And so it has come to this at last… The end of my days as the Happy Wanderer, travelling the world, seeing its sights, visiting old friends, racking up miles, and just generally doing whatever it is I want in the world.
Next Monday, I start on my full-time job in Singapore, two years and three months after I left my last one, here in Singapore as well. Two years and three months sure sounds longer than it has felt. Frankly, I’m not sure how to feel about this.
On the one hand, I will miss the freedom – my good fortune these couple of years to be able to just pick up and go, without really caring where I will end up next; in fact, not really knowing where I would next be. There was little planning. I could’ve been in 5 different cities within the space of a month, searching for shelter and solace. It was exhilarating and exhausting. I learnt very little, and I learnt enough for a lifetime.
On the other hand, I will relish the stability of a job, and again having income that I have earned myself. Not that I will stop travelling altogether. I still intend to complete my Grand Tour, and I’ve got at least one more New York trip to purge from my system before I’m all set to settle down, at least for now, back home in Singapore.
Home, incidentally, continues to intrigue and haunt me, even as I feel like I’m inexorably drawing closer to understanding and possessing it; or at least, having it grace me and imbue my life with quelque chose d’autre – something more. That “something more” I have learnt to recognise and cherish (and I’ve also expounded on it at length in a previous post).
I only hope that with the new job, I do not sink back into a kind of disillusioned and apathetic torpor, discounting the privilege of being surrounded by family, friends, beloved, apartment, cat and countless other homely things. Not that I didn’t have these before. It’s just that sometimes one needs to distance one’s self from one’s immediate surroundings, to appreciate their being there in the first instance.
It’s like I needed to literally wander relentlessly around the world, more than a few times, before I truly began to see the beauty in the place I started out. It’s a glorious and humbling full circle. Chez moi retrouvé, so to speak – “Home Regained.”
There should be an epic novel written on this, by some latter-day Proust.