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|Essays · Travelogs · Poetry · Comedy · Art · Digifilm||spring 2007|
Arlington, VA, USA, October 1995,
I had met a beautiful young Chinese guy living in London who invited me to stay with him if I were to travel there. I had in that past year met many fascinating guys from various countries throughout Asia, most seeming to come from Southeast Asia, and I was keenly aware that, at nearly 33 years of age, I had not yet traveled outside of the North American continent.
Earlier that fall I had considered buying a house in Northern Virginia. With my then-quite-decent salary, extremely solid work history, and very secure job, I could easily have purchased a nice, small home. I looked at several that I liked, with bright lawns, lovely residential streets one was even a great bungalow (my favorite type of house), with a large backyard, a garden, and plenty of old trees. But something about putting down roots at that place and that time felt profoundly wrong.
I had spent 7 years as a federal government worker-bee, but my truest vocation was and always had been Writer. "If one would write, one must have something worth writing about," I told myself. There was something more I needed to find out than could ever be gained from my life experience in D.C. I needed to see how others lived. I needed to 'see the world.'
So I gave my 2 weeks’ notice, sold what I could and threw out what I didn't need, put the rest in storage, cashed out of my retirement fund, bought a new laptop PC and loads of traveller’s checks, and bought a round-trip ticket to London, not intending to use the return portion.
On December 5, 1995, one week before my 34th birthday, I abandoned my until-then secure, comfortable life and left behind Washington, DC, and the rest of my original country, for better or for worse.
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