At a cruising altitude of 32,000 feet, a blog is born.

At this moment I’m sitting on an airplane on a flight from Bangkok to Tokyo, the official start of my odyssey back to North America: home.  Next to me, and drifting in and out of sleep, is my beautiful newlywed wife.  We’re on our way back from our honeymoon, an amazing two-week adventure in Thailand mere weeks after over 230 of our friends and family witnessed us take the plunge into matrimony.  Our journey in Thailand has come to an end as we are 10 hours into a voyage home which we estimate will take us over 32 hours to complete.  Despite the daunting task that lay ahead, our ‘oh so worth it’ honeymoon was filled with a lifetime of memories that make any arduous trip home worthwhile.

We ate amazing food, rode an elephant, whitewater rafted, fed monkeys and trekked through the jungle.  We scurried around from destination to destination taking in as much culture and history as we could and yet still found the time to work on our tan and decompress with poolside drinks and massages on the beach.   Oh, of course, we participated in some honeymoon activities that are best not shared on the blogsphere.  It was an amazing setting for a honeymoon, and a great backdrop for the start of our first official chapter in our lives together as man and wife.

“Everywhere you go, there you are” -anonymous

As glamorous as it all sounds, in between all of the Facebook worthy photos at cheesy tourist destinations and beaches that are only travelled to by boat, there is an aspect of any wandering that all adventurers share: travel time.  Every amazing photo of a Big Buddah or palm trees illuminated by a red sunset was accompanied by a travel log of hours spent in the back of taxicabs, busses and vans.  Every traveller knows you have to pay the price.

A byproduct of far to many hours spent in planes, trains and automobiles is the downtime it afforded us to sit back and take in our surroundings.  Quietly I observed and juxtaposed the insane bustle of rush-hour traffic in Bangkok to the tranquil jungle highways of the North and the scenic blue/green waters of the South and everything in between.  The quiet time afforded me the opportunity to do what I seldom have time to do at home: relax, observe and reflect.  It’s amazing where the mind can go, sound-tracked by an iPod playlist and moving pictures that rival any episode of Breaking Bad (kickass show by the way!).

As we travelled between Bhuddist temples and mountaintop viewpoints, I was logging mileage in my mind, searching the nooks and crannies of my soul for some answers.  The last few years of my life have been a whirlwind of experiences both challenging and uplifting.  I’ve seen my 30th birthday, various professional successes and adversities, the purchase of a house, sports injuries, weight loss and weight gain, and of course, the wedding.  The aftermath of these turbulent years have landed me where I am today, and shaped me into the person I am becoming.

“Know thyself”

As legend has it, etched in stone on the infamous Temple of Delphi in Ancient Greece was the maxim ‘know thyself’, a blessing and a warning to all travellers searching for wisdom from Greece’s resident Oracle.  To know thyself is to look inwardly and ask yourself life’s most pertinent questions in an effort to make sense of the life you lead.  My search within accentuated emotions, both blissful and painful.   While many shy away from self-reflection, I welcome it warmly. My thoughts kept reaching in the same directions:

Who am I?

What do I stand for?

What have I done with my life?

Am I happy?

Am I successful?

Am I doing things right?

Am I leading an extraordinary life or have I settled for mediocrity?

I’ve posed these questions several times throughout my life, but with recent events and the natural maturation process of ‘growing up’, I’ve found myself fixated on the questions I feel that I don’t necessarily have the answers to. I’d like to think that I know who I am, what I stand for and what I’ve done with my life, but could I be wrong?  Am I happy?  How do I measure my own success? Am I doing things right?  Thinking inwardly can be both depressing and uplifting.  The mind is a playground and a prison cell and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hours of relative silence, whether laying blissfully on a beach or sitting reflectively in an airplane, like a form of meditation, has a way of bringing out the answers from within. Each answer only serves to create more questions.  Like travelling, it’s the journey and not the destination that is most revealing.  I feel that self-reflection, to ‘know thyself’, is the only true avenue to inner peace.  I may not be there yet, but if I’m looking inwardly, I’m confident I’m on my way.

As we dart through the air on our way home it feels as if my life is at a crossroads.  Although my journey to Thailand is at an end, my journey through life is well underway.  I am happy for the time and the opportunity to think inwardly, and I’m hoping that this blog will serve as a way to continue with this process and connect me to others who may impart me with their life experience and wisdom.  I believe the answers are all around us, hidden in the beauty of nature, in the scriptures of both ancient and modern philosophy, or sleeping next to you on an airplane.  Wisdom is everywhere, and I’m hoping that in time my search will reveal it to me.

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