My overseas trip to Laos and Cambodia for three and a half weeks in February was essentially a business trip, but it was also a solo journey, one that I had to welcome along the way. Looking back on my many previous travels abroad — whether I was a tourist for a few weeks, a traveler for a few months, or an expat living abroad for a few years — they all seemed underlined by a seeking, adventuring, or escaping. But not so with this trip.
My focus for Indigo Lion was to meet with current and new artisan producers and weavers; to scout for new handmade products; and to learn more about the handmade sector, the various weaving techniques and natural dye processes.
And in between, when I wasn't engaged in business, I observed, reflected, and was open to the emerging creative ideas that were stirring.
Notes from my journal
“I wonder about this trip. What inner and outer explorations will there be. A world away. Drawn to Laos especially and I don’t know why, but I can just learn and lean into that curiosity, let ideas come, and be open to serendipity.”
“Grateful that I have the health and resilience to do this at 48, the lifestyle and support to make it so, and to feel safe and at ease. Feeling more comfortable in my own skin as the days pass, and being more forgiving and accepting of myself along the way. That helps.”
“Been at this place for dinner for a third time. Tried to wander about and find another place but not very adventuresome. I can travel halfway across the globe for adventure, but wandering around to hunt for food is just too much to handle.”
“Sorta getting used to being solo, the simple routines, life slowing down, leaving much to chance. Can’t plan too much. It’s worked out alright.”
“On days with nothing planned, it’s really slow - no push pull, no expectations, no demands, nothing. Just meandering, following my own rhythm and energy. Deeply quieting. Freeing.”
“Aware of my micro behaviors, my morning and evening routines - simple, organized, tidy, slow, the same. Why is that?”
“Can I be alone? Perhaps this time I can take refuge in the aloneness. Remembering that melancholy girl of my early 20s, searching, searching elsewhere, always abroad. But this time it’s different. There is no searching. There is only trying to see more clearly, to be present fully.
“Perhaps it’s when we are most alone, lonely even, at loose ends and in-between that we are in contact with ourselves most. It’s quieting, humbling, awkward.”