Little Joys Ch.78: Coming home and the joy of being alive

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

March 27th, 2020

 

When I first began this journey of writing down a little joy I found each day, one of the most important factors was actually, without fail, doing it daily. The concept was similar to a meditation practice, only the focus was to inspire myself through this mindful remembrance of delightful things, no matter how small, that I experienced each day. This was largely inspired by Ross Gays book of small delights, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Sometimes, especially as I was traveling, life would get in the way and I would not post for a day or two, and I would simply make it up by compiling the two or three days into one post. But I find myself having not written a post for 8 days, and that begs the question of whether I should do another list, and I think it is best to just let that go. It is less important to me to be perfect in this tracking then it is to take joy in the act itself of writing about joy, and not be stressing about perfection.

So to celebrate 8 days of absence, I will write quite a long post today.

I find myself now, after nearly 10 months on the road traveling, back in Canada. It was a long and exhausting journey, a journey that was filled with many, many little joys, but also lots of irritations. One of the greatest things we can learn with travel is what we really need in life to be content, and I realize that although I love to travel and will do so again, that I much prefer routine and staying in one spot then running all over non stop. travel vlogs which rely on people watching them to make money paint a rosy picture of travel that is only partially true and ignores all the stress and hardship of being in new locations, especially when traveling for significant periods of time. There are, of course, tons of benefits and wonders to travel. The people you meet, the beautiful places you get to see, the things you learn about cultures around the world, these all help to shift and expand your perceptions and become, hopefully, a better human being who is able to appreciate the simple beauty of life.

I consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to travel multiple times, and this journey has led me to foray into online work, which will allow me to travel even more freely in the future. That same online work will allow me to weather this economic upheaval brought on by the corona virus much better than many people, and I am very grateful that I have gotten this opportunity to put my writing skills to use that will keep me afloat.

After 3 days, 3 planes, and 3 cities, totaling over 20 hours of flight time, I found myself touching down safely in Toronto airport. I was dead tired, and had not managed to sleep in over 30 hours, I then had to take a rental car and, isolating myself as much as possible, drive 6 hours to Montreal where my parents live, and simply park my car at 3 in the morning in my Fathers driveway, and try to get an hour or two of sleep until I could get some supplies from him and go self-isolate up at a cottage in the north for two weeks. On arriving there, I was delighted to be surrounded by beautiful nature, and a large cottage to keep myself from going stir crazy after such a large transition from freedom in Asia and sun to the cold of winter and isolation in Canada. Unfortunately, due to unfortunate circumstances, I was forced to leave the cottage the very next day, and now find myself in an airbnb here in the city, which although not as beautiful or as liberating as the cottage out in nature was, is still nice and I am grateful to have a comfortable place to wait out my two week sentence.

There is joy mixed into all that mess of a few days, and I am functioning a little better today after so little sleep.

Although coming home is very difficult, especially with corona rearing its head, I am very grateful to be safe and symptom free, with a family that took a lot of time to help me transition more easily here, and friends who are all welcoming me back. I tend to be a very pessimistic person in general, but I can honestly say that this trip has taught me to appreciate life and all the little things greatly, and I hope to continue to share my perceptions with everyone and bring some more inspiration to the world through my writing and work.

Thanks to all who read and listen to my ramblings.

As always, stay healthy and let your geek freak fly.

Little Joys Ch.75-76-77: Sex, Corona virus, community effort and fear control

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

March 16th, 2020

One of the more amusing facets of being in Thailand is that sex, although still quite closeted between Thai people themselves, is so openly marketed and sold to foreigners. I found myself enjoying a hilarious moment while I myself was getting a massage. Another foreigner had come in with a masseuse and we could clearly here them bargaining on what sexual favors would be exchanged for what price and whether another masseuse would be brought in as well. My therapist and I found the whole thing quite funny, and instead of a zen finish to my session, I instead found myself randomly giggling with a stranger as we both attempted to remain serious in the face of an obvious sexual exchange happening nearby us. There are small joys everywhere these days.

March 17th, 2020

Fear is everywhere these days, and so I find myself comforted by the fact that I remain quite unaffected. Perhaps people will find this statement callous, but I take it as a sign that my travels have instilled in me a greater understanding of what it means to truly be afraid, and of all the really horrifying things that are out there in the world. A big part of our problem in the western world is that we have become so protected from most harms that we overreact to even the smallest of fears in a magnified way. Perhaps it is strange to say, but I take a small quiet joy in my subconscious being under control enough that it does not give in to fear and merely does what it can to stay safe and move on with life.

