Tales of a Naive Exchange Student…

Go figure. Just as I eased into a comfort zone, the Man decided to stick it to me for laughs.

My bank cards don’t work here, and that’s fine, since I brought the amount of cash with me I wanted to spend, but I had no suspicion the local banking system would become a potential achilles heel.

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Still Rollin’…

Dear Diary,

I’ve lost track of time. I don’t know what day it is, and I don’t really care. What I need to do right now is get the fuck away from this mess.

Living on the water feels more right to me than anything I can imagine, but I can’t do it with these retards. The “captain” doesn’t have much inclination to sail his own boat, let alone impart expertise on others. He seems more concerned with ramming every available inch of space with Workaway volunteers to fund his supply of food and broken parts. His “suggestion” to contribute a few bucks daily turned out to be more of a rule. When I realized I ate a third of what everyone else was eating at mealtime, with no say in the offerings, I decided it might be time to make a move before the shore slipped away.

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Rollin’…

Life seems far more interesting when you step beyond your comfort zone — when you’re doing crazy shit, and feel like at any moment you might freak out. That sums up this adventure so far. I have no idea what each day’s gonna bring, but I’m lovin’ every second of it.

I didn’t share any of my game-plan last post, so let me fill you in on the agenda, if you could call it that…

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Have Laptop, Will Travel

Finally, a new journey has begun.

Next stops: Toronto, Houston, and the jungles of Central America.

Since I have a ton of time on my hands between flights, I may as well play dear diary for a while, though I can’t promise the ramble will be meaningful. Nah, that’s not true, I always find something amusing or irritating to share. Let’s see what unfolds…

First leg, London to Toronto. Check-in was quick and painless. My carry-on glided effortlessly through the X-ray machine, and I did the same through the the metal detector, without a single asshole giving me attitude or grief, or enforcing full body irradiation. Thumbs up to Canada. But be warned, if you have future air travel planned, and haven’t been through the process in a while, I would highly recommend boning up on the endless nonsensical rules that are currently in place before you check your backpack or luggage into Big Brother’s cargo hold.

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Just a thought…

“Stop thinking, and end your problems.”

That’s a quote attributed to weirdo Eastern philosopher Lao Tzu, and it’s pretty fucking bang on.

You may say that quitting thinking is an impossible and impractical concept, and you might be right. But let’s consider that every issue we feel tormented by is ultimately self-inflicted, all of it an emotional by-product of thoughts generated by insecure egos, social conditioning, unsubstantiated conjecture, speculation, assumption, presumptions, and other umptions. The stress, grief, or pain is usually the result of a woe-is-me perception.

Once we stop obsessing over whatever nonsense that has us in a tizzy, the stress, grief, and pain go away. It doesn’t take much effort to prove this hypothesis. Take a deep breath, drop your thoughts, and you’ll realize a few seconds of peace. The longer you can extend this “thoughtless time,” the more relaxed you’ll become.

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Messages From the Universe

Synchronicity is a term that people are either gung-ho about, or vehemently reject. I suppose I should mention a third group that has no clue what the word means, so let’s start with them.

Synchronicity is a term credited to Carl Jung, and it defines a simultaneous occurrence of events that are highly significant, yet have no obvious or likely connection. “Meaningful coincidence” is a simpler way to describe it.

Pretty much everyone has a good story about a bizarre coincidence. The difference between what gets labelled a synchronicity versus a coincidence is the meaning attached to the event. For the die hard skeptic, no matter how impossibly unlikely their tale of coincidence is, they will never connect anything more to it than random chance. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the overzealous New Ager sees absolutely every mundane occurrence as reason to declare synchronous incredulity to anyone who’ll listen.

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Thankskilling Isn’t What it Used to Be…

I awoke this morning to another greyish day in a mostly unfamiliar little rural town where my parents live. It was warmish enough outside that I decided to don my running shoes and go explore the neighbourhood for a spell.

Running is cool not so much because of its possible health benefits, or the excuse to wear tight black spandex shorts, but because it’s the most effective meditative experience I’ve ever engaged in.

Once I start my feet moving, and a simple rhythm takes hold, it’s easy to get lost in sea of thought. At that point, one of several things happen:

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