It has been almost two years since I last wrote in this blog. Looking at my post list in the dashboard I see that I had a draft entitled “The First Week of the Trump Presidency” but never published and I did not read what I had written. How much the world has changed for the citizens of the USA since that week. What a travesty the Trump presidency has been so far but I do not intend to write about that circus here nor in any future posts. I do look forward to reading a history book on this presidency 30 years from now to learn the facts, the effects and the truth about how badly he damaged the USA. It is not that I want to see the USA damaged; rather it I have faith the country will recover and continue to be great. But we are at a crossroads and only the elections will tell if the USA will continue down a dark path or correct itself.
When I awoke this morning I had not intended to start writing in this blog. It came to me suddenly as I was listening to SiriusXM of which I received a free three month subscription through the T-Mobile Tuesday’s app. I absolutely love it as I’m exposed to music that I otherwise wouldn’t have been with the other streaming services where you primarily just choose the songs you want to listen to.
I was listening to the Classical music station and the program was on Carles Magraner and the box set “La Ruta de la Seda” or Silk Road. Listening to this ancient music with its chants, Spanish and beautiful Asian and Moorish influences the passion for global travel as well as history and language study was suddenly and without warning re-lit!
And so I opened this old blog and decided to post about a book I had recently read (Montaillou) as well as write an update.
The fact is I’m no longer the jet-setter and have become rather domesticated. I am 41 years old, I have two young kids, a home and a job. The daily routine of life leaves no time for daydreaming of faraway places, for studying language and it takes me many months to read one book. In fact the only reason I have time right now is because my family is in Japan to spend time with my wife’s parents. So here I am with free-time in abundancy.
Life passes quickly and I think about all those kids in school studying abroad as I did. The majority of them would have returned to their own countries, settled down and only have faint memories of their experience as well as a shadow of their old language abilities. This did not happen for me as I married a Japanese woman. But over time the language and culture lost its mystique for me and just ‘is.’ Speaking Japanese doesn’t seem fascinating as it once did, it is just another language I use to communicate.
Listening to the ancient music however I remembered that passion, that enthusiasm which only those who have traveled overseas, lived in cultures and learned other languages can understand. Those experiences changed my life completely. But that was over 12 years ago, my life has changed dramatically and I had become a husband and father. I no longer was exposed to such experiences and over the years lost that passion.
Well, things have changed for me and I have a plan. At 41 years old and being a family man you have certain responsibilities and these responsibilities become your life. But as I listened to the music a thought occurred to me. In this society with social networking, constant news and noise, so much noise, we spread ourselves too thin, not focusing on those things which we really enjoy. By this I am referring to my own passions and things I do with my rare free time. Yes, I love my family and choose to spend almost all of my time outside of work with them. But what do I do for myself? I found myself checking Facebook and Instagram too much, reading pointless news and paying attention to too many distractions. I felt like a man without passion, who had lost his zest for life outside of family. What is it I really love to do?
My passion is in traveling, learning and writing about my discoveries in this blog. That is what excites me and is my passion! I want to continue learning, traveling in route to my goal which is a true renaissance man. And so through this serendipitous insight I’ve learned that all I need to do is focus.
I’ll eliminate the distractions, continue language and history study and I’ve even added a new one along with my son which is karate. I love karate, the exercise and I can feel myself getting stronger. Karate is perfectly in line with my goal to be a renaissance man and I just need to reboot the others. The universe has also given me a wonderful gift in a new job with an airline which comes with flight benefits not only for me but also for my family! This is my window, my opportunity to continue with a passion that has so far defined my life! We can travel to remote places and all for free excluding the hotel and other expenses. The plane ticket is always the main roadblock and that roadblock has been removed.
So here’s to rebooting this blog which from the statistics I see people actually do read. But it is not for likes, recognition or anything like that. I post because I wish to share this passion and the things I have learned.
Life is grand once you’ve found your passion and I’m very thankful that mine has reappeared and all the pieces have suddenly fit together. Life also passes by very quickly and so when the opportunity presents itself you must grab it.