Going to be a different post today. I just finished watching “Hell on Wheels”, and it got to do a lot of thinking. What makes a person have so much drive to do such an endeavor as build the Trans-Pacific Railroad? What makes people pack up and travel halfway around the world like the Irish and the Chinese did. Was it due to the sickening poverty and war or was it is a lust for adventure?
Before my foray into Thailand, I had a decent job, worked in many areas for a multinational company and was a valued employee. I had traveled, but indeed, I will not class myself as well-traveled as I never spent more than two years in one country and I never could say I got to be a local in any of these areas.
Now, this is where many of you may disagree, but I do have a valid point here. Air travel now makes any person a ‘traveler’. I know people that have done 53 countries, yet when I ask them about language, culture, customs, and even foods, they could not give me a firm answer on any of this as that is all these people have done. They just traveled through a region in some cases just for a matter of hours but never got to see the whole nine yards of the area. Yes, they may be well-traveled, but they are happy to get to go home within a few weeks to the oohs and ahhs of friends that say, “They visited Europe this summer!”
Air travel has made this possible now. Go back to the mid 18000’s; it was jumping on a ship, risk your life with an ocean crossing and then finds you in a new land with the only prospect of finding work or dying as a pauper in an unnamed ditch. I think somethings indeed have changed, but the human spirit of wanting to do something different for a certain few people, do remain. Most people are happy to stay in their home country and live out an ordinary life. Some others travel only on holidays and then there are people that just on a whim, pack up and move to an entirely different country as I do believe, they still have some of that pioneering spirit left in them.
Most of the people that I have met in Chiang Mai have moved due to a few reasons; one of them, just like the Chinese and the Irish on “Hell on Wheels”, it was a lack of funds. Or it was the realization they could live an easier life here for a lot less or that they had a chance to start all over again. You do not pack up and leave just for no reason and like most who have moved, they had a reason.
My reason was a broken marriage, an illness I cannot understand and the fact I do have a wild and free spirit. I was never really that happy in my life if I was not doing something cutting edge. I cannot see the grass grow too long in one place. For others that are my friends or I know on a social basis, just about everyone has had a reason to come to Thailand. Mostly it is not about the dark side of Thailand but more about they are looking for something that can make them happy. I gather many of the Chinese that lived and died on the Trans-Pacific Railroad worked to bring a better life for those back in China.
We are all working for something and striving to get ahead or just to be happier. You’re not going to find happiness if you do not have something to strive forward too. That’s what I have found but whatever pioneering spirit is left in me, I want to share it with Fhon, and I am sure Asia is big enough to find out a share of happiness for us.
I am certain the pioneering spirit is left in us. Sure, the internet has sucked out a lot of our want and need to see what is over the next hill, but I am certain, nothing beats the fresh air of a mountain while riding your motorcycle over the next hill, just to see what is there. Nothing or no internet program is going to take that fact away that you cannot take away the spirit of human emotion and that is what makes us tick.