Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Passions, Experiments, Curiosities

This blog chronicles quite a ride!  From broke car-living... to abundant international jet-setting.

Sorting through the adventures, the rants, the peaks, the anger & defiance, the sublime gratitude, and ultimately the bittersweet awareness of impermanence... I find one thread:  an all-out exploration of passions and interesting experiments.

Tim Ferris recently posted a documentary about Richard Feynman, the great physicist.  I found a kindred spirit speaking in that video... for Feynman had the same approach to life.  He had no grand plan for his life other than enthusiastically exploring questions and experiments that excited him. 

The curious thing is that when you do this consistently, "success" (societal, material) tends to follow eventually as a by-product.  But when you pursue "success" directly, it often proves elusive.. and when reached becomes a soul-crushing trap.

This is my ineloquent way of saying what Joseph Campbell said better, "Follow Your Bliss". 

In every culture of the world, powerful forces (media, "authority") coerce people to abandon their dreams and their great pleasures.  Everywhere people are pushed to conform to the soul-crushing demands of work.  Everywhere people are told to be "realistic", which is a code word for conformity.

They are controlled by fear.. told that they will suffer poverty and misery if they pursue their passions and live according to their own values.  It's lies upon lies upon lies... and this is why "the mass of men (and women) live lives of quiet desperation".

Far better to spend your life pursuing the curiosities, passions, experiments, and crazy schemes that fire your imagination. 

Live simply.  Trust yourself. 

Do not waste your life in miserable conformity.

Everywhere and Nowhere

5 years later.....

It was all pointing here... to the inevitable:  A fully nomadic life.

As of last year, I am a full time traveler. 

My preferred mode of travel is to spend 1-3 months in one place, then move on.  Bored with backpacking and tourism, I prefer to have something to do or learn in each place.

I started on Maui (Hawaii) where I learned to kite-surf; which turned out be be quite a challenge!  Through nothing but dogged persistence I finally managed it and now count this as one of my great pleasures.  Whenever I feel tense, or worn down by cities...  I conjure an image of the Maui north shore, with Haleakala (the mountain) in the background... viewed from my kite-board... riding a deep blue wave towards the beach... gliding past a sea turtle.... turquoise, azure,  and countless other shades of blue without names.  Ahhhhhhhhhh.

From Maui we (my wife and I) went to San Francisco... still a frequent stop... to visit my best friends Kristin and Joe. 

And then onwards... a stop in Japan... and then on to Australia.  Attended two reiki courses in Sydney, with our Reiki teacher Frans.  Beautiful city... and very expensive!

Then it was Ubud, Bali.  A new favorite.  The food is what stands out.  Ubud is a yoga and superfoods hub, strongly influenced by superfoods super-hero David Wolfe.  This place, for me, is all about health:  incredible organic food, runs through the rice fields, swims in the guest house pool... and our evening ritual-- dinner at Kafe with Kristin and Joe.

Ever onwards from there... to Thailand to visit our good friend Todd, who now runs a beachfront backpacker resort on the tiny island of Koh Payam. 

From there I had 2 weeks of Winter (about my maximum!)... learning to snowboard in Hokkaido, Japan.  Kite-boarding skills came in handy and I picked it up quickly...  exhilarating!  Thoughts of Basho came to mind... slicing down the mountain in white-out conditions... I imagined the great poet shuffling along trails through deep snow.

Thoreau said that travel is the most basic life metaphor: going from, towards....

I'm writing this from a tiny room in Kyoto, Japan... where we are spending the summer.

I have found my home at long last..  everywhere... and nowhere in particular.