The Journey of the Cat

“… there we understood that our vocation, was to move for eternity along the roads and seas of the world. Always curious, looking into everything that came before our eyes, sniffing out each corner but only faintly – not setting down roots in any land or staying long enough to see the substratum of things; the outer limits would suffice.”

Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries

That one time, we decided to do backpacking together to Myanmar. She’s always curious in what I love to do: to go to the road less traveled. To lost in thought and to literally lost in a strange place, to rely on luck and gut feeling to survive. To count on the kindness of stranger, to see the other side of the world.

She was surprised. The journey was hard and uncertain, the bed was cold and the food was odd. She felt unsafe, she felt insecure. All the walk and talk and long bus ride from town to town made her exhausted, the cheerful eyes starting to change into bitter ones. One time in Bagan, after the weirdest food she’s ever had in her life, she even got sick. In her weakest condition she was forced to do long trip journey in a bus, because we had to catch on to Yangon.

She was having fun. In all the uncertainty she found the thrill of adventure, the willingness to dive headfirst into the eye of the storm and to see what’s next, to believe and have faith in ourselves that whatever happens, we were strong enough and smart enough to face it. She smiled, after she fell off her bike in Nyaung Shwe and there were locals helping her. She said it made her believe that there are still many good people in this world. She found her new favorite food she never knew before; one time it’s local Mandalay cuisine, other time it’s a noodle that reminded her of food back home.

She even made new friends. She’s always able to connect to people more than I ever could. She got this mysterious charm that makes people like her, even with the people who lived on the other side of the planet.

She told me that she’s understand now, to that certain kind of feeling. To open wide our eyes and to catch a glimpse of light from a star, star that we always missed to look back at home where the city light was bright and all the movements and changes restrict us even to raise our head and look up to the sky. A star that guides us in the darkness but often forgotten in the luxury of the bright lit night sky, replaced by lamps and billboards and traffic lights.

And by then, we understood our vocation…

bagan - myanmar

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