I think I thought I’d feel different coming to other countries but I’m finding my habit is to immediately find similarities with the landscapes and the people once I enter somewhere new. Which technically right now is always. I think that’s human though to immediately grasp for something comfortable. I’m glad these days for having become a bit of a loner in the later years of high school. I think that taught me to be alone very quickly and at an age where it’s definitely not cool to be alone. In a cafeteria. In a restaurant . In a classroom. Anywhere really. But now it’s like this ” oh you go girl ” thing which I appreciate but maybe this insight or support would’ve been sweet when I was younger as well. More on that maybe another time. In Asia it was nearly impossible (besides ordering Pina Coladas and grilled chicken) to quickly apply my frameworks from home and understand their lifestyle. I think that’s what was so fascinating and so apparent. Such a different look physically to the people compared to myself and home. Howevwr now in contrast to Europe, the style of clothing in Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand is very on par with how I prefer to dress. Cottons that are oversized and more focused on cute shapes, not the body that’s underneath. Also, there was so much wildness when it came to transportation whether it was by moped, taxi, tuk tuk, train or even just walking. There were so many beautiful colors and organized chaos. I believe that if you put the same volume of people along with the lack of rules and clearly defined lines and regulation in a U.S. city -we would have shot each other with the guns we demand be allowed to be under our seats or on our hip. So many sounds and smells and food just out and openly available. Everything cooked right there in front of you over fire or boiling water, not heat lamps or being brought out from the back. Asian was amazing and remarkably different.
Here in Europe it’s way more familiar. I was stuck in a self pity mode landing in Montenegro until our decent began and the rivers and mountain ridge lines showed through the clouds and then I couldn’t stop smiling and feeling eager. Then the coastline and the sapphire ocean. Oh man. This is what heals you, I believe. When you can feel love toward the beauty of the earth. It’s better than a painting although I won’t say it’s better than music. It’s stunning to see land that’s been shaped by weather rather than a cityscape made by humans even thought it’s grass, trees and water just like at home. But Montenegro. Mama Mia. So pretty but again my mind starts shuffling when I’m being driven through town from the airport to my hostel and I’m thinking “This looks like Colorado, this looks like Montana.” No girlfriend, it looks like Montenegro and that water’s too damn pretty.
The people are very familiar seeming and kind though direct. They’re not dressed in pastels and beige with white linen pants and fedoras as I was imagining. Still the femininity and masculinity carrying over from Serbia but a little less sexy. I think living close to the water does that to people. Either way, solo traveling here is feeling great and I have again met some really great people. So far, all men who just talk about all the things I love. Politics, economics, psychology, sociology, power structures and how our world is changing. All the while I’m coming to realize Eastern Europeans and Russians are not these Dracula Mafiosos I had doctored up in my head. I’m also catching myself trying not to interrupt, trying to be polite or an adult. This has been wonderful for a first night.