When I hit publish, I never anticipated my most recent post would cause such a controversy.
I want to clarify in case there was any confusion: my post was not an announcement on changes to my trip, my style of travel, or my path in life.
No one forced this journey on me, I chose it. I actively choose it every day. Being dirty in the jungle, sleeping in a dorm, and eating on the street brings me much more joy than an all inclusive resort ever could.
But sometimes it wears on me.
My aim with this blog has always been to write from a place of truth. As much as I love this lifestyle and as blessed as I am to have it, it is, like me, imperfect. It takes courage and sacrifice; anyone who has lived nomadically will tell you that. Not having the comfort of a nice bed, the intimacy of family and friends, and the security of a constant paycheck to name a few.
While you have all been wonderfully supportive, negative responses, particularly hateful emails from a former long time fan, have affected me more than I would like to admit. I have been called entitled, spoiled, fake, two faced, narcissistic, and worse.
I have felt distracted and low.
I have begun to question myself.
Maybe I am entitled. Maybe I am spoiled. Maybe I am narcissistic.
considering how fortunate I am
I have no right
to ever complain
My nomad problems
are first world problems
white girl problems
I should shut up and appreciate all that I have.
I am sitting here typing on my macbook, listening to my iPod, configuring my GoPro, while an entire Indonesian family waits on me.
There are people in this country who can’t even feed their children, meanwhile, I have the privilege to turn down a free meal because it has wheat or msg.
I think I’m roughing it when I take cold showers, yet on Koh Rong many locals do not even have WATER in which to bathe, at times to even DRINK.
In Vietnam I felt slighted and scammed, but my country raped and mutilated their people and completely destroyed their land.
I want so much to understand, to empower, to LOVE everyone that I meet, but instead I capture them in an image, put it on my blog, and let others live vicariously through a fantasy, while the source of my material continues to live in poverty.
While they pick up rubbish in the sweltering heat, carry baskets of fruit on their shoulders, pick rice in the fields, or accommodate spoiled bratty tourists like me, I sit here writing about my struggles, my hopes, and my dreams.
And you know what?
THAT MAKES ME FEEL FUCKING GUILTY.
Why should I deserve to feel sad, uncomfortable, broken, or scared
when even at my poorest I come from one of the richest countries in the world
when even with their flaws my parents are alive, supportive, and love me
when even with food poisoning, motorbike injuries, a cough, a cold, I am young, resilient, and well
when I have my arms, my legs, my sight, and my mind.
When I have the luxury to even ask the questions
“Who am I?”
“What is my path?”
“What do I want?”
Who am I to EVER voice a single concern?
I will tell you who I am.
I AM HUMAN.
And every human life has struggle.
That is how we grow.
Every human life has pain.
That is what gives us compassion.
I may never comprehend the ache of another man or woman’s plight
but by sharing my dreams, my hopes, my fears, and my IMPERFECTIONS
even when they are ugly and people don’t want to look at them
I hope that maybe, sometimes, you might feel a little less alone.
My problems may not be the worst problems
but they are MINE.
These are the consequences of the choices that I have made
and the cards that the universe has dealt me.
Instead of feeling guilty
and comparing my hand to someone elses’
the best that I can do is examine what I’ve got to work with
If you understand and respect that
then you understand and respect me.
If you don’t
here is the good news
you don’t have to ever come back to read.