confused at being confused

When you travel you don’t tend to have too many days that are a blur – unless you spend all afternoon and evening in a bar, of course. Your senses are on red alert because you are trying to take in all the sights, smells and experiences that a new location can give you. Everything is new and exciting. Peoples faces change from country to country or province to province. You just want to remember everything that a place can throw at you and shove it in the memory bank for future reference. Yesterday’s trip back to South East Asia was an odd one. I left the apartment I had been sitting in Sydney in the morning and arrived in Vietnam some fourteen hours later. I caught a bus, a train, took an eight and a half hour flight before jumping in a taxi through rush hour in Ho Chi Minh City. All of it was a bit of a blur. I took hardly anything in as my mind is unsurprisingly a little clouded at present, no doubt bought on by the reasons I mentioned in the previous rather emotive update. I’ve been back on my own again, which gave me and my brain some time to try and digest just what I have been through since leaving Gilly T in Bali prior to the Ashes starting in Brisbane in late November. It has left me asking some pretty big questions to myself.

One of the biggest drawbacks about ‘living the dream’ as so many people quote (including myself after the events in Melbourne) is that you have to eventually come back down to planet earth. I agree that coming to a fascinating new country such as Vietnam isn’t quite the same return to the earth’s surface that a twenty six hour flight back to the UK just to go back to work is, but it’s still a huge come down for me so soon after ‘the best week of my life’ that I gushed about so recently. It’s not that I don’t want to be here, but it’s just not on the same scale as drinking free beer in the VIP section of the Retro Hotel, surrounded by my mates, Loz and Alistair Cook. Yes, that’s right, the bloke that scored three hundreds in five matches and is now held in the same Ashes run scoring regard as Sir Don Bradman and Wally Hammond was stood next to me laughing at my drunken attempts at witty comments made towards anyone who stuttered their request to have a picture with the great man. Which was everyone except Loz, who just told him she was Australian and wanted him to sign her free Barmy Army shirt.

Anyway, I digress. Coming back down to earth has been pretty hard. I kind of knew that I’d feel slightly down about leaving Australia, no doubt finding it strange getting used to having some me time again. It’s stupid, as it’s not as if I don’t have large amounts of experience of doing things alone, but everything seemed to hit me hard yesterday on that rather blurry journey from Sydney. My mind started asking silly questions – Am I happy doing what I am doing? Do I want to fly back to the UK to the same town and the same job? Should I fly home to spend a few weeks with my family instead of visiting another new country that I only chose because I can get an Indian visa here? Should I bin off the Asian part of the trip and go back to Australia to spend more time with Loz? What about the cost issue? What about…..OK, you get the picture. All pretty irrational stuff that I started to forget the moment I got through customs and jumped into that unmarked taxi. Fourteen hours doing nothing but thinking is a long time after the crazy two months I’ve had living in the pockets of others. The mind can play tricks, especially when going from such a high to a low. Luckily my guest house here in Ho Chi Minh is fantastically comfy, so I crashed out knackered within an hour of checking in last night.

I pride myself on staying grounded where possible, so this harsh come down has taken me aback. I’m sure it is still a hangover from the farewells; maybe even watching people go back to the UK to rejoin friends and family has left me sub consciously wanting the same – I can only think that’s what has bought on this crazy notion of questioning everything and anything again, from nowhere. As I said to Loz when I left her, I’ll start coming up with answers when the dust settles in a few weeks. At the moment it’s all a little scrambled, to say the least, which is probably coming across to you! (It certainly is to me reading it back)

There’s no doubt that my mindset has shifted though. I’m no longer worried about getting temporarily lost in a new city any more, or feeling I have to visit a certain location or visit a tourist site because ‘you should do’. I’m more concerned with giving my head some time off to rationally decide what to do over the coming months and years with my life. Writing this certainly helps me clear my mind somewhat, in the same way that chatting to a close friend or family member can do. I wrote at the very start of ‘what is kemp doing’ that this blog may just act as an agony aunt at some point on the trip. It seems that it has found that role recently, big time, in the absence of someone close. I apologise for the lack of funny stories and anecdotes recently, but I’m writing this very much for me at present. Luckily for many they won’t read this as I can’t post it to facebook – Vietnam blocks it. God knows what everyone does here for socialising then…..

In the mean time if I do come up with any grand answers to the many questions I have posed then you will be the first to know!

Postscript – Cricket musings will follow soon, I promise. To lighten the mood, I have attached a few photos of our win in Sydney. Many more on facebook (not that I can see them)


3 Responses to “confused at being confused”

  1. 1 Martin
    January 12, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Sounds like your head is spinning a bit – I’m not surprised! The world’s your oyster young man so make decisions for you and not other people’s expectations. Fantastic pic of you and Mr. Cook.

  2. 2 andy mac
    January 12, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Hi Rich

    Enjoying the blogs still and pleased to get a few more piccies this last one.
    Stay the course matey, you’ve come this far and I think the rest of your ‘personal’ journey will allow you the time to evaluate just what you want from your future.
    The inference of a quite deep ‘holiday romance’ can be quite head-turning, make sure your facing the right way before you make any decisions. I suppose the worst that can happen is you will have to travel out with Expat Andy from now on.
    Take care
    See you soon

  3. 3 Donna
    January 14, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Phew! You is busy on the inside and the outside…!

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