Over the past year there have been times when I considered what I’m doing an adventure, a quest, a journey and at times, even a mistake.
Now, after a considerable amount of time in lockdown I truly understand the ethos of surrender.
What it means to take your hands off the wheel and let fate drive.
Thats a Fight Club reference.
Being locked in a hotel for two months hasn’t been at all satisfying.
I’m not mad, I’m not really anything, I’m dangerously indifferent about my core initiatives.
Additionally, I’m getting nervous about returning home.
About being asked repeatedly to compress a years worth of experiences into “The highlights“.
The truth is, it’s the simple things that have been the most meaningful for me.
Watching pink thunderstorms or monkeys playing, these are some of my favorite experiences.
It’s not necessarily a grand quest that I’m chasing, usually it’s a simple, humbling interaction with nature or a genuine person that heals any negativity or self doubt I might be feeling.
This year has been mine, in every aspect.
Every single thing I experienced has been a derivative of a choice I made.
Knowing that truth has made various challenges easier to cope with.
Jail, Malaria, Gabon.
There were times I lost control and fought like hell to bend reality to meet my expectation(s), but it never worked.
Instead it stained me, making me resentful.
The lesson I learned was, there is never one way to accomplish a task.
That sometimes, it’s imperative to reconsider objectives.
For example my expectation for ending my year in India was to contrast my African experience, which I consider to be masculine and survival focused with, what was supposed to be a healthy dose of spiritualism and tolerance.
That’s not the India I’m playing right now, unfortunately.
So I shifted my expectation.
Now, instead of doing lots of yoga and meditation, I’m focused on not covering my naked body in artisanal honey then throwing myself into a pack of wild starving garbage dogs.
Oddly specific I know.
But, as I said, everything is a derivative of my choice, so all obstacles are apart of a plan, my plan.
This is the load bearing pillar that’s preventing me from buying expensive honey right now.
Hang in there pillar.
Two more weeks.
Has this past year, these experiences affected my passion for travel?
This is the question I keep asking myself.
The answer is yes.
I will not likely subject myself to a ten month foot race through seventeen developing countries in the future.
I could have stayed in Uganda the whole time, or Rwanda.
Those are amazing countries, worthy of patient exploration.
Despite going to Jail, the experiences I had in DRC were absolutely crucial to my philosophical and spiritual development.
I have absolute confidence in a power greater than myself because of my time on that river.
If you have nothing to loose.
And you believe that.
It will change your life.
West Africa can mostly suck my dick.
Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Nigeria, Guinea, I’m looking at you specifically.
Benin and Ghana were incredible countries, also worthy of patient exploration.
Why did I do it?
I wanted to conquer fear.
I risked my life.
I surrendered to the world.
To what most would argue is the most dangerous version of our world.
Ultimately what I gained was confidence.
A type of confidence that distills from risk.
I don’t regret any of it.
I’m stronger and more certain of myself now than I have ever been.
I doubt I could mentally survive this lockdown without my newly accrued confidence.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m debating converting an abandoned port-o-potty into a make shift raft so that I can sail to Australia or honey suicide, if I don’t get the fuck outta here soon, but mostly I feel confident I can hang in there.