People keep asking me questions about what I'm doing. Why farming? Why leave stability? Why camp? Why go to *insert place here*?
Simple answer: Why not?
Honest answer: I love travel and experience and new foods and new faces--but it's much more than that. I could've done all of those things by taking a two week vacation. The real answer is that I had a theory. I had lived 23 years and fallen into a cycle and path that told me I had nothing more to learn. I had gone through college and succeeded. I got the job. All I had left to do was learn management skills, increase my productivity, and master email communication. See... I never bought that for a second. I had a theory that there was more to see, more to learn, more to do. There were different places to grow up. There were different lifestyles to understand and accents to hear. There were different religions to study and fields to pursue. Over the past month I've tested this theory.... and I've never loved anything more.
I don't LOVE farms but I had never worked on one so I decided to try it. I don't LOVE living with nothing but I had never truly experienced it so now I am--and I'll be the first to tell you it is an incredible thing to only worry about food, water, shelter and a shower. I realized I could read and research and talk all I wanted but nothing could teach me quite like experiencing something first hand. Nothing could tell me how to build a lettuce bed or harvest a tomato quite like actually DOING it. I'm not aimlessly driving either. I do have a plan and I've split it into three goals that I've indicated below. They can be summed up into the basic, and far over-used, Live, Learn and Love.
This one is pretty simple. Every step I take I'm living--but what I mean is TRULY living. TRULY being drawn into each moment. It's been the most amazing thing to let go of all the things that held me in place. I paid all of my bills months in advance, hopped in my car, and left. I wake up every day with the basics in mind: food, water, shower, and sleep. After those are figured out...I just live. It's so freeing. I explore. I stumble across hidden gems. I write and read. I take time to play guitar. I talk to strangers. I watch the birds in the park or listen to the symphony of waves at the beach. It's remarkable and I can already see the impact it's had on me. I drive the speed limit. I smile more. I laugh louder. I love deeper. I step in a puddle and burst out laughing instead of angrily swearing. I see people smiling and can't help but reflect them. I take the time to play with dogs and children. I have no ties, no time constraints, no worries except for the four wheels beneath me--and it's exhilarating.
This is the real meat of my trip. When I say learn I mean a few different things. It's three fold actually. I aim to learn 1) new textbook information (religion, sciences, history, skills, sports, card games, nature, etc), 2) new information from people I meet (cultural items, ideas, life lessons, stories, etc) and 3) about myself (by way of experience). The road isn't a paved path for driving to me--it's a textbook. It's teaching me new ways to live and breathe. It's teaching me how to connect with strangers over similar passions. It's teaching me how to argue politics with an old Irishman in a small farm town in northern California. At this moment I walk through San Francisco not as a wandering tourist but as a student of life! The flowers, the birds, the people--they all shine. They all have so much to teach me. Even you, reading this now, have so much to teach me! I am no Einstein. I haven't read more than 100 books in my life. I'd get lost very easily if you starting discussing thermodynamics or the anatomy of a human heart to me. You have your WHOLE LIFE of different experiences, of different emotions, of different books and talents, of different neurons and synapses. You can teach me so much and I sincerely hope that if we cross paths along the way we get to sit down over a cup of coffee and exchange everything we've come to know.
This one is all thanks to L. Kindness is the item that bridges all gaps. Notice it in every person and every sunrise. Notice it in the grass and leaves and smiles of others. Notice it when you're at your worst and very best. She lived it every day and I hope to spread it everywhere I go to everyone I meet. So far it has proven revolutionary. I invite you to partake as well.
So in summation--I don't reject the corporate world. I don't reject consumerism or society. In fact I love it dearly. I'm not a dirty hippy trying to move into the desert and pray to the sun gods. I'm not waving anti establishment flags and telling you to pick blackberries and grow your own wheat. I'm just a guy in flip flops, jeans, and a t-shirt with a theory. My theory is that my mind is still but that of a child. It's amorphous and spongy and flowing. It still has so much to learn. My dream is to come out of this with a better idea of this wonky world we live in and try to change it for the better anyway I can along the way. I thank you all dearly for following along and I hope I inspire you to go out and make your dreams a reality or, at the very least, live a little Wilder than you did yesterday.
Happy October and wishing you all A Wild Tomorrow!