Saturday, June 17, 2017

Plan Less. Live More.

Along with an infamous "Hostility Toward Wealth" Facebook post that destroyed some deep friendships, this has probably become my favorite thing I've written. It's from March or April 2015 and written inside my tent in Salento, Colombia. I have to admit, and with only a slight, forced degree of humility: its nice to be able to inspire yourself! Thanks for the organic reminder, Mr. Campbell.
"There have been a few special times when I've been traveling that I've found myself experiencing both a sense of connectedness and the familiar feeling that I'm finally enacting a vision; something I saw myself doing at some point. Understandably, most of these happened in the first year or two while hitching out west: camping on the Pacific, hitching the PCH, hopping the fright train & Andre's boat. Among others.  
Kicking back listening to music here in the tent this morning, I had it again. For the first time in a VERY long time. So, as I did the other times, I decided to take a few pics to try to remember it. Then, it occurred to me that it's been almost 2-months on the road and, not coincidentally, almost two months since I've been legitimately pissed off. It probably has something to do with systematically eliminating contact with dozens of people I've judged unworthy of having a front door key, so to speak. But, it also has a great deal to do with doing what, for whatever unknown reason, I'm 'supposed' to. 
This trip is becoming something remarkable, but for completely unexpected reasons! Not just for the miles, scenery, people, and passport stamps, but more for what it's become after losing all the video equipment on that first day, and wasting too much money over the next 10-days! The frustrated urge to quit, hit the reset button, and try again "later" was strong in the first few weeks. I nearly bought return tickets from Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. 
I've hesitated to mention it, because it certainly is not "about me", but the death of a classmate who, unbeknownst to her, was quite special to me harshly reminded me that "later" is not guaranteed and the certainty of "later" diminishes every year. It made the intellectual notion of how it's important to "plan" less & "live" more, NOW, intensely tangible. With that came the powerful reminder that, as the movie says, "our lives are not our own". Our lives ripple in ways we can't begin to know, let alone comprehend. Thank God! 
That was a couple of weeks back. Just over a week ago, Brian flew home and I was almost done with Nicaragua. It was crossroads time. North to the safe and familiar or south, beyond Costa Rica and Panama, in search of manifesting another elusive "vision". With Lainie still fresh in my mind, I decided to close my eyes and jump. Linden and I bought a Tica Bus ticket from Granada, Nicaragua all the way to Panama City, figured out the ferry, and the door to South America flung open. And, although I've yet to see hardly any of it, it's everything I hoped. Another continent that's a world away, and full of endless possibilities. 
I don't know what will happen from here. I'm quickly relearning the useless folly of "plans" (ha!) and itineraries. But, I can say that I feel 20-years younger, and infinitely more content than I did when I left on January 29. 
Perspective has been reacquired. And, my faith in people-- "Facebook Pundits" & the Cacophony of Nothingness coming from the endless "Internet Brand Builders" aside--has been restored. The world can't be experienced electronically. It can't be explained second hand. It needs to be seen first-hand to be even partially understood. And, it extends far beyond our own limited field of vision. That's been the allure of travel for millennia, and I knew that intimately well once, but I needed a refresher.  
Viva life!"