Routine VS. ?

As much as I love tromping around the world, changing my location, exploring new places, I have learned in the last year that I thrive in routine. Even in Thailand I created a strict routine for myself during the week, it consisted of early mornings, early evenings and eating pretty much the exact same thing every week day. It seems boring, especially when you’re in a foreign country but a girls gotta do what she’s gotta do to stay sane. As I traveled the rest of SE Asia I was forced out of the routine and struggled. I couldn’t run every day, I couldn’t control my food intake, (yes this is part of the adventure, but for weeks on end this becomes stressful).  Being out of your comfort zone is great, but I think we can all agree that it’s hard.

           

I’ve been here in Deep Creek, MD for about three weeks now. I have a job, I’m training, and I’m helping coordinate a race. If I work at 10am, I get up at 6am and get to the pool, gym, trails…etc. if I work late I sleep a bit later and push my training forward a bit. I’m routine. The check in people at the pool recognize me, the gym people know me by name, the friend I live with knows what I like to eat—hell, he made a pot of coffee before I even got up this morning, (best surprise EVER)

 

But the question I’m started to ask is, is routine productive? Or is routine like running on a treadmill, not moving forward, but just getting really tired and bored (boring)? I try to set goals. In fact a friend of mine and I both have made a goal list: he is getting out there. Hitting the gay bar scene, getting out of his safe circle, pushing his limits and making himself uncomfortable. I’m…reading more. Thinking about writing more (and failing,) training (but obsessing,) and…that’s about it. I’m having a hard time identifying what I want.

 

If routine is comfortable but works do you stick in it? How often should you stray? When do you throw your hands up and fly across the world again due to not knowing?

 

Penang Island, Malaysia--the World

Penang Island, Malaysia–the World

 

Cut Me a Piece of Pai

As I’ve begun this trip, I’m finding myself saying that this is not a trip, a vacation or a holiday. I am traveling. Someone who is on a vacation is packing in, planning their days, making lists and getting things done; someone who is traveling is observing, they are relaxing and being somewhere.

Last week I found my way up to Pai, Thailand. I arrived in awe of the mountains, ready to tour the wats and hike the trails bathe in a waterfall and soak in the hot springs. Tuesday night I settled into my bungalow about to walk the town and taste one of the meals I had heard about from the amazing restaurants that were recommended in my travel books. Instead, on my way to town the bungalow owners stopped me and handed me a beer and a bag of bugs: “here, you do this,” he showed me how to pull the wings and legs off, “we will fry, it is cicada season! Cheap, delicious, aroi.

The night continued from there. We had a family dinner at the Family Huts Bungalow and this is how my three nights turned into four, this is how I slowed down and decided that sitting at a coffee shop called The Good Life talking about life, energy, the past and future was more important than touring the mountains.

Don’t get me wrong, I got up each morning and went for a quick run before the sun got too hot, I did a yoga practice or two on the porch of my bungalow, I drank fruit lassis, I added spirulina algae to my beet and carrot juice, I drank wheat grass and got my ass kicked at Muay Thai.  I sat and wrote. I people watched. I talked and listened with new friends, I drank beers under the moon at a bar where we lounged in hammocks and listened to bad cover music. I also went to bed at 9pm.

My slice of Pai has kicked off this travel right. It was hard to leave but I was afraid that if I didn’t I wouldn’t have left. There’s so much to observe and I have a feeling I’m going to see less but experience more.

Pai love

Pai love