An Update: Painfully Honest Musings On Losing Friends And Pursuing A Digital Nomad Lifestyle

Sunset from my window The Lilac Road
Watching the sunset from my room

Ever since I have come back from travelling for four months, everything has been different. I remember waking up at 4am in the mornings, staring into the dark in a state of the traveller’s blues, wishing I was boarding a plane, packing a suitcase or being thrown into an entirely foreign and strange city. Anywhere but here, I thought to myself. Fast forward five months later, and I still feel the same, yearning for the day I finally board the airplane in a couple of months to Bangkok to pursue my passion of being a freelance writer and digital nomad.

Since returning, my friendships have disintegrated. The friends I once kept close and tight to me feel foreign and distant now. I talk to them, but all I see are blank faces looking back, faces that say, ‘I love you but I don’t really get you anymore.’ I don’t seem to get them anymore, either. It has been disappointing and crushing. I came to a point a where I just needed to shut the world out and delete all my social media and contact with everyone. There was something about being constantly available all the time and having to reply to conversations I wasn’t interested in having that gave me a sense of anxiety. I felt it was easier to be uncontactable and unreachable than having to ignore and ghost people who talk to me.

I love being alone so much. I could stay in my house for weeks at a time without even so much as a toe out the front door. I’m an introverted homebody through and through, and I enjoy it immensely, but I also know how dangerous it is, especially if I am also feeling depressed. I become like a hermit who hardens herself and remains quiet and content inside her shell. I also become a shit friend. I don’t reply or make an effort or care about the world of others outside of mine. This trait of mine has costed me friendships and connections, but the even more terrible thing is, is the indifference I feel about it. I resent that I don’t care, and oftentimes resent that I’m not extroverted or naturally love being around people.

Piha Beach New Zealand The Lilac Road
When my dear friend Ceci came to Auckland, we decided to go to Piha. This was one of the views on our drive there.

So, what have I been doing in the last few months? I have been reworking, rearranging, tearing up my life and putting it back together again. I am like a crazed artist frantically trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t and starting blank canvases over and over again. I have been working office jobs here and there, saving up money for my move to Thailand at the end of the summer. I have been studying to become an English teacher as I know that it is a skill in high demand anywhere you go in the world. I have been blogging, of course, for my love The Lilac Road, and despite my apparent mission to be the biggest asshole alive, I still love to encourage and empower women from all walks of life from anywhere in the world (and always, always will.) Excitingly enough, I have also begun freelancing as a travel writer and a dear friend of mine (the only friend who has understood me, something I deeply appreciate) hooked me up with an opportunity to write about my travels for a global online fashion magazine – how insanely amazing is that? I will be submitting my first piece for review in a weeks time and hope with all of my heart that they love what they read and will decide to keep me on their team.
Pleasure wise, I have been working out and loving it. It’s been my happy place, and the confidence and strength that follows it is worth its weight in gold. I have spent summery days blissfully reading in the sun on my balcony with a green tea and beautiful music playing in the background. The book I am currently reading now is ‘The Power of Kindness’ by Piero Ferrucci (go figure.) I have also been watching a lot of films, another happy place of mine, and cannot resist the way they whisk you off into their strange, wonderful and bizarre worlds, if only for 120 minutes. Strangely enough, I have had a surge in a desire to be more fashionable and experimental in my appearances. It also is a type of power that can transform your world and the style and grace in which you conquer it. Because, I do want to be wearing heels while kicking ass.
I have also done some more travelling, this time with family, first to Kuala Lumpur, then to Bangkok, and lastly to Singapore. I had never been to KL and Singapore but I enjoyed it, and it was a great feeling being back in one of my favourite cities in the world, Bangkok. It felt right, you know? It confirmed my decision to make Bangkok my home-base as a freelancer.

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Petronas Twin Towers The Lilac Road Jenny Chang
Postcard from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I feel that ever since I made that spontaneous decision to leave everything and travel the world, my entire world has been breaking up beneath my feet. It feels like I’m navigating and moving through quick sand. It’s bewildering, confusing, disheartening, to say the least. High and dry above all of those feelings is a profound sense of solitude and loneliness, a necessary loneliness that I must accept and love to come out on the other side with a greater sense of self and direction.

It is hard walking away from a path that you were taught was normal growing up. It is just as hard walking away from friends that you thought were forever. The life I dream and am pursuing with burning passion is about freedom, creativity, learning & experiencing new things constantly and meeting & surrounding myself with people I admire & want to be like.

Estranged I may be, but my head is high and my shoulders are risen. I am so proud of how far I’ve come and won’t stop now. Life makes sense only in this way for me right now. It is my true north, and where it points, I will always follow.

All images my own