Travel is a love and hate affair for me. Love the freedom, escape and experience of new things; and hate the planning, booking, waking up early, race against time, return to “reality” at the end and the time consuming task of “documenting” the diary and photographs.
When I am on a travel, suddenly there is no more email to check every morning, no more phone request to do this and that, and lesser of daily routines and responsibilities, which is superb. It’s like I am reborn, and no one knows me, thus there is no baggage of life, only new things to explore. There is a tendency to be more observant and adventurous while traveling, where we like to observe people and their culture, and go to places where the local don’t even bother to visit, and find fun in every little stupid thing. The most amazing thing about travelling is the afterthought, how it changes our mind and priorities in mind. I suddenly realize what is important and what’s not, what could be live without, and what could be potentially a better way of life, or perhaps what I really desire as my way of life. Travel memory (and photograph) is great, but the effect of the experience and afterthoughts are amazing.
With the abundance of tool like TripAdvisor, Google Maps and some guide books, it’s still not an easy task to find and explore the places which interest us. Florence or the hill town of Siena? Is there something closer to nature with hiking options? Seems like an easy question which is awfully hard to get the answer without hours or days of Googling and reading. If I enjoy museums and churches, then it would be much easier in Europe. Then there are the logistic stuff, like in what sequence should I visit this places, how to get there (train, bus or fly? Which departures with less transits?), which are not too hard to find out (especially for Europe), but still take some time to do research and book the right tickets. Booking of accommodations is quite a pleasant affair in Europe, thanks to Booking.com and HostelWorld.com (sadly Airbnb didn't work that well for us). Moving around is great with Google Offline Maps, sadly Search and Directions didn’t work offline.
There is an uneasy feeling when nearing the end of the trip, where I have to leave the wonderland and return to reality. I do get tired and could enjoy a good rest back at home, but it’s the uneasy feeling like I have back in the schooldays on Sunday, where Monday is so close. When I am working, Sunday and Monday seems like a normal day (though Friday and Saturday is still great), which probably means I love what I am working on. Life could not be perfect in the sense of doing only the things we love (or it could be?), so there shall be customer supports, some freelance requests which I turn down mostly but still accept some (there is money, but not that much satisfaction), and some stupid things we just get involves without gaining any satisfaction out of it. When holiday is over, there is no more time to blog about the travel or organize those photographs, and working is piling up, which is not a good feeling.
The feeling I dislike most is the distinction of wonderland and reality, and why reality is such a drag and why can’t we turn reality into wonderland? Travel is a temporary escape and disconnection from the stressful life, so it’s not a solution to a happier life. I would like to figure out a way which brings life into travelling, where there isn't quite a need to go on holiday, as life itself is a travelling experience. The idea of hacking on an Island seems to be intriguing in a certain sense, but not as an escape, but a new way of life, where work, life and travel come together in happily ever after. That’s why I love programming, it’s one of the best jobs in the sense I can do it from anyway around the world (besides the ability to build and create).
Next plan: turn travel into life, or the other way around.