Floating in water clear as glass, palm bordered white sand stretching into the distance on either side of me, I lay back and eye the clouds billowing across the azure skies. I have to remind myself that this is my life now. It’s not a vacation, it’s not just a temporary respite from the grind of a day job. I could literally do this every day if I wanted to.
I am officially a bum. Ha! It’s feels like a delicious victory over a world that wanted anything but this for me. Take that, business suits and corporate job! Take that, mortgage payment! Take that, day care and breast pumps and teething babies! I’m laughing maniacally as I narrowly avoid conventional life’s iron clutches.
But despite my air of triumph, I am completely overwhelmed. I feel the same as I did years ago when I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. When absolutely terrified like that, some people cry, some people poop themselves, some chicken out. While I did have to double check my pants when I landed, all I did was shut down. It was as if someone flipped off the switch to my emotions and I became an apathetic zombie. Now, when trying to wrap my head around the fact that I am a homeless, unemployed gypsy bum, I get so similarly freaked out that my eyes glaze over and I probably look like I want to eat brains.
Suffice it to say I’m still coming to terms with my new lifestyle.
I’ve been easing myself into this trip by first returning to the Philippines for the third time. I love this country and its people, and I have a basic understanding of how it works. It’s comforting. I’ve spent the last four days in Boracay, a place famous for its powdery white sand beaches. If I’m being honest, I’m not a fan of the place, though. Beauty can only get you so far when the beach is overrun with tourists and aggressive salesmen hollering at you every five steps. The beach is also experiencing an algae bloom, so the sand is covered in green moss and swimming is like wading through a murky swamp. But I’m laying in the sun, drinking far too many cocktails, and making the best of it. Today I took a boat trip with some girls to a quiet, perfect beach and the island redeemed itself a bit.
Tomorrow I head to Palawan, a place I’ve been dying to visit for years. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with a friend, island hopping, diving shipwrecks, and enjoying a more peaceful atmosphere.
All things considered, so far so good.