TRAVELING AROUND THE WORLD,
-A DREAM Charles Phan Hoang
POST 227 22NOV2015
PHAN HOANG’S NOTEBOOK
The spontaneous writings presented in this collection are first drafts, not edited texts
TRAVELING AROUND THE WORLD,
DISCOVERING THE REAL NATURE OF LIFE – A DREAM
I wanted to become a millionaire. It was a reasonable dream for as good a student in Finance as I was; for people in this field are supposed to know how to make money legally and fast. Yes, it needs to be fast, very fast. With a good job some folks of my class could regularly save, after taxes, up to ten thousand American dollars a year. Wow! it is not bad; a lot of other guys would never reach this objective. However, and unfortunately, I thought, with this pace it would take me a hundred years to get my dearly dreamed million. Could I wait a century to become a millionaire? Absolutely no one would. So, suppose I start working like crazy right now, I could probably beat all my classmates, out- saving them by ten times.
Wonderful! Still, it would take ten of the most beautiful years of my life to make a million by regularly saving [a hundred thousand American dollars] every year. Am I ready to waste ten beautiful years of my life for a million dollars? I am also not sure that I will, in fact, be able to make a whole million, but very probably only a quarter of a million dollars if I am lucky enough. I will surely waste ten years of my life in this effort and gain a good deal of frustration in the process. Still, I really want to be a millionaire.
Then I asked myself what I could do with a million dollars when I have it. One million U.S dollars (in 1998) is just enough to buy an ordinary apartment, not a house, in Manhattan or in Tokyo. So I will have to avoid consuming my million, but invest it instead in some business, working harder and harder probably until late in my life when I can retire. Oh no! I want to travel and see the world. That is my real dream, a dream that has roots deep in my heart since I was a little boy. Suddenly my inner divine voice murmured two things. First, don’t wait until you have a million, just go away right now, fulfill the dream of seeing the world and learn to discover the real nature of life. Second, don’t try to make millions by doing things everyone can do; millions come to creative and knowledgeable people who can do things a special way that others could not even think to. So, I decided to leave without saying a word to all my dear buddies who would discourage my project to take the exciting road to unknown destinations, going around the world. Make a million kilometers first, I thought, and think of the million dollars later.
I am now on the road. I am getting way from myself and traveling on a low budget that would force me to learn many languages quickly, to know how to do lots of things in order to survive, to improve my memory, to build up self-confidence. The most important thing is to hold firm the conviction that the world is beautiful and worth discovery. People everywhere in the world are nice, even though we are constantly witnessing misery, violence, and injustice somewhere. Without this conviction one would get discouraged quickly, abandon the great dream and go home to quietly enjoy good meals cooked by a caring mom who will certainly always cook good meals, but always the same meals. Away from my home, I discovered that it’s worth tasting all kind of meals, believing that space could have more than three dimensions and time is not absolute. Each time I admire a wonderful place which may hide thousand years of history and has many different dimensions from dawn to dark depending on when and how I look it, this conviction is strengthened. Mount Everest is taller than God when you try to climb it , Mont Blanc is brighter than ten most brilliant Nobel Laureates if you admire it at an unforgettable summer evening where the sky cannot be more beautiful anywhere in the world. At the Dead Sea I saw a number of living people who worked there. No one dies under my eyes. Guadalquivir was for me the most mysterious and longest river in the world when I got lost at mid-night one dark winter day on the way to Cordova. When you get lost in life you don’t know where to look: in the jungle, any animal can attack you; sometimes the most dangerous animal is just the next guy you meet. The people of Masai Mara in Kenya once taught me how to be observant in the wild, which is full of lions and cheetahs and also how to look down at the earth so that you avoid putting your feet not only on snakes but on crocodiles. I did not really do my homework, however, because one beautiful day, while walking, I nearly failed to bypass that quiet crocodile who seemed to be resting peacefully on a rock enjoying the sunshine, possibly waiting for a naive guy who could serve her as a delicious lunch!
After such an experience you find how precious life is and how our time on earth so short even though we find that our hard day at work is so long. (to be continued on the next Post 228)