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Visiting the textile museum in Luang Prabang, Laos

After almost 21 months of travelling, I have come to terms with my new normality. Having travelled through a lot of challenging terrains, I find Southeast Asia boring. No matter where I go, I manage to satisfy my basic needs with ease, and temples and palaces are always like some other place or just a little bit different. Lately, I've been wondering why that is. Am I spoiled? Or is Southeast Asia just not that spectacular?

Two days ago I was standing in front of a breathtaking waterfall, but since tourists populated its shores, the promised magic collapsed like overturned egg whites. The bath was refreshing, I was in good company (Leo & Sebastian from the eins2frei blog), and still, I had no wow-moment, no tingling in the stomach and no bright eyes. I don't see it every day, but I've seen it twice or thrice in recent months. Not up close, it was never warm enough for bathing, but always beautiful and it always invited me to linger.

Kuang Si Waterfall, close to Luang Prabang, Laos

Finding breathtaking landscapes is my normal and I need a vacation. For many out there that may sound funny, because what have I been doing for two years, if not vacationing? If you were standing in front of me, I would start by telling you about the difference between travelling and vacationing. But since you read this, and you thus know me, that's unnecessary. I had no holidays this year, no weekend, no little impromptu breaks. In fact, I have been following the same goal for roughly 690 days. Of course, I had quiet moments, time to reflect and especially around Christmas I had time and space to think in Dehli. It was a bit like a vacation. For me, a holiday looks different now. I dream of a room with a desk, payables, routines and home-cooked meals, to-do lists and spreadsheets, job interviews and emails. However, I need the same out of a vacation as you: a break, the loss of all stress, time to ponder and to make decisions.

Before I can go “on vacation”, I have to travel through five more countries, hang out with my family for two weeks (which brings stresses of its own), with luck find a sailing ship, keep my psyche on a short leash and stay positive. But that means that I probably will not have euphoric, happy experiences. My stories might get boring because not much else happens in my head. My camera is increasingly forgotten because beautiful pictures are created when I feel something beautiful. When I walk through the streets of Luang Prabang, I'm in my normality, not in an exotic setting and thus nothing provokes me to touch the release button.


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