Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Shortening My Trip - 5-2-2012

Pacific Ocean from Barracuda in Playa Samara, Costa Rica

Upstairs bar at Barracuda in Playa Samara, Costa Rica
Upstairs at Barracuda, Jack Johnson was playing on the stereo and warm breezes touched my skin as I drank my frosty Imperial. I admired the baby blue sky and sapphire water interspersed with white caps. I felt peaceful, more peaceful than I had since the Canadians left two days prior. And that's when it started to hit me. On this trip, I wanted to learn how to love unconditionally. Well, if I am supposed to love my friends and my family unconditionally, then the best way to love them is to be with them. For my parents, that means being at home, or at least close to it. For my friends in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, that means visiting them. Me hanging out in Samara for six weeks does not bring love to the people who love me, though I do acknowledge that it took coming down here for me to realize that.

Up at Barracuda, I started thinking about this freedom that I've scrimped and saved for. For six years, I've put off living, and starting my own life in favor of working stressful jobs, commuting long distances and living with my parents specifically so I could get out of debt as quickly as possible and put together enough money to travel for a very long time. I have accomplished these things.

But here's the kicker: I didn't realize just how much I changed from my last trip through Playa Samara until I got back here. I see that I don't actually want to be a perpetual traveler anymore. I do still want the option to bail on a job whenever I desire and without financial concern, and I certainly want to be able to travel when I want. For the first time in my life, though, I feel like the next step for me is to set down roots, not collect passport stamps. I want to find a job that complements or serves my personal purpose rather than only putting money in my pocket. That might mean something corporate; it might mean a clean break from my corporate past. I also want to find a girlfriend who shares my values. I want to move out of my parents' house, and be a better friend to my friends by visiting them often.

Swimming pool at Barracuda in Playa Samara, Costa Rica
That's when I decided, amid the warm breeze, postcard view and easy Jack Johnson songs that I have to go home. I have to go home and bring love to the people who love me by visiting them in NYC and SF and wherever else they may be. I have to go home and build a life, not run from things I don't want...but really build life that any man would love to live. Sitting on a beach in Costa Rica isn't moving me towards these things, even though I had to fly down here, sit on a beach (well...hilltop bar), meet a whole bunch of people, clean up loose ends and do lots of writing here in Costa Rica to realize this.

Later that Saturday afternoon, I changed my flight home and shortened my trip by two weeks. That gives me over two and a half weeks to get into random adventures here, meet more people, and gain further insights while also moving me two weeks closer to building an awesome life at home. Shortening my trip also pulls some pressure off me here. Now that I'm just passing through, I can just have fun without worrying that I'm not making friends with other folks who'll stay for a while. That's liberating too.

No comments:

Post a Comment