"Sailed not as a seaman, but as a traveler..."

"Sailed not as a seaman, but as a traveler..."- Sir Thomas More's Utopia

Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy One Year Traveli-versary! PART DEUX

I think about this time last year I was leaving a Chicago blues bar, heading into Canada to get detained by Canadian Immigration Officers. This past year has been a whirlwind AND a roller-coaster of a ride. Yeah, that intense. Some of you may know of my original plans of backpacking across China, into Tibet, through Nepal, into India. Sad to say, for multiple reasons, I haven't been able to get to that yet.

Honestly though, I think I did pretty well for one year. I couchsurfed across America for a few months, schlepped through Indonesia, made friends in Singapore, chilled in Hong Kong, got lost in Macau, and caused some controversies in the Philippines. Actually, A LOT of controversies. I know most of you read this and are just like, well, shit, Erick fucks around a lot. We NEVER know when he's serious. Well, I am dead serious. Some crazy shit went down and I hit an all time low and it took some effort to stand back up, but it's cool because I'm just that much more legendary. No worries, you can read all about it in my upcoming biographic novella. Working title, "Mad." That's just the best word I could think to describe my life thus far, "Mad," in all senses of the word.

It's sort of like that whole Yin and Yang thing. You know, opposites and shit. So, yeah, I was having a great time discovering a new way of living, but the flip side of all that awesome was a whole lot of steaming wet diarrhea (figuratively and literally, unfortunately). All in all, I had great fun, but it was fucking hard. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not picky or high maintenance or overtly emotional or what-have-you. I enjoy getting down and dirty and sleeping on stamped dirt and crumbling concrete in a worn out sleeping bag while being emotionally bitch slapped by people in multiple time zones just as much as the next guy. Really, I love it. I thrive on that sorta shit.

No matter what people say or do, I have found it incredibly awesome to walk around, guzzling down life without a past to hold me back or a future to slow me down. No regrets.

What I didn't realize, however, was how taxing it is to live in this manner, every fucking day. There's a reason why rock stars die young. Yeah, living it up for a weekend or even a few weeks is awesome fun. But realize this, I have been living out of one Timbuk2 messenger bag for over a year now. I've been rotating just two pairs of pants for ONE WHOLE YEAR.

Basically, what I am admitting is that, unfortunately, I cannot live like a nomad. I know, fiddlesticks. But I can't help it that I like things too much. I like nice things and non-smelly people. I like money and I DO NOT like having none. Apparently, American consumerism and materialism is way more ingrained in me than I originally thought.

So, here's an updated version of my plan. I am in no way settling down or returning Stateside. I will continue to move, because I am just restless, but I don't want to be poor anymore. I will still chase my dream of publishing my collection of short stories, because I don't think I will ever stop writing, but I will do other things on the side for money. I will still make it to India and live in an ashram and teach orphans. Eventually. However, I want to wear suits while doing all this. Yes, suits.

I have come to the understanding that chasing dreams can come with a hefty price tag, not just of monetary wealth, but of emotional value as well. I will definitely still continue searching for and going on incredible adventures, but enough already with the whole living out of one fucking messenger bag. I mean, it's not even suit-case sized. I'm allowed to carry it onto planes. Is this registering? I HAVE BEEN LIVING OUT OF ONE CARRY-ON BAG FOR OVER A YEAR. As for the emotional part, well, haters will hate and I guzzle the haterade myself so no biggie.

Moving on. Thusly inasmuch heretofore... One year in and I have decided that I will continue being awesome, but I will do it more awesomer.


Kind of sort of like my homeslice Santigold: