My friend Matt sent me the most amazing poem I ever read after he returned from a month long trip to Thailand. When I read it I got chills because I related to it so much. I wanted to share his email and the poem in the hopes that it will inspire the Wanderlust we all have inside ourselves…
I was on a beach in Ko-Chang Thailand and met Peter, an ex patriot from the US (i think he was a professor) who then lived in Bangkok teaching English. He had 2 houses, a wife and 2 daughters (both grown up) back in the states but he hadn’t been home in 3 years. We got dinner that evening and saw a fire dancing show on the beach and throughout the night I continually asked him about Thailand, trying to figure out why he would give up everything (as he was now in a divorce) he worked his whole life for back in america for dirty, busy, poor, Bangkok. He explained to me it was much easier than that and showed me this…..
The Double Life
If only there were two of me
A Restless Me to drift and roam
A Quiet Me to stay at home.
A Searching One to find his fill
Of varied skies and newfound thrill
While sane and homely things are done
By the domestic Other One.
And that’s just where the trouble lies;
There is a Restless Me that cries
For chancy risks and changing scene,
For arctic blue and tropic green,
For deserts with their mystic spell,
For lusty fun and raising Hell,
But shackled to that Restless Me
My Other Self rebelliously
Resists the frantic urge to move.
It seeks the old familiar groove
That habits make. It finds content
With hearth and home — dear prisonment,
With candlelight and well-loved books
And treasured loot in dusty nooks,
With puttering and garden things
And dreaming while a cricket sings
And all the while the Restless One
Insists on more exciting fun,
It wants to go with every tide,
No matter where…just for the ride.
Like yowling cats the two selves brawl
Until I have no peace at all.
One eye turns to the forward track,
The other eye looks sadly back.
I’m getting wall-eyed from the strain,
(It’s tough to have an idle brain)
But One says “Stay” and One says “Go”
And One says “Yes,” and One says “No,”
And One Self wants a home and wife
And One Self craves the drifter’s life.
The Restless Fellow always wins
I wish my folks had made me twins.