Monday, December 01, 2008


Ask about my time in Egypt and Malaysia and you will get two very different tones and levels of enthusiasm.

Egypt inspires by far the more animated, energetic of the two responses.

Why it is this way has continuously evaded me until only recently, like maybe yesterday. 

Egypt was about the present: Now. Here. Today. I could feel myself changing every day, my mind opening further and further to discover a world I'd never anticipated loving. My flight out marked the end of that experience. No more roadside tea with Osama, Haitham, Ahmed, and Kareem. No more philosophical quarterbacking from the porch with Augusto. 

I had learned all I could, and when that plane landed, my mission began. The world would love the true Egypt before I died.

Malaysia, I've discovered was decidedly not about the present. It was not about affecting me Today. It was about affecting me Tomorrow.

It should not have taken me so long to realize this.

I replanted in Malaysia with the lone intention of ingesting as much marketing and entrepreneurial knowledge as possible, and then some. And I did, along the way also learning deeply about myself and my own personal reflective abilities through conversations with Khailee and Janne.

This is significantly different from my cultural and relational goals of Egypt, which bestowed much more immediate effects.

Malaysia was as close to a year of Zen as I've had yet. It wasn't about in-your-face culture, loud streets, or my first Iftar. Malaysia was about a stoic pursuit of performing better today then yesterday, of analyzing and incrementally improving my decision-making abilities, and taking detailed control of my own role in all aspects my life.

The true effects of Malaysia, then, couldn't be measured until long after that always-taxing final departure flight, when I achieve the personal development and professional goals I focused down on and now have set out to realize. 

But what I will know then, as I know now, is that Malaysia is where it all started.

These kernels of realization have settled a once great mental churning I've endured since returning, and I am now able to begin contextualizing the experience within my life in a meaningful way.

Egypt was a stage of clear and tangible mental progression. Malaysia was a stage of calm and focused mental training, of slowing down before speeding up through the chosen path before me.

Tomorrow I move to the east coast of the United States. The Mountain looms high and the roads perilous, but my smile is wide and my blades are sharp. Jersey City Navidad!



Blogger maddie said...

if it helps - you pushed me to tackle Egypt with everything I had. now I am here, in the midst of said tackle, and in it. Go big or go abroad, right?

4:43 AM  
Blogger syd said...

egypt:williams :: colombia:sydney. you express it better than i ever could.

enjoy the east coast, it is rather fabulous. and if youre there the weekend of jan 17th you are to come to the 'burbs to partake in eating, drinking, and rumba colombia style. bring trent with you.

2:42 PM  

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