March 18th, 2020

For many of us, the only real spur to working together with our communities is when tragedy strikes. Natural disasters, sickness, they bring us together and motivate us to work as a team. I happened to witness entire streets being hosed down by trucks, and then the entire community was out there with soap, broom and mop trying to scrub down entire roads and sidewalks as a preventative measure to the spread of corona virus. I am not sure how much scrubbing down the streets will prevent the spread, as it is mainly humans who are doing the spreading, but the positive effects from just coming together and working to help out has many other health improving side effects. It is always a pleasure to see people do what they can to help themselves and others.

As always, stay healthy and let your geek freak fly.

Little Joys Ch.72-73-74: Surviving planes,sunlight, and human Kindness.

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

March 13th, 2020

Taking joy in all the crazy things human do is a must. We have all forgotten how crazy it is that we fly through the air in metal bird like contraptions. After taking over a dozen over the last 9 months, I am well acquainted with how amazing the feat is. But after having taken so many, I am more joyful of being able to say that I have touched down safely after so many flights. As amazing as it is when a plane first lifts off the ground and soars through the sky, it is infinitely more gratifying when those wheels touch down and you realize you safely made it to your destination.

March 14th, 2020

Human beings are some of the most violent, vicious creatures this planet has to offer. But we are also one of the most kind. As I walked the beach here in Phuket, I noticed a group of people around something. As I came closer, I realized a giant jellyfish had washed up on shore. Many people were taking turns to bring water over to it, attempting in the only way they knew how to keep it alive, watering it down and hoping to figure out a way to safely put it back into the water. I am not sure what ended up happening, but it is a comfort to know that we can be kind to even the most strangest of creatures.

March 15th, 2020

Amidst all the fear mongering over the past few years, the sun has gotten a bad rap. People think it causes a whole host of negative ailments to our systems, even though most of the well done science shows that sunlight has hundreds of positive effects on our bodies. Even if we ignore what it is doing to us internally, I think most of us can agree that feeling the suns rays upon our skin, letting the warmth of it seep into us, is blissful. There is a reason we all flock to the beach, hoping to let the ocean and sun intermingle and heal our weary minds and souls. The sun is our Father, just as the Earth is our Mother, and we need them both if we are to survive here.

As always, stay healthy and let your geek freak fly.

 

Little Joys Ch.71: Dog love and human obsession

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

March 12th, 2020

I have always had a bit of a strange relationship with dogs. There is a part of me that takes deep joy in seeing them, playing with them, simply letting their wild excitement infect me and going into a childish play mode.

But as the years have gone by and social media has become infested with peoples kind of creepy obsession with dogs, I have become slightly turned off by them in many instances, but I recognize that it is not the dogs I have an issue with, more so just how people are trying to turn them into human babies.

That being said, from time to time they still manage to catch me off guard and have me smiling from ear to ear, and here in Bali, with its extremely large quantity of wild dogs simply loping around in packs, I have had the chance to see some hilarious dog confrontations. As I walked the beach, two groups of dogs clashed, not in a violent way, but simply play fighting which turned into butt sniffing then into running full pelt into waves only to be thrown back onto the shore, only to resume butt sniffing.

Dogs are some of the strangest, funniest, weirdest, cutest looking creatures we have bred. I don’t think I will ever truly get tired of them, even if humans can be slightly annoying with how they treat them.

May the doggies reign supreme for many centuries to come.

As always, stay healthy and let your geek freak fly!

Little Joys Ch.69-70: The strangeness and beauty of surfing, and perfect lazy days

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

March 10th, 2020

Humans do so many strange things to entertain themselves, some seemingly make no sense, while others, although strange in concept, can be quite beautiful to witness when done at a high level. Being in Bali has led me to see quite a large amount of surfers, most of whom are new to the sport. Balancing on a board while a big wall of water picks you up is a weird idea when you really think of it, but it can be quite delightful to see when done well. Watching someone catch that perfect swell, rise up onto their board and just lock into place, balancing perfectly as they arc and glide across the water, is quite a beautiful moment, the grace of it can really catch you off guard sometimes. It’s always nice to be reminded of how many cool, and weird, things that humans do.

