2014 year of wandering

Happiness only real when shared ~Christopher McCandless

There are several passages heavily underlined in my now bloated journal. This is the latest one.

The year in general

People cannot believe whom I’ve become. Nor can I. Yet here I am, the vagabond, wayward son, mysterious stranger, Lonestar. I’ve become that rugged experienced adventurer in the movies and have done all the wild things and more. People listen to my stories and only remembers the exciting parts. The real story exist in the 80% of the time I am stuck somewhere. This 80% is the real thing, the growth. Traveling is my most selfish present for myself, the conversations and my own experiences on walking the path are my present to the people I encounter.

My parents had a lot of reservations about my travels. It is weird and shameful in asia to be at my age and without a job nor stable family. But I think over time, my dad have started to be proud of me and showed off my travels to others. My mom have stopped worrying about me because I’ve showed her that there is not much to be worried about.

I think, in some ways, my friends are also proud that they know someone who is doing this. All these, originated from my own desire to do something I’ve always wanted with no regards to what others want of me. Because I dared.

There have been several times in the wild where my eyes water up because of the beauty I was seeing. It can be from things as simple as my lonesome shadow on the tundra to crossing path with animals in their natural environment. Being alone and in the cold, with only the sound of my breathing as company. Being alone is no longer scary or something to escape. It became a beautiful existence that is getting rarer as the world gets more crowded. I can only imagine a world just a few centuries before when this is the norm.

This year’s review will be very heavy on the enlightenment section.


There has been several instances where people commented on some fact I stated as enlightening for them. I have become a net generator of original thoughts over the course of the travel. Some of these are very private conclusion that I reached and to some might sound crazy. But you really have to see the world and you will understand that in some places. This is the norm.

Mantle of Leadership

On the bus ride to Ottawa, I made the decision to be a leader. There were several instances in my past where people looked at me for leadership and I refused. The consequences of refusing to take up the responsibility is swift. I didn’t want to do the things I will have to do if I became a leader. I didn’t think that people will be better off by following me. I cried because I realize that I want to be a leader and that I will have to do these things that I do not agree with. But today, I’ve grown enough that I believe people’s lives will be better off if they decide to follow me.

Travelling is the great nullifier of sorrows

Everything fades away to nothingness with time. So you might as well do that while travelling.

I want Pariston to take over

Pariston is my enthusiastic CEO personality. In one of the delusional periods induced by a bad flu while on the road I wrote this down in my journal. I wanted the life it promises.

I feel more comfortable amongst the homeless and scumbags

… than I do amongst the wealthy elites.


I only want to help people who are in my inner circle and those who are similar to me. I am not an infinite resource.

Bend the rules but do not break them

This has more to do with my own sense of righteousness. When I know I am in the right, I can move heaven and earth. It is a psychological matter.


I’ve lost that youthful feeling of invincibility. The pride that I can make it by myself. I almost admitted defeat and conformed to an arranged life. Somehow I found that pride again. Even though pride is usually harmful, I’ve decided to embrace it for this matter.


It will be an image that I am going to build carefully now so I can attract talent. The outcome of an event depends a lot on your desirability in the socio economic status. I was contemplating why some asians gets called Chinese while some gets recognized as European. The conclusion is packaging. Styling and behavior.

Admit I am not a hero

I am not the hero of a story. Nor some gold to be discovered. I need marketing.

Stop rejecting my own kind

I purposely avoided asians at the beginning of my trip. I realized that it was because I was a snobby backpacker who don’t like newbies. I later opened my mind and created great friendships. One guy I met felt so much like me and realized so many of the same lessons that I realized I am not unique.

The Question

It’s been approximately a year since I left. I do not recall the exact time anymore. Back then, I just felt that there is some discrepancy in my life and I need to travel to find something. Year began as an adventure and as it progressed 4 months in, it became a question. ” There was a question that I need answered, but I know neither the question nor the answer.”

Several false questions showed up, but I gained knowledge from them.

The first one was why I went to Norway as my first destination in Europe after Southeast Asia. I needed to clarify where we stand with each other so that I can plan the rest of the trip with or without her in mind. It’d be a waste of time and emotions to dwell on a person. I’ve stopped dragging on with important decisions. Give myself time, but set a date to make a decision, then move on.

Europeans cares much more about race than Americans. After being asked so many time about where I was born after telling people I am Canadian. I thought about whether or not I am Canadian or Taiwanese. I decided that I am Canadian.

From the conversations I’ve had. Everyone loves everyone or hates everyone. My conclusion is to just Pick a side and believe.

The real question came to me during the intense 12 day meditation at a Vipassana center in Dumbrava de sus in Romania (near Brad). I spent several days going through my whole life and had ran out of things to contemplate when it dawned on me: “Am I who I think I am.” There is a discrepancy between this character and the actual reality. The problem is how to see myself from a reality based view.

People think I am 25

Not self deceit, not to make me feel good. Data after asking hundreds of people this question. I got a bit insulted when someone replied 18.

It make sense as my own emotional growth stopped for a while due to immigration. Frozen in time because I didn’t have many people to interact with. Still, I need to take this fact into account now that I’ve confirmed it. First impressions count. It helps in some way and hurts in others.

Will stop wandering

I’ve met a few perma travelers that have been on the road between 3 to 8 years. At first when I first started travelling, they feel weird and creepy with this overly nice personality that borderlines on desperation. Or they are very quiet to the point of fearful.

As I travel longer and crossed over to the 1 year mark. I understood them more and they open up to me more as they sense the non judgemental attitude I have towards them. When travelling is a lifestyle it is different. There laundry, money, lodging and plenty of other things to worry about just like a normal life. The 50 year old traveler who’s been on the road for 20 is still a weirdo to me.

The conclusion I’ve drawn from this, is that I will eventually stop.

To keep travelling

Once I found the questions, it felt like I’ve completed my journey. Then I watched the movie “Into the wild”. A passage Christopher wrote as he starved to death really ringed true to me: “Happiness real only when shared“. It felt like I would not be able to understand the full extend of this message if the past year of travel did not happen. Since then, I’ve been travelling to learn the lessons that life wanted to teach me. I had to resolve all my issues first before I am ready to become a student.

Happiness real, only when shared

The lesson that life wants me to learn once I’ve figured out all my issues and opened my mind to new inputs. It has also led me to overcome one of my asian traits that I used to think was a good quality. Money should not be saved, but used for experiences. These experiences create bonds and the bonds create a different form of wealth that cannot be traded or stored in the form of money.

Some people feel like they do not deserve love

The second lesson life taught me when I am ready to receive

When you forgive you love

A reflection of the relationship between me and my father.


The year started with a bang because in the beginning, I was hopeful. But the situation followed my emotional love life and went downhill from there. Seeing how the performance is based on my mood, I’d say that it is a pretty good representation.

I think about it less and less. It has become less important, but it is there as a basis of my strength. At anytime, I have the option of accessing it to say “Fuck you” to someone who is abusing their own status too much. But just the fact that it is there, gave me enough confidence that I do not need to use it at all. It is not a fact I announce to people though as I remember clearly the lesson during the 2009 financial collapse when Hank Paulson announced their “Bazooka” saying just having it will prevent the market from sliding and ended up being forced to use it.


Ylva dominated this year. I wonder if I am remaking my previous mistakes and wanting someone unreachable. At the same time I am thinking whether or not it is because I have not gone all in chasing after her. Norway being the most expensive country doesn’t help either. I imagined that if Ylva is German, I wouldn’t hesitate to move there at all as living cost there is normal. Then again, i don’t think I will be able to find a German with Ylva’s personality.

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