Adjusting to Home

Photographer: Zach Mahone

Photographer: Zach Mahone

I’m not claiming to be this enlightened being just because I’ve been to a few countries. Many of the places I have been haven’t been shocking, culturally…just eye opening. 

When I got back to Colorado I spent a couple nights at a friends. Removed myself from everything. Laid on the couch and watched movies, drank whisky, and went out to eat. It was perfect. But it wasn’t enough. 

I needed to hide just a little bit longer. A few days to work off the jet lag and slowly re-introduce myself to this other life I pretty much forgot about while I was away. 

I was away from Instagram, away from Facebook for the majority of the trip. But when we had wifi we were like statues in the parking lot on our phones. Thirsty to connect with those on the other side of the world. I hated it but I couldn’t help myself…I “needed” to connect, to post all the cool shit I was doing.

Before I left for Japan I was a social media manager. My success was measured in how many followers my posts would get. I hated it. I hated the feeling of satisfaction that I would get from something so fleeting and meaningless. 

I’m realizing it doesn’t matter. I’m realizing that photo that got 250 likes will be lost and forgotten as it moves to the bottom of the feed. It’s time to put my energy into something that really matters. 

Being in Japan I really got a taste of living simply. 

We think we need things that we don’t. We fill our homes with furniture that gets tattered, torn, stained, and thrown out. Our walls reverberating the sounds of the television telling us what to think, what to buy, and talk about how fucked up the world is.

Some nights we wouldn’t even know where we were sleeping. Our GPS was in Japanese, all we could do was look for a green patch of hope on the screen with the prospect of a  small piece of wilderness for us to roll out our sleeping pads on. I liked the not knowing. We came to some locations in the darkness, we fell asleep with no idea what the landscape around us looked like until the sun grazed our dewey sleeping bags in the morning. 

We stayed at a hotel one night out of our 23 days in Japan. It was one room filled with at least 10 of us. A short table being the only piece of furniture. We laid out cloth mattress pads and slept together happily. 

Some people do not thrive in this environment, in fact, most don’t. Close to the end of our trip I could tell some were ready to go back to the comforts of home. I wasn’t. I spent the flight thinking about the next adventure and reliving the last. 

Every day was a learning experience. When I’m home, I have time to dig a little deeper internally, but my motivation and inspiration dissipates rapidly and I slip into a state of laziness and boredom. 

I must keep moving.