On ‘exulansis’

(n) the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because others are unable to relate to it


I’m sure you’ve been anxiously awaiting my full report on my Myanmar adventure since I returned…in January.

Honestly, I’ve been really busy. I work full time from home selling luxury travel, and we reached $500k in sales in the first quarter of 2018 (AND we were in Asia for the first two weeks of January, so instead of 12 weeks it was 10). I also do the ‘Telluride Hustle’ on the side at two other part-time jobs and essentially took 3 days off in 3 months.


So now here I sit. It’s the end of April. I haven’t done much more than throw some thoughts into a few un-edited blog posts (well, 9, to be exact) and am accepting the struggle of expressing my sarcastic self via the internet.

I’ve mentioned ‘exulansis’ before but didn’t really quite understand it, maybe, until now. I had no idea, because every other trip I’ve taken has been wonderful – but also wonderfully relatable. Trips to Europe, around the States and even my living in Australia are understandable. Approachable.

Here it is: It’s really, really hard to explain to others that Myanmar was a life-changing experience. Two weeks wandering Burma was an eye-opener, and it doesn’t do it justice to say ‘hey, yea it was good, thanks for asking’.


Suffice it to say I’m having a tough time explaining in a rational, clear, level-headed way exactly what the experience was like. It wasn’t a ‘vacation’, it wasn’t a ‘getaway’, it wasn’t really a ‘trip’ (unless you count the countless number of times I felt truly culturally mind f*&$ed as a trip).

I don’t want to be the “big” (more on that later) white Westerner who judges or imposes or assumes, so I’m approaching this delicately. This might be the first time I realize that my upbringing influences how I see the world for what it is, and to SEE the world for what it is and not assume or judge or infer in a country like this takes a commitment to open-mindedness.

Bear with me while I go back to edit and try to find the words to convey my experience, the complicated political and social relationships of Myanmar, and the lasting lessons I took away.