07 January 2017

Waiting and Reminding Myself to Wait

There is part of me that hates to wait, that wants answers and action now. There is part of me (the stronger part) that trusts in the mystery of timing, the so far faultless truth that what is right will reveal itself with suddenness and feel like it had been there all along. And when it does I will act with quickness and determination. I will go or stay or build. I will do whatever feels right because if past truths hold true that feeling will leave doubt impotent and unreal like someone else’s words momentarily remembered as my own.

I began this journey in Mexico City way back in May. I talked about this in an earlier post but I was off balance in the beginning, the part of me that demands action had flared up telling me to clench and swing when what I really needed to do was breathe. That was a long time ago and I have come a long way. The red line on the map is where I have been and the green line is where I still plan to go. I have been myself again for thousands of miles and cruising ever since, but the travel money is running out and I don’t want touch the money that is supposed to finance a longer term future, so I really do need to make a decision.  

I have decided to wait for my answer in Valparaiso, Chile. It is a little San Francisco full of art and artists creating, music and musicians playing, hippies and fakers faking. It is bright and beautiful at the edge of a glittering sea but it is grimy and real too. Twenty minutes north the beach city of ViƱa del Mar is a reminder, maybe not of Hermosa, but certainly of Santa Monica. Farther south the coast has the rocky brutal allure of Big Sur. And not far east Chile’s wine district vines through the foothills. It is California, my heart, wrapped in an embrace and brought in close—it is a place to call home. 

But I don’t think that I will call it home—at least not yet. And that is difficult for me because as much as I love travel, the thing I love most of all is living in faraway places. Back home (for me at least) it is only possible to make every day new with focus and creativity because life on autopilot so easily slips behind the controls unnoticed.  When I live in a faraway place it is like autopilot missed the flight. A trip to the grocery store is stimulating, a walk around the neighborhood is stimulating; even after I have settled into routine and become a local of sorts, the minutia of day-to-day life continues to demand my attention and capture my intrigue. I don’t have to be actively focused on absorbing the world around me because I am always switched on, always living life at a low skin prickling hum.

The best way for me to maintain that lifestyle would be to start a new business. It comes with risk and extra effort but it is worth the struggle when the timing and location are right. Locations don’t get much better than where I am now but the timing… Instinct is telling me to wait, it is telling me to breathe and find a way to follow the green line--to see it through. And not because I think there is something better waiting. I don’t believe in better. I believe in what is right for you when and where you need it. I can’t really explain my reasons except to say that I am not in a rush and I trust that there must be a reason for that. 

Now that I have put the Latin America journey on temporary pause I need to find a way to earn money. In the past I have always looked for English Teaching gigs. It is a good gig and one that I like, but I would prefer to take on a new challenge. I am researching and applying, looking for surprising and interesting new ways to finance this near seven year journey around the world.

Seven years! That is just…WOW! Except not, because it takes time to see the things I’ve seen and go the places I’ve gone. When people ask me how long I’ve been traveling I don’t know how to answer. I don’t remember if I ever saw this as a time in my life or if I always knew that this would be my life. I am waiting and reminding myself to wait because there is no reason to rush or stress when you know that your future will be forever unfixed. The green line will continue to extend across continents and oceans, forever pulled along by a million curious questions. I know that I'll get there, wherever there is, but for now I am here in a city full of art, alive and humming low.