on this journey, and we all find just a little bit more of who we are, on a visit to our neighbors in this wonderful world.

Hope everyone has enjoyed reading thus far,
Much Love,


  1. You're getting very philosophical and poetic my friend.

    And if the west (not just America) gets its way, Liberalism and over-consumption will be practiced globally.

    Glad you're out and about. What I learned from my travels remains with me while most of what I learned at university is long forgotten--of course, it could be an age issue!!

    (No spell check here on these blog entries--scary)

  2. I don't think copious consumption can be practiced globally. The spell-check is in Vietnamese so that doesn't help. Thanks for reading!

  3. I happen to be a staunch environmental liberal and believe that it is the mercantilist nature of today's capitalism causes these problems. The warfare, unequal consumption, lack of consumer and environmental protection and artificial buffering of the economy is the root cause of this weird situation.

  4. Very well said Mr. Lo. I do agree that some of aspects of free market liberalism do produce inequity in the global system. However, I do believe that liberalism inherently is the best overall system for most developed nations, probably isn't suitable everywhere, but one that produces the most economic growth in most societies. There needs to be a greater deal of gov. regulation of the private sector to prevent a lot of the inequality and abuses that occurs in modern day capitalist societies. A Keynesian-mode of economics. Remembering that a free-market does not mean a completely de-regulated market. Cheers