This was the first thing I wrote a couple of weeks ago before deciding to "blog" again. At the time it felt too personal, too raw and real to share. A lot of my time off of social media and the internet was spent thinking about how happy I was not sharing anything with the world because it felt fake. I almost had an obsession with not taking part in anything related to sharing, besides in real life. I have since felt that I have this burning desire to express my creativity in a writing form. I can't really explain it, writing lately takes a hold of me and I'll sit down to begin writing something and almost go into a trance like state waking up at the end of the writing process. Sometimes I'll read through a post or something I've written and not even know where it came from, its like I wasn't even present when it was being written! I know this sounds like I've gone batshit crazy, but I guess its hard to put into words what creativity truly is, because it just is - just like you can't put words into how you actually make your heart beat, you just do. Here is what I wrote a few weeks ago, about my experience over the past two years ..
It’s been two years since I last posted on this once loved little internet space of mine. Since then I left magical Bhutan, lived in tropical Costa Rica for over a year and have recently moved to a small town in Vietnam. It seems so weird to look back on my life now, and read the posts from before because it feels like I have lived so many different lives yet I’m only 26 years old. The truth is that leaving Bhutan (possibly even being in Bhutan) broke me. It broke my heart and I’m still recovering from my broken body from the time spent there. You would think this breaking would be associated with negativity but looking back it has been the most beautiful two-year experience. Let me explain:
I lived in a very isolated part of Bhutan where there was very little access to a variety of fruits and vegetables. I turned vegetarian the day I moved to Bhutan and my diet consisted mainly of potatoes, tomatoes, processed cheese and rice. This is basically what I lived off every day for every meal. I would say this is what I ate 85% of my time spent there with an occasional portion of broccoli or spinach added to my cheese curry. I developed really bad digestion and stomach issues, it was honestly a nightmare and a constant worry about what was wrong with me and I was just always obsessing over my next symptom. I also developed a skin irritation and my fingertips on my right hand were constantly dry, inflamed and would peel over and over again. Basically, what I now know is I developed psoriasis - an auto-immune disease that stems from your gut and makes its way into the skin. People with psoriasis should avoid eating foods from the nightshade family which I’ve come to learn means that potatoes and tomatoes are a big no-no, hence eating that for a year straight was pretty damaging.
I mean, my intention isn't to make you think that Bhutan was this really challenging place because it wasn't like that at all for me. Even leaving I cried myself to sleep for nights and even told Dylan that I wouldn't be getting on the plane when we arrived in the capital city the day before we would return to South Africa. I was completely terrified to leave. I was an emotional wreck when we got to “home” again and I couldn't make sense of anything that was my norm for over twenty years of my life. Grocery stores, shopping malls, traffic, the way western communities work didn't make any sense to me anymore. Heck, they still don't. I guess I started to question everything and it drove me insane. I felt really angry with people and society and I felt really alone in it all because no one understood.
I quit writing for this blog because it just wasn't serving me any longer. It had turned into something that was for others and about how I could get more readers when really, I just want it to be a creative and real process of sharing - possibly even create connections with others. I haven't done social media in a while either because that too was just too much for me at the time.
The first few weeks in Costa Rica were really tough. Despite the lifestyle being dramatically slower paced and closer to nature, I really missed the close authentic living I had in Bhutan. I also had to adapt to a new way of teaching and my work demands took over my life. I tend to have a habit of giving it 110% in the beginning and burning out pretty fast. But over time slowly I adjusted and the longing for Bhutan got more distant. We got our little pup, Charlie, and I think I found a new purpose. I had wanted a dog of my own for so long (turns out having a dog while travelling the world isn't the most cost effective idea but still 100% worth it - sorry, Dylan!). I began to fall in love my work again and spent more time in nature. And for the first time I actually enjoyed being alone while Dylan did his work trips. Dylan and I did a lot of reading and growing during our time in Costa Rica and our way of living and thinking changed a lot. I'm now living alone in Vietnam while Dylan is in Central America and get a ton of questions about our relationship, if we're still doing "okay". Its so ironic that this is the first thing people tend to think when in reality we are in the best position we have ever been in! In December of 2016 we took our bicycles for a trip around Costa Rica for a month - with Charlie! Things started to shift during this time, I became less angry with the world and more accepting and loving, although I can still get pretty angry with the world at times.
I understand that this is a lot of personal information, and I’m not really sure of all of its purpose yet other than to just be real. I’m tired of seeing sugar coated versions of people’s lives so here you have it. I don't really know what I'm doing with this blog, with this writing, I just know I have a strong desire to write. I would love so much to hear from you (as a reader or a friend or just a curious human) what you come here for, what you enjoy reading or what you'd like me to share more about. I know it may seem weird to reach out or reply to questions like these on blog posts but really, I hope that more can come out of this - more connection and realness and openness - rather than just taking up space on the internet.