True to the tradition, here’s a little description of my environment.
I’m writing to you in my parents’ backyard, a nice little apartment on a quiet street in NDG, near bars and restaurants. I am in the shade, under this dome of vines, with my foot petting the family dog sleeping under the table. The air is fresh and construction not too far from here breaks the silence and the birds’ melody (and my concentration, already pretty feeble).
Good morning, good evening dear friends. I know, I know, it’s been a while since I’ve written. The reason is simple: Route means Road and since my return last year, I’m pretty sedentary. Also, I found myself writing heavy stuff. Sad stories, bitching… it’s depressing! This is not how I viewed the blog when I started it almost 2 years ago!
I decided to wait, to exercise patience, and to get back at it only when I felt ready. I was expecting to lose a few dedicated readers, what with not being any updates for months at a time.
Now D day is approaching, the first step on a path that I am undertaking without any maps, kind of like last time. This time however, I do have a few objectives in sights. We’ll talk about it another time.
Some details: since I’ve been back last April, I’ve been sorta quiet. I had a plan in mind: pay off my debts (plane tickets bought on credit cards) as fast as I could, work like a maniac, not spend a dime, and be gone before winter. I gave myself 6 months to respect a promise made to Mr. Ken, my Laos brother.
Today I look back at this and laugh… it wasn’t a very realistic goal!
Oh well. 16 months after my return and I’m finally ready to leave. To everyone who have nomadic friends, and who are telling them: “You’re lucky, you can leave whenever you can, you’re free!”… Well, it’s not done with luck, it’s done with willpower. I stayed at my parents 6 out of the 16 months in Québec (being 30 years old, it kind of hurts your ego). I rented small rooms. I worked 3 jobs in an industry I’ve never worked in before. I slept alone in 7 different rooms. I sold some of my stuff and stopped myself from buying new stuff. I was a little bit more quiet than usual, I became a little bit more grumpy than in the past. I think I grew apart from my friends a little bit, but it’s finally done: the budget is reached, my minimal preparations complete. I’m ready to go.
I heard a few times – more often than last time – questions like why am I leaving again, why am I going to the same spots, what don’t I like here, have you thought about your future? WHADAYAWANNA DO IN LIFE?
Well, yes, of course I think about it. I can’t sleep at night because of it.
Thinking about it, the moment I’ve been the most happy in my life was during these 6 months exiled, up until when I came back - too early for my taste – because of small health issues. I don’t know if it’s my ego talking, but I just have to go back, and do it even bigger this time.
I must admit that I am pretty jealous of legendary Bruno Blanchet, with his books, upcoming tv show, poutine restaurant in Bangkok (he’ll tell you it’s not his, but still!)
To stay motivated with my budget goals I took my dear British friends’ date of wedding as the main goal, these friends whom I met in Chiang Mai, Thailand – with who I travelled for 3 months and with who I connected so seamlessly. I would tell myself, if I’m happy here, I’ll go to the wedding and spend 2 weeks in England and I’ll come back. If I don’t feel like staying home, I’ll buy a one-way ticket for London and we’ll see from there.
To me, it’s no use obsessing over a single goal. Life changes, people change, we change. Better to adapt than to dig in.
Next, I explored other options. I obtained a work visa for New Zealand. I thought about moving somewhere else in Canada. I almost invested in a small restaurant. All sort of things but in the end, with my shifting mental health I decided that finishing the trip I started 2 years ago was the best solution.
So here’s the conclusion: I have a one-way ticket for Leeds, in the north of the British Empire, where reside Jen & Ben. I will be there for 3 weeks. Then, 1 ticket one-way from London to Beijing, where I will be stocking up on gadgets compatible with the power outage of Asia (cameras are cheaper as well). From there I will be making my way towards Vietnam in the south, where I am planning on buying a motorbike that I will ride all the way to Malaysia, all the while writing to you. Because even it’s just a small project, Bière de Route, the tiny blog started clumsily on a bench park of Mont-Royal street is what gave me the most satisfaction up until now. I can’t share with you the nice messages people wrote to me, encouraging me and thanking me but it pushes me to keep going, to make it better.
That’s the basics, open to change. I can’t wait.
Before like that however, there’s going to be a nice BBQ in Parc Lafontaine, Saturday the 16th of August, so don’t be shy and come grill some hot-dogs and down a few cold ones!
See you soon!