Monthly Archives: October 2013

Excerpts from Jonathan’s Dream Journal

For a year or so now, I’ve been making an half-assed attempt at lucid dreaming.  Done right, once you start dreaming, you know that you’re in a dream, and start controlling how the dream goes.  Once accomplished, you can fly in your dreams, avoid nightmares, and have a grand old time.  Once accomplished.  It’s harder than it sounds.

Two of the best ways of ‘practicing’ for lucid dreaming are keeping a dream journal to help you remember your dreams, and constantly doing ‘reality checks’ (e.g. pinching yourself) so you can sense when you start dreaming.

Unfortunately, my dreaming is… unpredictable.  I’ll go for months without dreaming, then have a week where I dream every night.  So I haven’t been able to get this lucid dreaming thing down yet.  But I’ve got a dream journal!  Usually, when I wake up from a dream, I will scramble to my phone, write down some notes on my dream, and proceed to go back to sleep.  An hour later, I have no recollection of my dream, but the dream journal remains.

Excerpts from my dream journal:

– At college party, get tired, go out and (lie down on a hill) to watch the stars, see shooting stars (for the first time in my life.  Shooting stars are amazing.  Friend with me.  Also, see a couple having sex outdoors.
– Went to jail, let out in a day, then put back in by Israel when crossing border (bitches)
– Terminal at Jakarta city, pan taken away
– At swimming pool, then sucked into an arcade game, shooting inside for points, competing against AI, hard to break out, lost phone and toy figurine
– Drop out of grad school, teary, ignored by counselors –> shooting rampage, made into a movie
– Virtual reality game in green fan in Philippines, everyone assigned a fake and “real” name, I’m Magdalene / Jesus Christ, unknown rules, people starting to form cults, somehow connected or disconnected from real world.

My dreams (or at least my dream notes) make no sense.

Resources:
– The Lucid Dreaming subreddit is amazing.
– The beginner’s guide to lucid dreaming

Reflection: Taking a Break from Traveling

After I leave Jakarta and Indonesia, I’m going to Taiwan and taking a break from traveling. Because I’m tired of backpacking, tired of traveling. I’ve been going strong for six months now, but now I need a breather. It might seem odd, to say that you’re tired of backpacking and traveling; after all, isn’t it just one long vacation? How is that possible, getting tired of being on vacation? Have I simply run out of money?

Firstly, no, I have not run out of money. Checking my finances, I’m actually in amazing shape; I have traveled longer and spent less than I had originally planned (details in a follow-up post). But just like you can get tired of eating bacon for every meal (admittedly, it might take a very long time), you can get tired of constant travel. And as outlined in an earlier post, the problem with traveling Southeast Asia is never knowing who or what to trust. So right now, what I really want to do is to find somewhere quiet, somewhere I can settle into a routine, somewhere I can let my guard down and not think about if I’m getting ripped off.

Secondly, half a year and a lifetime ago, I put together a travel manifesto, on why I’m traveling the world. In short, I wanted to challenge myself, and now is the best time. Of course, things have certainly gone differently than I had originally planned. Instead of traveling through 10 countries in three months, I’ve gone through 6 countries in six months. Instead of circumnavigating around the world, I’ve only visited countries in Southeast Asia. No plan survives first contact with reality. But I’ve completed my original challenge to myself. So it’s time to move on to the next challenge.

Finally, I need to think about getting on with my life. Originally, I had planned on travelling for three months going back to making money – either rejoining the labor force and getting a job, or striking out on my own. After traveling and intermittently reflecting on my life for six months, I know for sure that I don’t want to go back to a 9-5 job working for The Man. So what are my options instead? To start something on my own. And the only way I can do that, is to take a break from traveling, and get to work on my projects.

So, what does this mean, this break from traveling?

1) Travel-related postings will slow, but not stop. I will still be exploring Taiwan!
2) Business analysis and projects related postings will increase!
3) Website redesign! Woohoo! (eventually)

Travelogue: Jakarta

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, but that’s about all it has going for it. As a generic big city, it has neither character, nor interesting places to visit. It does, however, have a lot of traffic.
Jakarta - aerial view 2 Jakarta - street view 1

And so, I only spent three days in Jakarta, trying to take a break before flying off to my next destination.

Continue reading Travelogue: Jakarta

Travelogue: Borobudur

Borobudur, a Buddhist temple built a bit more than a millenia ago in central Java near Yogyakarta, is a UNESCO world heritage site and a massive tourist attraction, so of course I had to go take a look.
Borobudur - landscape portrait 2 Borobudur - stupas portrait

Much like Prambanan, Borobudur was forgotten and “lost” from records a couple of centuries after it was built, and remained hidden in the jungle growth for centuries, until it was re-discovered along with Prambanan by an explorer commissioned by Sir Raffles (is there anything he can’t do?). And now, like Prambanan, archaeologists are working to restore the temple.

Continue reading Travelogue: Borobudur

Travelogue: Prambanan

Prambanan, a Hindu temple built a bit more than a millennium ago in central Java, is a UNESCO world heritage site near Yogyakarta and a massive tourist attraction, so of course I had to go take a look.
Prambanan - landscape 1

In a weird twist of history, a couple of centuries after it was built, Candi (temple) Prambanan was forgotten and “lost” from records. Since the temple was not very sturdy (it’s basically a large pile of rocks), it was also flattened by a nearby earthquake. And so, the temple remained hidden and unknown for many years until rediscovered by an explorer commissioned by Sir Raffles (the founder of Singapore). Since then, archaeologists have been working on rebuilding the temples, to mixed success.

Continue reading Travelogue: Prambanan