" All human beings are dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together" Jack Kerouac
My dream was inspired by a couple of books. Funny how that happens? I read James Mitchener`s "Drifters" and Jacques Cousteau`s "Silent World" and my feet hit the ground running. And this I think I`ve learned. Travel resets your mindset worldview, your self confidence and redefines your personal cultural static. It`s a little like losing your mind, deleting the cache and thumbing your nose at the daily economania. It`s pretty cathartic. And in the end maybe it can truly help save this crazy little planet as one of the more positive forces of change? Yeah, what a dreamer?
“The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish” Jacques Cousteau
Cousteau helped us understand a world. A supreme karma model for anyone to appreciate. He travelled where no man had ever travelled before and connected the dots between us and creatures of the sea world. I think travel can connect the dots between all people and their environment. And "the best way to observe Bali is to become Balinese". So the journey and the dream begins.
I have seen things that I would not have believed without travel and I only wish that anyone who cares could share the wealth. Yeah, wealth is not measured in dollars alone, grasshopper. And true travel, not tourism, can be done in this day and age without a lot of cost. My journey started on a motorcycle crossing the western heartland of America. We rode through the Badlands of South Dakota , over the Continental Divide of Idaho and through the Rocky Mountains of Canada. A graceful revelation for anyone for anyone lucky enough to live a moment on this flying rock of ours. And a hell of a catalyst for adventure. My passions were lit!
Next came Costa Rica. We stayed in a San Jose whorehouse (by chance) and met characters (fellow travellers) too interesting to mention here. We trekked to Manuel Antonio on their Pacific coast and watched hordes of birds attacking newly hatched turtles trying to escape to the sea in a real life National Geographic moment. (My wife couldn`t accept the needs of this cosmos and fought off some birds, probably saving a few turtles and upsetting the balance of nature) And then we hiked the Monteverde Cloud Forest when it was still a Cloud Forest. Global Warming strikes again!
I climbed a Mayan Ruin in Tikal Guatemala and wondered about great civilizations lost. And then realizing how high we were I nearly cried like a baby thinking about coming back down. Vertigo sucks. Then Asia called and we headed for Buddha Land. After experiencing as many Buddhist Wats as I could stand and eating the best curries on the planet I woke up on the beach in Phuket to discover that a military Coup had taken place the night before. "Don`t worry this happens all the time" was my reassurance from the locals. So now we`re off to the Philippines before Buddha shoots our dream.
We spent a week on Surigao Island in southern Philippines and experienced culture chaos, near shipwreck, surfcamp in offseason and learned to shower on our knees. During the day I would struggle to order breakfast through a language breakdown, but at night, in the kereoke next door, locals would sing Beatles and Neil Young tunes in near perfect English. Such is the universal power of music in any remote corner of the world? Maybe we should harness that power?
I snorkelled with a giant Eagle Ray and Barracudas as large as my wife off the San Blas islands of Panama and I`ve dived with enormous ancient Sea Turtles off the coast of Kauai. Then we hiked the Waimea Canyon of Kauai where "dazed and confused" by this cosmic beauty, we knew that the accident called "earth" might be worth saving.
Then moving from awe to angst I tour the Genocide Museum of Cambodia`s "Killing Fields" and really distress at the shite that man can do to man. Time spent in Cambodia shows how man can overcome their history. Sometimes I think history only exists to remind us how fracking stupid we can be, but maybe our future can truly value our history! Yeah, what a dreamer!
Wonder at the commitment of Kuna women of Panama as they carry very heavy weights of life giving drinking water from their docks to their village. Spend a day with the spiritually rich people of Bali and know that your stuff and "easy come shite" really isn`t worth so much. A World Vision TV video can`t compare to watching (or helping) kids of Bali catching dragon flies for dinner or knowing the generosity of a very poor Belizean family offering me more helpings of food they can barely afford.
Finally we came to Fiji, the land of "bula". Greetings everywhere from poor people who can`t really be this friendly? And Fiji is so remote. I`m incommunicado and wondering what`s going on on planet Gaia while I`m away? This part of the Yasawa Islands seems oblivious to time. What`s the price of oil and gold today? What`s George W (he`s gone but they`re all the same?) fracking up this week? How`s the war news and green movement? Fiji doesn`t seem to care and after a dozen bowls of Kava I settle into Fiji time. Bula baby! I need to take this spirit home with me.
So from all this I`ve come to believe that I need to be a "global citizen". I need to live in a world that tries to appreciate it`s neighbors as partners and co-pilots on this crazy, beautiful, planetary accident of nature. A world less about greed and me, and at least a little more about sharing the wealth? And defining wealth in a whole new light? This is my delusion of a spiritual liberation that I`ve found through my travels. I think I`ve discovered traction for a "global village".
But maybe it is all truly an illusion and a little shock therapy or modern civilized pharmaceuticals will put me right. Then I can focus on my stock portfolio and buy some Gucci socks. I can vote Conservative and demand that I pay less tax and have homeless people arrested and moved out of sight. And I can blame Africa for its own troubles and talk about how the world is overpopulated and maybe death and mayhem is ok as long as it doesn`t affect me?
Jesus, I`d better book another trip before they convince me that life is really all about me and my stuff. Or they come to take me away, ha, ha. Yeah, I think I`ll try Koh Phi Phi. Chill by day and journey to the stars at night. And then maybe off to Myanmar. Travel till I drop!