i grew up vegetarian. actually no. that’s a lie. i grew up loving bacon and chicken mcnuggets more than anything but my parents vegetarianism won me over at age 9.
since then i haven’t been a big fan of meat. while i started eating a little bit while working in the great outdoors a few years ago, i was finicky about it. too much cartilage in my mouth and i’d lose my appetite.
at the beginning of our amazing five month excursion through southeast asia, (philippines, vietnam, laos, thailand and back to the philippines) that is now excruciatingly close to an end, i could hardly crack a crab shell without getting a little disgusted. but today, as you can see from our side place pictured above, today i devoured a microcosm of the sea with b’s help, after our scuba dive. (the soup was an appropriately meaty filipino version of tom-yum, a thai soup we learned to make a veggie version of in thailand.)
for a former/ambivalent veggie, it was a new experience for sure. but i was actually satisfied that i could rip apart the skeletons and what not without any squeemishness. my comfort with the strange, unfamiliar - even wrong - had grown.
when i sat down to write this i felt there was a point i wanted to get to that i’m not sure if i’ve reached. we have been keeping this blog to document our trip for ourselves and others. and it has been a great experience and way to connect to friends and others and to share our trip. i had thought i would do a lot more writing and perhaps am feeling now a slight tinge of regret for not having done more.
maybe what i want to get at here is just to state the simple gratitude that i feel for the opportunity to take this trip - and to do it with someone who i love and enjoy so thoroughly - and for the people who have been so generous along the way, to my parents and b’s family, both in the states and here in manila.
and while my mind hasn’t changed as drastically as it did during my last trip to asia at age 19 (not that i’d want it to), it has instead, drifted in a far more pleasant manner: slowly, outward, quietly and unnoticeably.
…it’s now been a few days since writing the above. we are now at the farm: a swanky wellness center a few hours south of manila. a treat for ourselves, arranged by b, and it is the perfect place for the bittersweet end to our trip, as we will be worlds apart as of tomorrow, b staying here in manila and me (c) returning, alone, to nyc.
perhaps a few more pictures here and there from our trip that we didn’t get around to publishing or maybe even new ones from b - or perhaps we will also somewhat re-purpose the blog. who knows. but for now, it’s a sad, albeit incomplete, goodbye and end to an amazing chapter.