Oh, and happy 6 months in Asia to me! So much time has passed. Unbelievable. I see how living here has informed & changed my vision of how I want to live. I've been subconsciously picking up & integrating different philosophies & cultures like ikigai, Singaporean family values, the silliness & openness of singing anywhere. I love traveling & it's helped me learn to respect & appreciate the differences & idiosyncrasies of cultures. There are some traditions I disapprove of, like the mahouts breaking in a baby elephant with violence, but I also discovered and then worked for its beautiful alternative at the Elephant Nature Park. I've seen the filthy slums of India & the Philippines and the neat & tidy streets of Singapore & Japan; countries run by communism or intensely corrupt politicians where the people feel helpless about their own presidential election; locals who are willing to walk outside of their storefronts to point you in the right direction to those who won't even look you in the eye as they pass. I've been with strangers & friends, family and family I've never even met before, 4 generations of love. I've been in a long distance relationship & single & all the gray area in between.
These past 6 months carry significant changes, and I'm grateful for how it's helped me grow. One key point I learned about myself, that I didn't know before, is I can't say no to this lifestyle. I can't not travel & live out of a backpack for months at a time. I can't not get lost in a city where people sound like melodies as a result of language barriers. I can't not fill up a sketchbook with thoughts & scenes, connect with wanderlusters who feel like my best friends within 5 minutes of meeting.
That said, I'm ready to come home. It's been a year since I've had my own space, and as a Cancer, that's obscene!! Seeing the messy animation offices in the Ghibli Museum was the tipping point. I miss all my toys and ridiculous number of art books, animation posters (which includes Ratatouille, Spirited Away, Incredibles, Howl's Moving Castle & my favorite: the "For The Birds" poster I got at Pixar... jealous??? :). I've been dreading coming home out of fear I'd be unable to find the same sense of adventure of being in another country. Then I realized that my room, if it was a mess & jumble of artistic inspiration and kiddie fun, could hold all the adventure & imagination I'd ever need. So here's to coming home, working, and being able to hug my friends & add to that growing list of memories I'll turn to for the next time I find myself away from home.