The idea of the trip was to take a break from the daily routines and take a step back. Re-evaluate where I am, and where I want to go.
For a very long time, all I wanted was to create values. Programming seems like an easy way to do that. You can quantify values created in many ways, by lines of code, user count, reviews and ratings.
Somewhere along the way, I discovered the world of photography, where I see a completely different way to create value. Feelings and stories, abstract things can have a real value, expressed through the medium of photos. I don’t get a lot of likes on Instagrams, but that doesn’t change my view that I was creating value, at least value according to my standard. I think that is enough.
Then I discovered investing, at the right age, right phase of life. If you know me, you would know that I was very against the idea of using the money to generate money. I thought that it generated no real value. Perhaps that is indeed true. But I also realized investing does have its own value. Companies need money to carry out their research, expansions, and operations. Using “borrowed money” makes it possible in cases where it was impossible otherwise, and faster in cases where it was possible but slow. Investment is like a fuel to development if used correctly. And I am starting to see how childish I was when I was younger. Maybe as I grow older, I will get to understand more and more about this world.
Understanding the world
I love reading the news to keep myself informed on what’s happening around the world. Much of my reading time was spent to think about why something happened. The more I think, the deeper the problem I see. There are so many conflicts in the world, manifested in the forms of documents, tweets, debates, actions. People have so drastically different principles, backgrounds, interpretation of the world and others. Where is this all going? What am I supposed to do with the information I have?
Sometimes I bring up my grand dream of “eliminating information asymmetry” as the solution to all problems. Maybe it is a solution, or maybe it is just a by-product of something else that is easier to achieve and execute. The task seems so insurmountable that I usually just laugh at myself and move on with my daily routines.
I do evaluate myself regularly on how I can improve myself. What kind of hobby should I pursue, what kind of activities should I take part in that is good for me. I do see clearer and clearer that work is just one part of me, my life. I don’t envision myself being trapped in a state where I need to constantly worry about my health, so I have to exercise and keep fit. To make exercising more fun and enjoyable, I usually walk to home from office while thinking about life or playing some random game. I go to the gym whenever I have some free time at night. I know these routines will help me in the long run, so I keep practicing them.
I also make weekend routines. Doing photography at least one afternoon has been my routine since January 2018, it is one of the things that I feel proud of, probably more proud of than the not-so-shiny GitHub profile of me. Times can get tough, where I shoot for one entire afternoon but completely out of inspirations and usable shots. However, I don’t want to give up. I still keep going out every week. Maybe I have hit a bottleneck, and I need to do something different to break it through. Whatever that is, I am sure it is not about upgrading my gears. Maybe more trips and more connections to the communities that I am shooting in would help.
I wanted this trip to be about taking a step back. To think about my life, the world, the journey so far, and I move on. What I found is a scorching sun reminding me to put on sunblock next time I go out at noon, a collection of photos I shot of ordinary people and some weird intertwined thoughts that I can’t pin down exactly.
Maybe that is the purpose of travel after all. Time to listen to one of the favorite songs 旅行的意义。
July 2019, Don Mueang International Airport, Bangkok.