A Video I’ve Been Avoiding

I’ve had this idea for a trip video since I was in Istanbul and I first heard the song “No Hay Nadie Como Tu” (translation: “There’s No One Like You”) by Calle 13. I love the song. The video idea is a montage of pictures from the entire trip that goes along with the lyrics of the song.

You can listen to it here, if you like:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

However, it has made me feel uncomfortable to start working on that project. I’ve thought about it several times, but I’ve avoided it. Starting that project becomes a symbol of the trip being over. It means that I don’t plan on having more pictures to fill in the video with. (I’ve currently taken more than 5,000 pictures on this trip!)

What Floats My Boat and Finds My Lost Remote?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since I’ve been in Bangkok over the past two weeks. I’ve been on the road for almost 11 months now. I could easily keep traveling for 3 or 4 more months in Southeast Asia with the funds I have left. I’ve thought about where I could go next, but nothing is jumping out at me.

And sure, I’m having a great time here. I make a million friends living at this hostel. As usual, though, the friendships are mostly transient and relegated to the final “Come visit me sometime! See you on Facebook!” as the travelers move on to their next destination.

What I do get excited about is seeing my friends and family. Starting the next chapter in my life with enthusiasm. I want to work on big, exciting visual effects, compositing, and motion graphics projects. I don’t know if I miss the United States itself per say, but I do miss the people and look forward to the opportunities there.

What? A plan?

I’ve done a lot of personal writing over the last two days along with even more active thinking than I’ve done in the previous weeks. I think I’ve come up with a plan for the next couple months.

According to the timestamp on the file, that plan started on Sunday, May 3rd, 2009, at 11:18 AM. That’s when I created a new empty project… for the trip wrap-up photo montage video.

New Answer to an Old Question

Last night a new person at the hostel asked where I was going next. For the first time, instead of saying, “I don’t know,” I replied with a smile, “Home.”

It felt good to say. I’m excited. And not just about making a photo montage.

From one “doctor” to another…

Quote time? Sure. Dr. Seuss said,

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

From one “doctor” to another, I can already tell that’s going to be difficult in practice, Seuss. But I tend to be a pretty happy guy. I’m sure there’ll be some poignant and sad reflection moments — indeed, there already have been — “home” might freak me out, I might wish I’d done more while I was here, but I’ve got faith. There’s plenty more time to travel.

So, dear reader, thanks for joining me so far. This isn’t a trip wrap-up post. Expect more in the coming weeks. I’ve still got a Muay Thai boxing video to make (which was awesome, by the way), some more retrospective thoughts, some practical travel stuff that might be useful to others, etc…

…and there’s a little montage video to worry about.

Fuck it, dude, let’s go bowling.

For now, I just bought a flight from Bangkok to Chicago. I leave on Thursday at 1 in the morning. It’s 21 hours. (Which is nothing after spending the same amount of time on a bus through winding mountain roads in Peru. I get a 3 hour break at an airport to walk around on this one!)

It feels simultaneously unsettling and exciting. What the hell, right? Good things seem to have come from pushing myself past the butterflies in my stomach so far.

Why should going home be an exception?

15 Responses to “A Video I’ve Been Avoiding”

  1. Gillianon 04 May 2009 at 12:41 pm

    A number of people I’ve been following are now on the road home. All express a sadness, a sense of unknowing, a tiredness but also, like you, a sense of looking forward with new eyes.

    “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” – I LOVE that!!
    Sounds to me over the last 11 months, that you have had a fabulous trip, on your own terms and have seen what you wanted to see. This really is another case of pushing the envelope. I’ve already wondered how coming home will be for us (and we haven’t even left yet!) – I hope we can look at it with opportunity the way you are!

    Your stories have cracked me up and inspired me the whole way – I can’t wait to hear how you do back home.


    ps – where do you find your music? I love that too!

  2. Von 04 May 2009 at 1:18 pm

    “Why should going home be an exception?” aye, aye, cap’n.

  3. Melodyon 04 May 2009 at 1:31 pm

    I think the thing I am most curious about with regards to your trip is what you have learned about yourself during this time.

    That’s all:)

  4. Shiftyon 04 May 2009 at 1:53 pm

    I hope ‘coming home’ might include a west coast sojourn to visit your buddies in LA. I’m going to be pretty much out of work from May-mid August unless something jumps up, so if West Lafayette (which is where I assume you’ll go from Chicago?) gets you stir crazy, come on out and stay a bit!
    Let’s make it happen.

    Sure will miss the blog when it’s all said and done.


  5. amyon 04 May 2009 at 10:32 pm


  6. nathanon 05 May 2009 at 8:30 am

    @ Gillian – Glad you like the song! Here’s a Spanish assignment for you: Try to understand it. :) I’ve listened to it enough times that I can sing along to it now. It’s actually a great vocab song! Hell, even if you read the letras en espanol while you read it, it’s good listening practice in and of itself.

    I’m so glad to have had you around. I never thought when I left that I’d have people I didn’t even know following me. Your guys’ blog is already a great read and you haven’t even left yet. I have a feeling you’ll be making me jealous pretty soon!

    Can’t wait to hear how it all unfolds. Have no doubt I’ll be there every entry of the way!

    @ Mel – Ever the MSW. :) I’m not totally sure about what this has done to me yet. I know it’s something, though. Figure I’ll get a little more reflective over the next couple weeks. If you don’t hear it here, you can count on my swinging by for an afternoon chat — after I’ve upset the dogs with my arrival.

    @ Cap’n J – You’ve got an email AND a visit coming to you, if my current plan sticks.

    @ Amy – See you at O’hare. Can’t wait, sister.

  7. Bon 05 May 2009 at 11:27 am

    Hey I love the song – its awesome!!!

  8. nanfanon 05 May 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Yes indeed!

  9. schalliolon 11 May 2009 at 10:16 am

    So, does that mean you’re back? If so, welcome, and I hope you’re doing well.

  10. VeachEon 13 May 2009 at 7:13 am

    The world will be here. Siempre. Well, at least as long as you’re around. :-)

  11. AJon 15 May 2009 at 10:16 am

    Well done, dear Nathan, well done, indeed!

  12. Shawnon 19 Jul 2009 at 8:49 am

    Long time, not a word written?

  13. annon 20 Nov 2009 at 4:33 am

    “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

    what a dumb quote:)

  14. Tedon 23 May 2010 at 9:08 am

    Hey thanks for the information on this blog.

  15. Bluegreen Kirkon 04 Apr 2011 at 11:14 am

    I could only imagine meeting so many people making friends only to see them gone in a matter of days. possibly never seeing them again. Enjoy the time while it lasts!

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply