Do I like traveling?

My Secret Notebook
2 min readMar 7, 2024

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Just got back from my Puerto Vallarta / Guadalajara trip last night, and aside from the disagreements and breakup with my now-ex-boyfriend Ray, I want to do a reflection on what I feel about traveling in general.

  1. Projects/work: I’ve realized that I need to have projects I’m working on (which brings direction) to feel fulfilled. Projects can be anything that satisfies a curiosity or accomplishes something meaningful. Even work that produces income can be a project to keep me feeling “productive”.
  2. Feeling empty: It could just be the type of exploring/cityscape, but walking around PV/GDL alone felt empty. PV was too touristy (nothing cultural, authentic, or interesting tbh; just another commercialized Hawaii) and GDL was underwhelming (just a few restaurants in Colonial Americana, like.. really?).
  3. Tours are great: The tours were the best part of the trip. I was able to learn a lot, ask questions, and try food/drinks recommended by a local. And the guide recommended restos were great! (Xokol and Alcalde). I did a culture tour in GDL, then a Tequila/Amatitan tour. I also toured Guachimontones by renting a car on my own (a bit of a nightmare, stressful car rental stuff, and 3 hours of driving). Next time, I need to book tours earlier. Day trips are actually very fun when someone can just take you along, and a group trip lowers the cost. I don’t mind group trips, and meeting people is cool too.

I realized (or rather confirmed?) that I need to build my desired identity outside of leisure/travel/fun. Sure, people ask about what I do and that’s a “part” of why people want to have a job, but I’m trying to separate that from my true desires/needs. Just enjoying and not creating isn’t something I like. I like to create/make/design. Maybe at some point/many points I’m focused on learning, which I love too, but I eventually will feel ready to create/produce. And I want to embrace that Learn & Create cycle.

I still like traveling, but a lot of the physically “demanding” parts like plane/car/boats (I get motion sickness), time differences, and elemental differences (heat, sun, dust, smog, etc) make it more stressful on my body and mind.

But I still want to travel, I just need to be more intentional: focusing on tours and stuff I find mentally stimulating (learning), doing more research/planning, and booking things in advance.

A week felt like enough time for my past trip to do PV and all the stuff in GDL I wanted to do. I want to do Oaxaca and Mexico City next, and there are some recs from Yara (girl I met on the tour) I need to look into.

Had a bit of an interruption with the breakup situation, so I’ll reflect a bit more later!

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My Secret Notebook

Quirky, curious, and philosophical Asian American gay Ivy League grad living in Southern California.