Hi all! I’m back! This is likely to be a bit of a rough and ready post as I’m currently sitting in the LA library and I only am allowed two 15-minute sessions on the computer. It seems like I’m goign to have to find a better way to stay in the loop with ya’ll.
Regardless, here’s a quick rundown of this past week. Danielle and I hitchhiked from San Diego to Joshua Tree and stayed there for three nights. It was a bit of a disaster though as we were embarrassingly unprepared for the desert. The first mornign we woke up with the awareness that we were 7-8 miles from the nearest water source and had only six liters between us. Those of you who know me well know I have a bit of a dehydration problem- I get dehydrated really easily. I’ve had dehydration sickess many times in my life- more than once a week some times. Needless to say, I panicked. It wasn’t until that moment that it occurred to me, “Shit. I could actually die out here.” In hindsight I was being a bit dramatic. We were a mile from a road on a heavily trafficked trail- we were far from being on our own. Still, though, it was a wake up call. Fortunately we got a ride into town and another ride into an area of the park near a water source. We spent the next few nights there but I still ended up dehydrated every day because of a lack of salt. After the third night we decided to say, “fuck it” to the desert and hitchhike to LA.
That’s where we are now. We’ve spent the last few days lounging at our friends apartment reading, playing music, napping. It’s the first time in a bit that we’ve had steady shelter so we’ve been enjoying it. Los Angeles itself, though, is kind of lame so we’re going to hitch a ride tomorrow morning to Santa Monica where I hope to learn how to surf (that didn’t end upo happening when I first mentioned it). Wish me luck!
That aside, we’ve had a lot of peace and quiet this past week so I’ve found myself thinking more about this trip. I originally set out on this journey in a quest for freedom. To prove to myself and others that this lifestyle is not only possible, but can allow one to thrive. I’ve not been as successful with my online presence (to prove to others that this life is possible) but I’ve definitely proven it to myself. In fact, this is easier than I ever thought. We’ve discovered countless online resources to find transportation and shelter either cheaply or freely since we’ve been out here. And guess what? We haven’t used a single one. We haven’t had too! We’ve made friends every step of the way who have generously offered us places to stay. Despite the partanoia surrounding it, it turns out that hitchhiking is not all that dangerous. We’ve been picked up by an ex-marine embracing christianity, a family of five women on their way home from a religious convention, a park ranger, an avid hitchhiker named Hobo Greg, a retired couple who take regular camping trips in their RV, and a superlightweigh backpacker who recently hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. What I discovered that all these people have in common is just that- they’re people. Yeah that creepy axe-murderer guy could consider us perfect prey, but that guy could be anywhere. For the most part, people are people- with all their kindness, generosity, eccentricities, and neuroses. We’ve greatly enjoyed the company of every ride that has picked us up, and we believe they’ve enjoyed ours. We’ve gotten food easily too. It turns out if you offer to help a farmer’s market stand owner pack up his truck, more often than not he’ll be grateful for the extra hands and will give you some of his extra food just to say thank you.
This is all to say- vagabonding is cheap, its exciting, it’s freeing, and it’s easy. The only real hurdles are the mental blocks you’ve built in your mind. Beyond those, vagabonding is a breeze.
So I’ve proven that to myself without a reasonable doubt. I can live the vagabonding lifestyle. I can explore the planet, meet amazing, interesting people. I now have a level of freedom I previously only dreamed about. There’s only one problem. Now what? I’m not used to this level of freedom and flexibility. I don’t know what to do with myself! I’m in need of renewed purpose. Seeing and experiencing all the world has to offer isn’t enough. I’m filled with gratitude, so naturally I want to give back. I don’t want to simply partake in the beauty of the world, I want to help create it! I’m taking baby steps now- I’ve begun practicing guitar with a level of passion I’ve never devoted to music before, I’ve devoted myself more deeply to the shamanic path than I was able to before. These are great steps, but I’m not done yet. I’ve freed myself from the oppression of my own mind. Now that I’m finally free, I want to share myself with the world.
I don’t yet know how or what my contribution to the world will be, but I do know one thing. The intention is as strong as ever. And I’ve learned firsthand that with a powerful intention, the world responds. I’m ready for the next challenge world. Bring it on.