對於發展事業、買車買樓、結婚生子建立家庭這些正當人生目標我一點共鳴也沒有。我每次聽my little airport的《你是浪子，別泊岸》都會哭。我甚至不再相信一生一世，並平靜的接受了某人曾給我的「孤獨一生」的批言。再喜歡的工作也只是為人打工，無法成為人生全部、愛情每是讓人失望心淡、眼見夢想距離自己越來越遠。因此我要離開，找尋我一個人的自由，以及未知當中的種種可能性。就是在這種心態下我拿着十年的積蓄，上路了。而且心裡也知道，離開並不是為了回來。看過外面風光明媚，又如何能夠回到從前。
By the end of each year I find myself more and more indifferent to looking back – perhaps our passion grows weaker when we grow older – in the midst of the currents of the big history, petty personal matters seem to be nothing but young people’s narcissism, not worth mentioning at all. My words cease to appear on my previously well-trodden blog; everyday pettiness along with the bigger miscellaneous fall into time’s abyss before they can be engraved into memory’s gravestone. Still, on this last day of the year, after I have done my laundry, cleaned the house, cleared the memories in my computer and other hardwares and finally sitting down to rest, I feel that I have to calm myself down, think slowly, and write down what happened this year. Even just to leave an evidence for things past. Which is especially significant in this age when history can be rewritten easily any moment.
In 2014, once again, I became a traveller; and after my London sojourn 10 years ago, I am on the road again.
Till now I have never regarded myself a traveller. My favourite activity is to read in my own bed. If it can be helped I will avoid any kind of movement. If the appointment is somewhere in the New Territories, I will most likely turn it down. However in this year I realize my mistake all along. I realize that indeed I cannot be satisfied with a status quo, even if it is a very comfortable and pleasing status quo.
Since I learned that I had obtained the Working Holiday Visa to Japan the November day in 2013, my soul had already left the prison that had been trapping me, and rediscovered my love for freedom and longing for the unknown. The most beloved home, the most beloved work, the most beloved people, would not be able to change my determination to go. And thus when I was 31, I at last found out my true self: a complete Sagittarius.
I feel nothing for a prospering career, for cars and properties, for marriage, posterity, family nor any such most proper life goals. I cry every time I listen to my little airport’s “You’re a Don Juan, tarry not". I have dismissed from my beliefs the “happily ever after" fairytale, and silently embraced the “forever alone" prediction someone once made for me. The best job is just a job and can never be one’s life; romantic relationships disappoint; dreams wander farther and farther away. Hence I must leave, in search of the freedom of solitude, and the possibilities of the unknown. It was under these circumstances that I brought with me all my savings and went on the road. And I knew one does not leave in order to return – there is no way back when one has seen all the beautiful sights along the road.
Thus without the slightest sadness I left the place I had worked for over 4 years, my most favourite place in my short working history, and boarded the plane without looking back. I scarce had time to be surprised at my own fickleness, than began roaming the ancient capital of Kyoto, pulling along my trunk half my own size on the local trains all the way round Shikoku to Kyushu, then back up to the metropolis Tokyo. I found myself at cold and warm share houses, worked for board at a remote resort that oversaw the Pacific Ocean, then researched at a museum upon a high-end shopping mall. I visited many places and met many people, some I liked more and some less, yet my heart never lingers. And so I understand that I am a Don Juan who tarries not: not only Japan, but I wish to see the whole wide world. Yet the world is too big and life too short, and it is impossible to linger. Finally I know I can never stay in the same place for too long: my passions are strong, yet brief. It is perhaps the traveller’s fate to travel forever. I have never moved about people and places like this before in my life and I find myself rather enjoying being the modern Odysseus.
I used to long for romantic love, and allowed myself to float upon this relationship as quiet as a lake over a course of 3 years, then woke up to the fact that I had not been waving but drowning. It was all my own fault, not having understood my true nature earlier; and this injured both sides of the relationship. During the tempestuous Summer of Shikoku, I had the same tempest within me: I was Ariel who longed for freedom; I was Miranda who saw the Brave New World; but I was also Prospero, whose heart was filled with love, hatred, pain, melancholy and all kinds of complicated passions, awaiting salvation through magic. I know that only by giving up one’s most treasured past could one be saved and be truly free again.
When I thought I had left behind my eternal homeland, Hong Kong changed during my absence. Then I realised again that wherever I wander, home is always home. Distance and the feeling of impotence pained my heart immensely, and the passions for home and the wishes for a better future awoke within me . And yet I no longer had the youthful optimism I once possessed, pessimism and hopelessness, and not knowing whence once ought to go in this ridiculous world, cast a dark shadow upon my already tempestuous journey.
And this is how, amidst the traveller’s freedom, loneliness and sadness, I can do what I most want to do: write.
Thence in this small old house in Tokyo I built my own lonely writer’s den. After 6 month’s unceasing wandering, I began writing again. When I thought I had lost this ability forever, my words, silently and without notice, returned to my once-again solitary self.
Newly found friends asked me out for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, and I just turned it down. In order that I can finish this traveller’s retrospective, that I can be with myself, acknowledge myself in the past year, and look forward a better self in the coming year, before the arrival of 2015.
Here I dedicate this to the travelling me, and to all of you who have appeared along my journey and remained in my heart.
31 December 2014, 18:48