29.11.2008 3 °C
I sometimes wonder why I spend such time arranging my clothes, given the fact that I'm aware the moment I arrive in Thailand there will be little care about objects in a material sense on my part, other than the cultural objects contained within a country, I know my attention can't be divided that way. I remember distinctly going to Kiev, and the weeks that endured before that trip all of the packing was a void attempt.
The packing and repacking one focuses on before a trip of epic proportions serves as an attempt to visualize the person and feelings I intend to embody when I am in Thailand. The clothes serve as some type of tangible reflection of an openness or willingness to interact, to leave negative appropriations of the self at home, not here. It is the only representational vehicle I bring with me from home to express an emotion or message that I want to convey in the future. They are a representational objects I try to derive future meaning out of. They are skin I embed with meaning, they are my skin in the future.
It is either selfish or honest to realize that traveling for most people has far more of a therapeutic purpose than one of cultural understanding. Thailand being a vacation mainstay for Australians lends to the fact that its tropical, far enough but close enough (a requirement of mainstream vacation destinations), cheap, and western friendly. I have no conviction Australians travel to Thailand for cultural awakening, though I don't judge them for this action, I myself don't hold sterile convictions as to why I myself am traveling to mainland southeast Asia. To solidify my purpose as a world citizen, to expand my vision of the globe, to further my knowledge of international energy policy, to bask in natural beauty on a modest budget, to understand peoples of another culture whose religious world views are expansive, to experience life from a distinctly eastern perspective, to experience a culture outside of my own with a loved one. All of these are the fabric and intentions of a three month trip, however they evolve and in the end emulate their creator, if I steer off course, they become an intention and not a force that shapes my experience. I have to be faithful to them, as they have to be faithful to me or we both turn to hedonism of being a rich westerner in an inexpensive country where you can loaf on academic credit and shop, which is just whimsical spilled milk no one makes you cry over.