It seems that I’ve always been running around from one place to another. Instead of making one plan with one friend I always ended up having to magically divide myself up to catch up with all the plans I made with different people.
On a normal day I wanted to do sports, go to the Uni, cook lunch and dinner, eat while reading the newspaper or watching a documentary, read, meditate, study, watch one episode of a series in German, etc. To that I have to add all the party plans and social life. I even pressed things into a day which are totally detrimental for each other like meditating or doing sports and then partying.
I never had time to rest and just sit down and chill. And if I suddenly did I just propped my time full of things I wanted to do. My friends and family have always told me that I’m not good at managing my time because I want to do everything and inevitably can’t make it.
I’ve thought a lot about how many times I’ve read about people who were very happy and didn’t have full agenda.
They spend more time just chilling and living a simple life.
I wanted to try it out. Just see if it’s something that will EVER be possible for me.
So here I am now in the most rural part of Northern Thailand, Mae Hong Son province, on my very first work away volunteering experience. I’m living in a Burmese refugee town which was formed by hill tribe’s people who escaped their country during the military coup d’état and the following bloodshed. These people have not been recognized as refugees until just a few years ago by the Thai Government, making it more difficult to receive aid and citizenship.
The town, in European standards, is a little piece of nothing. The houses are half broken, there are holes everywhere, people live surrounded by all kinds of animals, etc. Everything seems old and dirty and about to fall apart!
But the people just sit down and chill. They are happy.
Yep, this sounds weird to any person from the Western world but the people here just sit down and wait in their miniscule shops while drinking tea and chatting for one or two customers to come by a day which will enable them to buy some food and more tea for tomorrow…aaaand that’s it!
There seems to be no mindset of further time investment and hard effort to make more money to be able to invest more money and then again and again.
People just relax and spend time with their families and animals. The simplest life ever.
So I’m trying to get used to it. Inevitably I’m still finding many things to do that make this difficult but I can say that for the first time in my young adult life I have time to do NOTHING. Just sit down and relax.
It’s a new feeling.
I can’t say I fully like it yet. I need the running around, meeting people and noise. It’s difficult to live in a place where nobody speaks English and you are only surrounded by mountains and lakes (and the Burmese Army. Not very talkative folks.)
I can also learn of the varied Thai/Hill Tribe’s Men diet which consists of rice, rice and rice. And the 3 flavors they use in their dishes: spicy, uber-spicy and magma flavor.
I’d ask everybody who has a nervous hectic life to give this a try. Go somewhere where you are almost alone. Don’t bring your music or phone with you. If you don’t have access to the internet, better. After one or two days you will start to feel comfortable. You will see that actually most of the time you spend on the computer is not necessary and you can chill and be happy with a book.
I’m doing what I wanted. After a meditation retreat and a re-intoxication program in Bangkok I wanted to have time to relax, meditate and see what I want to do with my life. I have a lot of time to think here.
Or at least I do.
-What the hell am I doing here?
-I have to get on with REAL life!
-I need a beer.
-I’m not making any money!
– Damn if I had my mp3 I’d go running for an hour!
-Why the heck am I not drunk partying in Koh Pi Pi?!
-I haven’t seen a woman in weeks. What do girls look like…?
You know. The usual.
But it’s definitely worth the try! You will see how many of those things you deem necessary in your daily life are actually not. You will learn to be more content with yourself. Your internal dialogs will have to substitute all those long hour conversations with your best friend. You’ll find out the meaning of being lonely and at the same time of being content with yourself and your life.
And you will find out what your priorities are. Suddenly you don’t feel like writing for your blog. You just feel like looking the beautiful sunsets over dim lightened rice fields and Swiss lakes surrounded by dark forests.