“We have to understand that somewhere along the way we have taken the wrong road. Humanity as a a whole is richer than ever before. We enjoy unsurpassed affluence and leisure time. Yet something more basic, something indefinable is lacking. The sensation of ourselves as human beings becomes gradually more and more rare. We have lost something that was one of our mysterious prerogatives.” -Antoine de Saint- Exupery
Every day we find ourselves overwhelmed and over-stimulated with floods of information and hundreds of unnecessary distractions to keep us occupied and isolated. I’ve been wondering why, after writing for years, I haven’t been writing much as of late. When I was younger, I would come home and write for hours. But it makes sense. When I was younger we didn’t have over 300 channels on TV, Iphones with a million brain numbing apps, and Facebook hadn’t yet come into existence and when it first did, it wasn’t as advanced as it is now. Granted I also have many more responsibilities as a full-time teacher and musician, but even so, I find that I fill my time with the most unimportant things.
In Costa Rica, I enjoyed a period of time where I was incredibly fascinated with life. I spent fulfilling days working hard in the rain forest, coming back at the end of the day to dancing, writing, and enjoying long meals with friends. There was a simplicity and humbleness to my days that made me truly understand the concept of less is more.
By embarking on a year of adventure, both locally and abroad, I am seeking to once again get in touch with my creative roots and regain this sense of simplicity to my life and the sensation of being human. When we cast off the extraneous, we remember the beauty of life and our connection to our environment and each other.
For those other travelers out there, you know the itch and the power it has over you once it’s taken over. I’m looking forward to my move to Spain, but I’ve got seven months until then, and a recent trip to Germany has me chomping at the bit to get out again. Add to this a determination to be courageous and rid myself of my self-imposed limitations that have kept me from my move to Spain for three years, and I’m drooling as I daydream about days in cafes munching on churros con chocolate as I write for hours.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” -Mark Twain
Why put off an adventure of a lifetime for three years? Easy, because as humans we naturally want to be comfortable, we want to be safe, we want to be secure, and that often means taking the easier route. Not only this but the societal standards in place almost demand you to follow a pre-determined path: graduate from college, find a job, start your career, and start a family. If this path works for you, than that is fantastic, everyone has his or her own path to follow. But for me, there is too much of a world to explore, and diving into a new culture and experiencing other ways of life is nothing short of an addiction. But the fear of failure, of loss, of the unknown is really what held me back, and what continues to hold me back from many things. Even now as I contemplate doing a six week environmental education internship in Costa Rica for the summer, I wonder if financially that is the smartest thing to do. Shouldn’t I save as much money as humanely possible before Spain? Of course. It is great to take risks, but not stupid ones. And yet, I know I will have more than enough saved up for Spain even with a trip back to my second home in Costa Rica, and I will have gained an experience that I will never forget.
“Twenty years from know you will be more disappointed by the things you don’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Unknown
It’s high time to seriously challenge myself, my career, my life, and my faith. This year, I am determined, is going to be a year of challenge (and boy has it started out that way, phew don’t even get me started on co-worker teaching drama), but also, a year of adventure. I have regretted for too long pushing off Spain and I have a heart that is simply not content to settle down just yet into a daily routine in the streets of New York. I want to fill my life with tales of travel, adventure, friendship, growth, and dynamic experiences. I want to roam unknown streets as I unleash my creativity with my pen and my cello.
One of my fondest memories in Costa Rica. We rented bikes and we explored, we discovered, we threw off the bowlines and let our curiosity lead the way.