My Retreat

Have you ever worked so fucking much, and slept so little, that you thought you were literally going to lose your shit and your sanity? A few years ago, I remember reading an article about the Invisible Children’s co-founder stripping naked in public and running up and down the street. To be honest, I had no empathy at the time, but I understand a little now where he was coming from.

My decision to fly back out to Myanmar and South East Asia was spontaneity and irresponsibility at it’s finest. The outcome of this trip was a culmination of two year’s worth of hard-work and dedication towards a dream, only to find frustration and disappointment. I needed to save my heart. I needed a reminder and a refresher as to why I chose to pursue any of this. But above all, I just needed a private conversation with God, away from all the political and American Christianity bullshit, away from all the over-bearing responsibilities that I was juggling. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I’ve been pursuing my dreams but in the wrong way. I reached the end of myself again. So I decided to send my ass back to the most uncomfortable place I’ve ever traveled. Myanmar was where it all started for me. It’s where I took a breath and found courage to start a new chapter. It’s a place where worlds collide, where the purest essence of humanity is reflected in its simplicity, in its violence, in its architecture, and in its survival. This place makes me feel every breath of air, every fucking mosquito, and every emotion from heartbreak to awe. 

I came here with the hopes of filming a documentary and working on a photography project that I’ve been contemplating for three years since I visited. All of those plans fell through. And that’s okay. I plan on frequenting this place for the rest of my life-- exploring every facet, nook, and cranny of this country. But for now, I just want to rest and enjoy every moment, holding everything with open hands and stewarding this opportunity with excellence.

I abandoned a lot of responsibilities in order to go on this trip. And I want to thank the people that were supportive of me doing this. I walked onto the plane with immense anxiety knowing that I might be letting people down, but I hope you understand that I really needed to do this.

I’ll be back early March (in time for Isaiah Rashad woo woo), right before my 26th birthday. But I’ll be doing my best to continually update, edit, and share about my trip as it continues.

With love from Mandalay,

Yohan