I’ve gradually awakened to the fact that all you need is a Passport and a few dollars to experience the truth… that you ARE a citizen of the world. If you are free enough to acquire such a document, then there are no boundaries for you. The planet is your home.
Currently I’m based in Northern Thailand in the old city of Chiang Mai. This place attracts both older expats and younger backpackers. I don’t know the exact statistics, but I’d be comfortable saying that 97% of the Westerners here are white. Many are the cream of the crop… too smart and too aware to remain in the mess the West has become. But there are more than a fair share of dysfunctional, arrogant, Narcissistic, sexually scarred brats running around trying to recreate the same atmosphere they’re trying to escape.
Thailand seems to be a place that brings up just what everyone needs to confront if they are to successfully open the portal that leads to new vistas in their life. So far its not a place I want to live the rest of my life in, but it is a place where I can live cheaper, exercise more, participate in Yoga classes, and work on my spiritually.
How much cheaper? That depends on if you have a Thai girlfriend who’ll shop for you, because Thais charge each other one price, and foreigners another… HIGHER… price. Of course, you’re expected to PAY your Thai girlfriend so… how much are you actually … saving? The answer to that might be found in the high number of expats who’ve gone broke and heart-broken over here. Are there lessons in that? HUGE lessons.
The world is what it is and no one of us is going to ever have much luck in changing it forever. Therefore, in the short time I’m on earth, how can I create the happiness that allows me to flourish rather than just live? The answer seems to rest inside that small word: “Love.”
Thailand is simply a developing country that is as good a place as any to practice in. Thai is not an easy language to learn. They drive insanely here so commuting without slipping into Road Rage is a bit of a Spiritual Practice all in itself. This is NOT the place to come to if you’re seeking to escape into drug use or heavy alcoholic drinking. (The Thai jails are full of Westerners–so beware.) When I leave here, “everywhere I go, I’ll take myself.” The scenery may change, but the question of what are my true passions… and what are destructive patterns of escapism will remain until they are confronted, felt, and learned.
Such questions make travel valuable. Traveling allows you to see clearly where the holes in your life are… and what’s you, versus what you like to say are your problems. Two friends recently told me the same thing in different ways… “If you are a black man with a passport and a reasonable amount of money, you can command your happiness anywhere in the world. You can have any type of woman you want… any age or station in life”. The list of what you can do goes on, but nothing guarantees your happiness more than pursuing your Number One Passion.
Why were you born? What did you come on earth to do? If you had money sufficient to allow you to study ANYTHING, what would it be? What talent or skill do you admire most?