Winter Flashbacks

December 30th, 2012 – Salish Sea, British Columbia

It’s cold here. Tired and seeking warmth, I close my eyes and fade away into my mind for memories of the past year. Here’s a bit of what I uncovered in my head when I was listening to this song…

Inspired by Noah Cohen’s 2012 Innersection entry.

Advertisements

I dreamt of a leap year.


It’s as if I closed my eyes and had a year-long dream.  The only thing indicating the passage of time is an extra foot of hair on my head.

I just had the craziest dream.

Upon waking, I found myself standing on the street in front of PODs backpackers in KL.

Here I am standing exactly where I was one year ago. It’s as if I closed my eyes and had a really long, crazy dream. And when I awoke, you guys were gone. The only thing indicating the passage of time is a foot of extra hair on my head. Wearing the same shirt, with the same bag on my back, eating at the same restaurant.

What is the point of travel? It sometimes feels like a pretty useless form of escapism. A lazy hazy permanent vacation. Does it serve others than yourself? I like to tell myself it makes the world a better place by increasing one human’s understanding and awareness of the lives and situations of humans of different lands. The way of living you are exposed to in the bubble of your life isn’t the only way of living and being. Humans are diverse and the more you experience the more you become a more complete being, a more rounded consciousness. Hopefully this will spill over into your decision making. Wiser, broader view-pointed decisions. I think it’s made me more compassionate.

When is the right time to go home? It sometimes feels like a pretty selfish form of escapism. There are others back at home that miss you. You have removed yourself from their lives. Distance-covering communications will never replace being there for them. Is it when someone gets sick? Someone dies? Do you stick to your plans and keep on wandering the earth in spite of this? Will you only go home when you miss them too much, and not the other way around?

Whether the dream was real or not, the question is does it matter?

Lately I haven’t been seeing as many ‘sights’. Oh, I’ve been seeing a lot. Just not running around like a recent grad on their first 4-month trip around SEA (aka like a chicken with it’s head cut off). I’ve been seeing the stuff you only see when you stop trying so hard to see things.

I feel tired. I’m tired because I have no home. I’ve been living out of a bag for 425 days now. Humans need a home, and home will never be the road. Those who travel forever are running from something they won’t face, or searching for something they’ll never find, or just plain lazy beyond salvation.

Sometimes these days, I just feel like I want to go home.

http://youtu.be/DHEOF_rcND8


Snapshots from the year-long dream that was:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Land of the Lines

Video and words by a friend, Georgie TTT whom I met at the end of his annual 6-month stay on Bali/Sumbawa. Really sums up how we all feel upon leaving this place.

The Luckiest Boys In the World

We come from everywhere; Brazil, Hawaii, Australia, Tahiti, France, England, Spain, Africa, you name it. Like the lost boys of Peter Pan we live on an enchanted island surrounded by magic, steeped in the mystical at every turn.

And danger, yes. The corrupt Cops our Captain Hook; the massive swells, the sharp reefs, sweeping currents, tropical disease, relentless heat and deadly animals. Our lives a mélange of languages, mixed blood, exotic scents, monsoons and perfect swell.

We breathe in the belonging of a place that will never belong to us. This has been our home and the magic has been imprinted on our souls. Can we ever go back to normal life?

Version 1:

Version 2:


Far from Home.

“We’re far from St. Bruno right now…”

If the scene isn’t forever etched in my memory, then the feeling sure will be.

We avoid the garbage and puddles, before stepping out into the oncoming traffic. It’s something I’ve learnt to do without hesitation by now: the crossing of a busy asian street. The trick is to just walk slowly and confidently and let the river of smoky, puttering scooters and bemos flow around you.

We dodge the traffic mêlée without incident. The smells of the central market hang in the hot, humid air, overpowering the smell of street garbage and exhaust fumes that is ever-present in SouthEastAsia. The haunting sound of the dhuhr adhan (the muslim midday call for prayer) drifts from some unseen loudspeakers high above the scene; it adds a sort of calmness and timelessness that blankets the car horns and bustling activity below. Buildings built in the traditional Minangkabao (West Sumatran) style of rumah gadang (upsweeping roofs symbolizing bull horns) dominate the low skyline at the market entrance, some still damaged from a shattering 7.6 magnitude earthquake 2 years ago.

We’re in Padang: a port city on the South-West coast of Sumatra. We’ve come to the central market – a place where you can find just about anything – to buy a machète (to be used for cutting open coconuts… but we’ll get to that another time) and other assorted supplies. There’s nothing out on the islands, everything we’ll need to bring.

“I’m filled with a familiar feeling – a feeling I’ll never forget…  It is the true feeling of adventure – that anything is possible – and it never ceases to excite me to the point of bursting.”

The colourful stalls of the market appear and we are swallowed by the bustle of activity – vendors, horse-drawn carriages, fruit stalls, fake watches…

I soak it all in. I’m filled with a familiar feeling – a feeling I’ll never forget. It’s the same feeling I had 6 years ago when I first stepped off the rickety tin plane into Laos. The feeling that returned when I stepped off the plane in Kuala Lumpur this past May, and the humidity and smells of Asia first hit you. It is the true feeling of adventure – that anything is possible – and it never ceases to excite me to the point of bursting.

————————————————————————————————-

The dugout boat is tippy: it’s full of all our gear, construction supplies and 8 people (us, a local family and our new Indo friend Sironi). The puttery outboard steers off the muddy river into a narrow side channel. As we glide through the muddy backwaters of the Mentawai jungle, Phil turns to me: “Dude, we’re out there…”

My heart is filled with excitement.

venturing to Nyang Nyang in the Mentawai Islands, Indian Ocean


————————————————————————————————-

Project Island Mist

“Try to explain color to a blind person, and try to explain surfing to someone who has never surfed, they are very similar.  You can probably talk for days, but you won’t hit the mark.” -Dave Rastavich


A few days ago, Phil, Marty and I bought tickets to the Mentawai Islands. It’s officialProject Island Mist is a go.

BOOM!
And just like that, another dream, another item on the list, another defining /amazing /exciting experience is brought from the ephemeral world of daydreams into reality. As with all good adventures, it starts with no planning and the simple purchase of a plane ticket.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness…”
The plane ticket forces you to commit. Now it’s time to swing fully into the planning stage. And let me tell you, reports from the field indicate a 100% chance of epicness. When I was in Bali 6 years ago, I was still learning bottom turns. This will be my first chance to really give it a go in world-class conditions, and having not been barreled yet, you know ITS ON. Ima be on the lookout for that shiny green shack.

Preliminary research indicates… boomboomboom

The trip is about more than the surfing, sure. But without the surfing, it just wouldn’t, couldn’t be the same.Buckle up. It’s gonna be a gooder
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFY4ZFvwf78