08 Dec Poverty vs. Prosperity
This place is a dump. No hot water, bugs in my bed and a small jump on my part might bring the entire bungalow to the ground. I’m not happy. I… have be dooped.
There are a few things I have been working on lately. The first is getting out of my head and FEELING more. The second is letting go of my poverty mentality. Both of these are about to be tested and the test results arn’t looking good.
As I got off the ferry from Ao Nang Thailand to Koh Lanta Thailand, the only words to describe the situation at the pier are mass and hysteria. Think of the craziest, busiest market in India and cross-pollinate it with a bad day on the floor of the Stock Exchange. I see a sign for motorbike rental and feel I need to go there. But I don’t. I walk throughthe craziness, take a deep breath and head back in. Again, that little voice, that FEELING… “Go to the motorbikes. You can rent one and then look for a guesthouse and then you just return the bike here at the ferry when you come back Friday to get back on the ferry.” Perfectly logical, but my mind jumps in and argues, “You’re gonna pay more here. They are gonna rip you off.”
Mind/Ego wins. Logic and Feelings… sorry boys. I don’t even bother to ask how much a motorbike costs. I go up to a group of girls from Spain and ask if I can share a cab with them since they are heading kind of in the direction I think I might want to go in. Are you following this? Do you see what I just did? I didn’t so when they said they had a taxi sent from their hotel and the taxi dude jumped on me to book a room there, I was easy prey.
So here I am. Standing in the middle of a crappy, run down, dirty bungalow that is costing me 500 baht a night, or roughly 17 US dollars. I can hear my Mother telling me to go straight to the Hilton and my Ex giving me the Look. The Look is something I got from him many times over our 3 year friendship, usually when I started dating someone he didn’t approve of (which was pretty much everyone) or took them back after the 20th time they hurt me, or when I was being stupid with my money. Sadly he didn’t give me that look when I started dating him or when I took him back, but that’s a whole different topic. Don’t worry, I’m sure we will get to it.
At this moment, I was getting the look, from a million miles away and I knew exactly what he meant. The greatest thing I took away from that relationship was the understanding that sometimes it is worth the money to throw something away if you are not enjoying it. What’s the point of forcing yourself to use, do, experience something you aren’t enjoying just because you paid for it. We blew a lot of money on bad wine and food using this method. But we never regretted “wasting” the money and getting something we enjoyed.
And that got me to thinking about why I was so unhappy with this place. I have spent nights in worse so what was my problem? My problem was 2 fold.
1. I was paying for this. A lot.
2. I didn’t like the people running it.
I have stayed in friend’s homes in India that were worse than this. Happily, I might add. If I love you, I’ll do just about anything for you, go any where with you and give anything to you. But I really dislike the people who run this joint. They are miserable humans and I want to take myself and my money as far away as possible.
As I sat in my room, grumpy because I was still there (who’s fault was that? ), I got to thinking. I was stewing and I knew it, ruining my own evening. Just how long did I plan on doing this? My Mother and my Ex were both still giving me the stink eye from New York and San Francisco respectively and now I was beginning to give it to myself as well. What about these Peeps was so aggrivating to me? When you get triggered it is because you recognize something within yourself, so what was it?
I hate tourists.
Like, I really hate tourists. I grew up in a town with tourists all summer from NYC and then moved to NYC where I dealt with tourists from everywhere all the time, onto San Francisco where the tourists are cold and grumpy, to Hawaii where the tourists are selfish and wasteful. Have I mentioned that I really don’t like tourists?
I was looking at my own hatred, pointed back towards me and all I could think was, “You picked this life, deal Lady.”
Oh man. I hate myself.
I hate being a tourist, always have. I have most likely missed a lot of really cool stuff simply because I refused to be “that tourist” asking “that question”. I’d rather miss it all than be that. My ego just won’t allow it. This is a part of my poverty mentality. I would rather be poor in an experience than look foolish or like I wasn’t from some place (or like I might be a rich tourist). My looking like I’m from everywhere does not help this. I actually think I’m from where ever I am and I’m beginning to think that might not always be a good thing.
The next morning I go out and get a new guesthouse with twice as much space for less money, clean, with a family I really like. I’m happy and the old guesthouse only curses me a few times as they give me my money back, despite their no refund policy.
A few days later I find myself on the beach after doing my finances and realizing I am almost over budget this month. Singapore and Malaysia were far pricier than I had anticipated. I had also expected the South of Thailand to be only slightly more expensive than I remembered the North to be; not 5 times more expensive.
I want a smoothie but I’m arguing with myself as to whether it is reasonable or responsible to spend 50 baht ($1.70 USD) on another smoothie. I’m at the beach, it is beautiful and everyone around me is blowing cash, so excited because it is cheap. True, it is cheaper that “reality” but they are on vacation. I’m on life. I have to remember this and choose wisely where I put my money. But I also need to stop worrying. It is my constant struggle between Prosperity and Poverty. Finding the middle ground is going to be one of my biggest challenges along with trusting what FEELS right and what FEELS not so right.
Worrying about money doesn’t feel good.
Smoothies feel pretty darn good…
This will be a main theme as I wander through the world over the next 18-24 months. How can I ask for what I need? I tend to feel like a burden when I ask for help. I would give someone I love everything and then starve before I would ask them for anything in return. I always open my home to others, so why is it so hard for me to ask for the same in return. And an even bigger of a question, why can’t I do it without the GUILT?
So here I am.
I have sold everything I own to make this journey. My vision is to visit all 7 continents and visit all the people I love as well a few places and people I would like to fall in love with. If you know me and live outside the US, chances are you might get a knock on the door and open it to see my smiling face.
Please let me in.
If you don’t know me but have a place for me to rest or know someone who has extra space for me, I ask for your help in making my vision a reality. In return, I offer you my smile, my laugher, my gratitude and some really tasty cooking!