“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends.”

Posted on May 4, 2014

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“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on
one’s own country as a foreign land.” –G.K. Chesterton

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”
-Cesare Pavese

“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, Travelers don’t know where they’re going.”
–Paul Theroux

As we’ve crossed yet another border in our 2 1/2 months of vagabonding, we hit the wickets of being scammed all in one shot. I can tell that things are shifting within because I didn’t give in to the urge to reciprocate the entitled aggressiveness at which the “welcome committee” so graciously presented, combined with their slimy smiles and “Welcome to my country” offerings.

This is good news for me! After a good night’s sleep, which followed more than 24-hours of bussing and increasingly odiferous scents from our well-worn bodies, I started to finally pinpoint where exactly my Big Bang moment occurred, launching me into what for some time felt like a tailspin of inner seeking. While bathing in some long-needed saltwater today courtesy of our current stop’s white beaches I continued the thoughts of my waking hours this morning, which I shared almost eagerly with Allison, of the final months in San Diego back in 2007/2008 that suddenly propelled me into leaving the beaches and surfing community that I had long been prophesied to never leave.

When I found that I could no longer stomach the people, the vibes, and the zen of the waves, I knew it was time to seek inner peace of some sort. What I ended up finding, as many of you know after having read my memoirs in Follies of an Awakening Fool, was anything but. It was so clear to me this morning for the first time: I am traveling so that one day I can return – whether physically or metaphysically – to the defining moment back in San Diego that threw me into an inner whirlwind and to stand in its glory as a more complete, loving human. I am Humpty Dumpty, trying to put myself back together again after a very long and painfully bumpy road.

The quotes I’ve listed here are only 3 of a very long and distinguished list of great prose from greater minds that fit so acutely my own journey. There has to be a pot at the end of the rainbow, and in it I will find the most precious gem known to man: Self. It occurs to me today that truly, I know nothing if I know anything. Scams and scammers being the norm in a very recently war and genocide country mean that the country is still trying to settle itself somehow…to thrive anyway possible. Is there a better way? Yes. But like my own unsettled inner territory, finding the light at the end of the tunnel is a work in progress, and not an overnight success.

What a-ha moments in your life have you noticed lately?

Wind

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