Friday, June 29, 2012

Home and Away - 6-30-2012

A few days ago, Dad told me something touching. He and I were talking about my recent travels and my desire to take this year off to travel more, enjoy my life and generally just "be." I told him, perfectly truthfully, that I haven't headed out again since returning from Costa Rica in late May because I've really enjoyed being home. I've also really enjoyed catching up with friends in LA, picking up new interests locally, meeting new people, and visiting San Francisco to reconnect with some of my best friends from business school (and to reconnect with the coolest city in America...sorry LA!).

Playa Samara, Costa Rica
You'll remember that a big insight from Costa Rica was that I should love and honor my friends and family by being with them, not just by thinking about them. Being kind and loving to my parents has remained a part of that, as was visiting my friends in San Francisco...friends who never gave up on our friendship despite me putting off visiting them for over two years as I focused on my finances to the exclusion of all else. I've also just enjoyed the opportunity to relax and savor my every moment at home without the pressure of a job or a commute or the weight of a boss' or staff's...or my own...expectations. Savoring my life daily, "la dolce vita" as it's called in Italy and "pura vida" as a Costa Rican would name it, was an additional purpose behind saving hard, rejecting consumerism, turning my back on television's vapidity, getting my finances in order and taking this extended break. In short, I've been home instead of traveling because being home has felt great, it is what I've wanted to do recently and...because I can.

I told Dad all of this and he said he really liked that I felt that way. He said that he and Mom are happy to have me here and they're both happy to see me so satisfied with my life. Then he told me that he hopes I always feel welcome at home, because indeed, I am welcome here. All the time. Forever.

I thought that was beautiful. Thanks Dad!

Playa Samara, Costa Rica
Still though, the road is whispering to me again and I can feel my restlessness building. I've started thinking of the other trips I intend to take this year and early next year. I'll almost certainly set foot in Panama for an extended trip before this summer is done. I'll be visiting New York in late summer or early autumn to see more friends I ignored for years. I'm going to fly to Vancouver to visit friends I made on the road for a short trip as well. Ecuador, Peru and the Amazon, with its mysterious ayahuasca vine, whisper to me as they have for years now. Chile, and its reputably libertarian politics and burgeoning economy, calls me, as it has for a year or so now. Even Italy whispers to me sweetly across the years, like a lost lover. As much as I have seen of Italy, I never grew tired of her.

I love being home, but the road calls me back to it. So soon, I'll be abroad once more...learning, growing, and forging myself into a stronger and wiser man...fulfilling the purpose of my time away from my career. Indeed, one of the things I'm working on during this break is listening to the universe when it quietly directs me somewhere. Looking back, I've nearly always waited until the whisper was raised to a scream because I've also nearly always tried to ignore this guidance. I'm listening now, though,...and I'm trying to listen better.

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