Day 181: 6 months on the road!

Theth – a tranquil village in a far-flung corner of Albania

We’re in Albania! A country so foreign to me but I don’t feel foreign here at all. We got our first taste of Albanian roads the way they’re described in Lonely Planet:

“..driving on mountain ‘roads’… is a whole new field of extreme sport. Cars, furgons, trucks and buses do go off the edge.”

please don’t go over.. it’s a long way down…

After one of the bumpiest, rockiest, roughest rides, we’ve arrived at Theth, a little mountain village tucked away in a northern corner of Albania. There’s really nothing here besides mountain, river and free-roaming pigs and chicken, which make it a good place to wind back, reflect, simplify and make friends with the locals.

We’re staying with Lina and her brother Pllumb, cousins of the Harusha family. Homestays are the only option here – there are no shops or market to buy food from.

Theth’s village church backed by dramatic mountains
In the evening, KF and I got chatting about our future and our past. I have some vague ideas of what I want to achieve next year, going back to the high flying corporate world is not one of them. At least not next year.
River running through Theth valley
We’ve been on the road 6 months now and seen how simple and carefree many people live, so different to the hectic city life of the everyday Cosmocrat. The more I try to make sense of it all, the more I can’t understand. Why do we city people over-complicate our lives, chasing after things to make us happy that won’t – a new handbag, a fancy sports car, a better girlfriend or boyfriend, a higher paying job? Why is it the more we make, the more superior we feel?

We talked about the international career I walked away from and many careerists on the same program who were regarded with god-like status. Indeed many of them behaved that way too, buying into their own hype. It was like typical financial bubble mentality.

KF and I had a similar conversation with Singcher and Jessica, a Singaporean couple we met in Dubrovnik. Between the four of us, we’ve met our share of corporate high rollers who believed in their own divinity. When you’re making that much money, it’s too easy to get sucked in. You live in warped reality, think more of yourself than you really are. And when you realize there’s always someone above you that can fire you the next day, ouch.. that’s a hard wake up call.

Coming out to see the world is a good reality check. You realize no matter who you are, a trader moving millions or a banker making millions, you are smaller than a pea in the grand scheme of things. I felt this when staring at the awesome Machu Picchu, standing on the endless Bolivian salt flats, and stargazing into the immense universe on Atacama desert.

KF asked me what I wanted in the long run. I answered: ‘happiness’. She said no shit but what do you want that will make you happy?

I suppose happiness is a choice… It should be that simple.

You might also like:

3 Comments

  1. Rendy says:

    Totally agree with you Glenn…

  2. Charlie says:

    Happiness is a choice indeed – a billionaire enjoys fishing only when escaping from his hetic life, while a homeless man enjoys fishing everyday. The homesless man seemingly wins by having simplicity and happiness, but there are many ingradients to happiness. No question about we are peas in the grand scheme of things, but we should be peas with visions, peas that are full of exciting experience and contribute to the betterness of other peas. Sense of accomplishment is an abundant source of happiness as well. Check out BBC.com for The Happiness Formula.

  3. Monica says:

    Your blog is both thought-provoking, beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing! I hope you have found happiness upon your return… I’m still on my quest for the right balance of work and pleasure, ambition and relaxation.

Leave a Reply to Rendy Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>