YK’s 365 Release: Day 44

When I treat people, I prefer to give things that are cursory, perishable, and fleeting: tickets to performances, food, activities, trips, experiences. Things that can’t necessarily be held onto. I do this because these are the things I enjoy most, and I bask in the present moment, always.

The few times I have given material goods have been because I created them myself, or I salvaged something and restored it. (This 365 Release has been about releasing physical objects, but I am not emphasizing the giving portion for this practice, I am being mindful of the letting go part, so it’s been an entirely different experience altogether.)

I enjoy ephemeral things because they force you to experience them in that moment, with nothing to remind you but memories. Nothing to store in the closet, nothing to place on a shelf to accumulate dust. Only the experience in your mind remains. A memory of how a dancer glided across a stage, the singularly crystal clear note of a singer, the savory experience of an oyster in your throat, the way your breath stopped upon seeing a snow-capped mountain peak. Those are all experiences that are only in that moment, nothing to hold onto. I like this. I like not holding onto anything.

Some days I want to own absolutely nothing. Or as the graduate student adage goes, “only the shirt on my back and a toothbrush.”

I know from my cross-country bike trip that I can be completely blissful with literally one change of clothing and the freedom to go wherever I please. I know from years of moving around the world that I am adaptable and adventurous. I also know I thrive on creating community wherever I am. I want to travel throughout my life, never feel complacent or immobile. I have also learned that I am resourceful, with portable skills, and can travel to places with not even a coin to spend.

I love traveling alone, but also realize being part of a community has grown important to me. Brooklyn is the first place I have experienced sprouting roots in the long term. Ideally I could travel with friends, staying in places for years at a time, throughout lands. Realistically, my friends say they want to go, but often cannot because of work restrictions, schedule commitments and other real-life events.

So in my head, I am always looking for a travel companion, someone who travels like myself. Someone who can go wherever the moment carries the wind, someone who is willing to try new foods, roads and sceneries. Someone who can strike up conversations with strangers and make friends instantaneously. Someone who doesn’t mind not knowing where we are and is open to exploring off the grid. Someone who enjoys silence and solitude and can find it while being in silent and solitary company. Someone who is intelligent about being in different cultures and situations. Someone with street smarts and country smarts. After years of traveling, I am these things. I guess I want to carry a piece of home with me wherever I go, and since my home has always been my chosen family, it makes sense that I would seek a travel companion.

Until that position is filled, I will happily continue traveling on my own, as I have my entire life. I feel the unassailable pull lately, stronger than ever, to wander this vast globe and I can feel with this 365 Release, it is getting easier daily to give everything I own away save the shirt on my back and a toothbrush.

Today on Day 44 of my 365 Release, I am giving away a crate of maps to a future travel companion, who I will recognize one day soon, because I have put it out there in the universe. I have a prodigious arsenal of maps, because wherever I travel, I acquire maps, study them and notate them to memory so that I can walk around and enjoy the land without ever getting completely lost, but with the option to wander wherever my heart takes me.


[I created the 365 Release Project to practice non-attachment, letting go and change by giving away 1 thing a day for 1 year. The background, vision and guidelines to the 365 RELEASE project are here. The running list of everything I have released is here.]

5 responses to “YK’s 365 Release: Day 44”

  1. Io says:

    I so loved this article. You explained how I feel so completely. I am one of those people who is unattached, save my life partner. I am a free spirit, like the wind. I am 31, educated, and went back to school online for a second Masters degree out of sheer bordem and love for education. I am planning a trip to Chile. I am planning on staying for 8 months, maybe longer. I feel like I have a passport and it is my ticket all over this world. My family many times do not understand the wanderlust that overtakes me to travel. I guess I don’t either, only that it is compelling and forceful, and I submit to it willingly. I don’t mean to blog within your blog, only to express what your article brought out of me. Maybe I will share this on my own bloga;0

  2. YK Hong says:

    thank you so much for sharing and i wish you many wonderful travels!

  3. nicole says:

    🙂 where do we send in applications for your future travel companion position? I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this blog thus far and would like to extend an open invitation to visit India for various “in the moment” explorations, definitely off the typical tourist path.

  4. […] Day 44 (10/21/10): crate of maps [habit] […]

  5. […] have traveled extensively my entire life (see Day 44) since I was a baby, so I’ve accumulated a colossal keychain collection. At least one […]

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