March 11th,2020

Some days, regardless of how much you want to be out there conquering the world, your brain is just not having it. Some days, you just need to rest. Taking the time to just lay back on the couch, or snuggled in bed with your pillow, or a loved one, is sometimes the most joyous thing you can do. Giving yourself permission to just bask in the laziness, maybe with some good food and a show or book you love, can re-energize the brain when it just can’t handle anymore. For me, that was popcorn and Mob Pyscho, what is your perfect lazy day?

 

As always, stay healthy and let your geek freak fly.

Little Joys Ch.66-67-68: Hatred, new ideas, and future gaming happiness

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

March 7th, 2020

It may seem a bit strange to say, but I was struck by the fact that no matter how hard I thought over it, I could not come up with a single example of a thing or person who I hated. So many times in our lives we use the word hate to describe our emotions towards things and people, but the reality is that we don’t actually feel hate, at least not as it is defined in the dictionary. What we mean is that we dislike something or someone, but we don’t sit up at night with a deep feeling of rage towards them, we are not overcome by hatred. Many things simply make us feel uncomfortable, or we don’t enjoy the taste or feeling, whereas only a very rare few things and people can evoke true feelings of hatred in us, and even those can die out over the years. It makes me quite happy to know that I don’t have hate in me as of this moment. Hopefully it stays that way.

March 8th, 2020

Being pushed into new ways of thinking is always beneficial. Even if you do not agree with a methodology, being exposed to different perspectives can always help you to expand your views on your own beliefs. Every once in awhile I find a new source of information that just brings a little spark of joy into my life, someone who is excellent at communicating their ideas and thoughts, and is open minded enough to understand that we are all different. Sometimes it will be a new book, other times a podcast, it varies. For those of you looking to expand your horizons, I would definitely recommend checking out people like Robb Wolf over at the healthy rebellion, and Derek Sivers. Very different speakers and topics, but a refreshing addition to a week.

March 9th, 2020

After almost a year of traveling, my journey is finally coming to its end. In two weeks time I will be heading back home to Canada. It will be strange, and sad, but also filled with happy moments of reuniting with friends and family. One of the things I am looking most forward to, which is bringing me alot of joy, is reuniting with my gaming desktop. I have barely been able to game on my laptop as it simply overheats way too quickly, and it will be so great to be able to get my geek freak on again. I have a line up of games I want to play, and a host of other things such as twitch streaming that I would like to venture into. The future is bright with nerd-0-thons.

 

As always stay healthy, and let your geek freaky fly.

Little Joys Ch.64-65: Seizing the day, and appreciating technology

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

March 5th, 2020

Energy comes and goes for us all. Some days we awaken feeling full of life and love and just ready to tackle the world, and other days the thought of opening our eyes fills us with a dread so profound that death seems the simpler task. I found myself filled with hope and energy on this day, enjoying the outdoors, enjoying my work and writing, just ready to tackle everything. There is joy in these moments, delight at the prospect of creating because of that flood of energy. When it comes, grasp it as hard as you can and just ride the wave, it won’t always be there.

March 6th, 2020

As problematic as technology can be, it brings so much potential into our lives the implications of its impact on the human species is impossible to quantify. I have had a pretty tremulous relationship with phones, as I find so much of peoples time is wasted on them, mine included, yet I still want to find some appreciation and joy in their use. I have gone my whole life without ever breaking a phone, yet after buying a samsung s9 awhile back, the most expensive phone I had ever gotten at the time, I managed to mess it up in every way possible. Cracked camera lens? check. Get it wet and mess up the charging and headphone jack ports? check. Kick it off a hostel top bunk and crack the whole screen? check. And all that near the end of my trip, so great timing. I worked up the energy to do a bunch of research online, I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a phone but also know that buying a modelĀ  that is too old or bad quality model is not logical either. I ended up settling on the google pixel a3, or the samsung s10. Being in Bali, finding a google phone is very difficult, and the prices online brought it to around 600 dollars canadian. I was lucky enough to find a samsung store that had one final floor model of the S10, which usually sells online for new canadian around 900 or more, at 700 bucks. Made the buy, and so far I have to say I am quite happy with the purchase. Much more responsive than my s9, much higher quality camera, lighter phone. The geek in me will always appreciate good tech, even if phones can be problematic pains in the booty. For anyone looking for an older model phone, I would recommend the S10.

As always, stay health and let your geek freak fly.