Other Things


By on 14 February 2016

It takes 762 turns to reach Pai from Chiang Mai. It is quite a scenic journey through the rural areas of Northern Thailand, yet you get so dizzy with the amount of the turns, you can hardly enjoy it until you reach your final destination: An adorable town surrounded by mountains and rivers. Yes it requires 762 turns to reach to true beauty but it actually requires more head spinning turns to reach yours…

When I started traveling, I wasn’t sure if it was the best decision or not. I was 38 years old after all. I had invested on my career for more than 15 years. I had a good job, a nice apartment and great friends. I was concerned that I was gonna end up realizing that it was a bad decision to throw everything away. But when I got to Pai, I simply realized I was exactly in a place where I was supposed be.

Everyday I found myself by the Pai River, spending most of my time listening the threading water, watching the watermill and the bamboo walking bridge. I realized spending time there with myself was the highlight of my days. I wasn’t anxious about my next destination, I wasn’t concerned about if my funds would hold, I wasn’t planning, I wasn’t feeling resentful about my heartbreaks or anything. I was simply being…

There is a saying, we often use in advertising: “Kill your darlings.” Meaning don’t fall in love with your ideas as they may not be the best ones. Letting go of your work can be quite a painful process if you truly believe that it is really good. Most frequently you feel depressed and feel that you won’t be able to come up with a better one. Most frequently you do…

Kill your darlings… As I watch the dry leaves falling from their branches by the riverside of Pai, this  motto gains a new meaning for me.  At the end of the day, I am glad I let go of my career, my apartment and my possessions which were very dear to me. But until recently I couldn’t realize that I was carrying myself around. Along my backpack, I was carrying a broken heart. I was carrying a very false belief that I would never be able to love someone this much again.

It was time to stop living with the ghosts of my previous relationships, snap the invisible cords formed of resentments, disappointments and regrets. It was time to travel with a lighter heart… If it is dead, what is the use of holding on to it? Simply let it wither on the ground as the branch lets go of the leaf, to create a brand new one. A leaf lush green, bright and alive.

Contaminated with 38 years of experiences, rock hard opinions about what is right or wrong, this old self is my one true obstacle to create something brand new and alive. By spending 110 days on the road, by having brand new experiences the person who I was was already fading. I realized by traveling I was also committing a suicide, which I am not miserable about it all. I was killing the one who is most darling to me: My old self.

So this is my advice for the Valentine’s day: Kill your darlings.

Kill your darling habits by doing something new everyday that your old self would never do. Don’t plan what you will be doing tomorrow. Don’t fret meeting interesting people. Climb on the hills, dive in the depths, improvise, go with the flow…

As you travel further, you realize how lighter your heart becomes, how you brush off the burden of the past from your shoulders.

As you go, the road leads to who you were meant to be in the first place. Believe me, you will like that person better than the old one.