OC vs. OC


As soon as I published the last blog entry with all the planned routes, a very good friend immediately sends me a message over WeChat:

“You are going for the freedom of the open road and no time compliance….So why do you imprison your freedom so distinctly with bars of time?”

A storm waterfall of answers flooded my mind.

  1. Because I like giving myself guidelines.
  2. Because I have a disease called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and I’ll probably need the journey to cure me and if it doesn’t then I’ll just have to be OC all my life or less if I could help it.
  3. I want to visit my family in the Philippines and China every now and then.
  4. I want my kids to periodically see their grandparents.
  5. I don’t want the budget to run out. I want to cover as much ground as I can.
  6. I want something left for emergencies and future projects.
  7. If the budget runs low, we can manage.
  8. I’m doing a book. I need to interview people for my research, thus I need to set up appointments prior.
  9. We are three Chinese and one Filipino travelling. The visas would be a bureaucratic nightmare.  We need a general working time frame.
  10. Passports have expiration dates and visas require time compliance.
  11. We’re going to rent a car so we need a schedule of sorts.
  12. I like making useless and useful power points.
  13. I like planning.
  14. I have too many ideas and I have to somehow express them all.
  15. It’s the researcher in me.
  16. It’s the director in me screaming to come out. I wanted to direct films at one point in my life.
  17. It’s the architect in me longing to orchestrate creation.  I wanted to be an architect at more than one point in my life.
  18. I want the longest segment of the journey to be less than eight months. Seven if possible.
  19. It doesn’t matter if the ideas materialize or not. What matters is it passes in and out of me like I’m pissing beer.
  20. I will have too many fears if I don’t do it this way. I have too many fears as it is.
  21. So let me overcome my fears the way I want to.
  22. To paraphrase Spiderman, with great freedom comes great responsibility.
  23. It’s only all recommendatory anyway. Nothing is ever set in stone.
  24. I want to do many things so I want to make sure I get as much done.
  25. Nothing planned will get implemented totally the way planned but it doesn’t mean I can’t plan.
  26. Nothing planned will get implemented totally the way planned but it’s nice to see how much of it remains close to the plan.
  27. Deviations from the plan are always welcome.
  28. I have biases and preferences about where I want to go based on where I’ve already been and places I’ve always been curious to visit.
  29. I like playing a game of imprisoning and freeing myself over and over again.
  30. There’s a thin line between prison and freedom that’s good to have in tension.
  31. I want to find a place and settle down but I want to keep roaming.
  32. I want to keep travelling and I never want to come home because everywhere is home.
  33. I love spontaneity but not to an extreme, unlike some people I know.  Ahem. Ahem.
  34. There is a part of us that can never be imprisoned. We are always totally free.
  35. Imprisoning freedom is impossible. It’s an oxymoron.
  36. Because I’m Joei and that’s how I do things.

Now, if you ask my husband. . . . he’d be the man after your heart.  Totally not OCD.  No need for time compliance.  Hates planning.  So maybe, that makes us a good pair.  Is it a battle between the OC and non-OC?  We shall find out.

I know my friend means well when he posed that question at the start as an expression of concern over my tendency to box in what is potentially a limitless journey. Maybe he has a point that I should be more “chill” about the whole thing and let go of the uber-planning bug, but then we’d go back to where we started from statement one to thirty six.  Perhaps I already have the best and consistent reminders not to rush from one thing to another and relish each second – my husband and my children.

By the way here’s a simplified plan for the North and South America portions of the trip.  Maybe in this blog, the OC always wins, because it is only the OC who writes (and plans) so it’s a win by default. But outside the online world, it’s another matter.


If you want to see the slides of the planned routes clearly, they are uploaded here on Slideshare:

The Routes


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