At the moment I am sitting in an airport terminal with my backpack and my travel gear. This is a rather bittersweet feeling…In part because for the first time in a long time I feel like I have found a group of people that I belong to…..Those people are the ones that traverse this world with little more than a carry on backpack. I have had little desire to purchase anything that doesn’t add immense value to my life. My major purchase of this trip was a granite chess set that came from a German toy shop.
I have a confession… I’m the grandson of a man who built the mansion he later lived in. This gross amount of wealth.. Living in a family that has a gross amount of wealth…..I haven’t been able to find happiness in it. No true happiness has came to me during the holidays for quite some time now…. besides visiting with my family and friends during the holidays. However, I am disturbed by the reality that we NO LONGER value each other over material objects handed around the table for Christmas. We are more worried about our consumption of goods and services that allows perceived happiness… not true and lasting happiness.
Did you know there is no recorded increase in happiness after someone has there basic need met? A blanket when cold and a bowl of soup is all that’s needed. 5 types of soup and 10 blankets won’t change our amount of happiness. It only continues the Hedonic Cycle.
The thing about it is this…The echo’s of the singers in the Notre Dam Church in Paris….The countless snowflakes of Germany falling on a painful past of Sachenhausen Concentration Camp… The tears exiting my eyes reading the last words of Jews leaving their loved ones while being sent to the camp…. Those experience’s are of the most important value to me. In fact they are just behind having a good thoughtful visit with my friends and family.
The true meaning of life is not to share loved moments with the contents of our living space….But to hold the value of our friends and loved ones closer and to share that moment together.
I am a changed person. I have less value for material possessions now than I had when I first came to these countries.
I can recall a memory from my Great Grandfather. This memory was about two months before his passing. I was talking to him about life because he had lived a full one. He told me that its the people in our lives that matter the most. No amount of things will ever replace those near us. He was sitting in a room with a bed, a elevating chair, a small bathroom, and the garden out back that he enjoyed. None of these things mattered more than the time that our family was spending with him before his passing in December of 2016. He was a simple man… that’s what made him who he was to me. He did so much, but in the end it was those around him that gave his life the most meaning.
My main question now is this….How do I take what I have learned in this country and introduce that to my life? I’m stepping into the right direction. How do I live a life of minimalism?
On entering Spain there was something about the allure of the cities lights… Little did I know that this was nothing more than one of the most corrupt countries to date with an even darker past. The heart of the city consists of 7 roads that all lead to same point- Madrid. When the mind wanders these streets we notice one thing… The towering steeples with Catholic crosses looking down on all its people. Within these walls the Spanish inquisition occurred twice lasting 400 years. The main goal was to deter Heresy and petty sin. One was guilty till proven innocent. At the end of its rain 6,000 people were burned alive within Plaza Manor. The cleansing of those who worshiped false gods within the Jewish, Muslim, and Protestant faiths. This consisted of their souls being cleansed by almighty God. Behind every religious quest are two things that matter. Those two things are money and power. We can not judge these actions….The history of the U.S is laced with political and religious corruption. At most what happens in the Untied States could be considered child’s play to the Spanish.
there is a light powdered coat of snow on the ground on entering Spain. I was half asleep on a train when I was woken by an irritated ticket counter. He was frustrated because he wanted me off his train.. this was supposed to be my stop. I could see his furrowing brows in the poorly lit walkway as I pull my tickets out of my backpack. I had two different seats in the same coach. In broken English he told me “This is your stop. Get off train.” I told him “Flip the page. My seat is 5C.” Angrily he turned the page; he rattled off in Spanish and pointed at my seat with a sneer. The two little girls and their mother sitting to my right were quietly smirking. This moment was one of my favorite moments of the trip… It has so much to say about my own personal discovery. Regardless of all of the situations I endure, I somehow manage to get through them. This was no where near my biggest lesson… It was me favorite so far.
I’m roughly 5,500 miles from my home…and I feel just as welcomed by the road. I miss my friends and family…The lifestyle of traveling is a lonely one because the more I am away the more I develop my sense of self separate from my immediate friends and family… This is only the beginning. This combined with fire season I’ve spent more than 6 month away from home besides coming back to rest.
Remaining original wall of the Spanish kingdom. The city grew to large to keep the rest of the walls so they were destroyed. This was kept as a monument. The take away? Never fear outgrowing our preconceived limits. We can, in fact, simply destroy them when we need more space.
I’m currently sitting at my first Hostel stop at Hub New Lisbon. There Is an elderly man playing a fender acoustic guitar and the name of the song is titled Cranberries. I could tell he enjoyed my presence because he was excited when I asked to sit down to listen to what appeared to be something he had been crafting for so long.
I begin to recall the past three days I have spent here. From The Poets Triangle that held in bronze Chiado, Pessoa, and Camoes to The Patriarchal Church of Lisbon. From the Castel of Sao Jeorge, to the Church of Sao Roque…this has been an eye opening journey to say the least.
From the overthrow of what once was a Fascist-controlled government to some of the lowest crime rates recorded in the world…I have never felt more safe-Lets not mention the pickpockets, random hash dealers, and the common store clerk trying to make a quick buck.
In the beginning, This land was once controlled by the Romans. After some time the Arabic’s found there way to colonization. Through the Aid of the Catholic Crusades some few hundred years ago the city of Lisbon stands in front of or eyes. The Portuguese are a short, stout, and proud people who take pride in superstition and the happening of the great illumination of its people.
This man looks at the cheap black-strapped wrist watch in front of him and begins to pack up. His worn face looks ecstatic to be on time. He is in a rather big hurry to his next adventure lying right outside of the hostels double-pained door. I didn’t say much to this man. But we have a great deal more in common that I would care to admit.
We are one in the same. We are both chasing our next grand adventure… Wherever that might be only the souls of our shoes will tell us.
Yesterday I arrived at Hub New Lisbon. I had to wait till three in the afternoon so I decided to stroll around the area, my first stop was the Lisbon Geological Museum. After seeing a number of million year old fossils, minerals, and artifacts, I decided to return to the Hostel. On arrival I had three hours to wait….I sat down on the sofa across from the Portuguese news network playing on the pull-down projector screen.
Then it hit me like a thousand pound anvil. My god was I tired. So tired I woke up on the couch after a three hour nap surrounded by boisterous German men and other nationalities… Music thumping in the background. It was definitely German trap music. although I don’t speak German….There was mention of fat asses and fast cars. I got up off the couch after the worlds best nap and got my room key, took a shower, then decided to lay down for a nap before I went to dinner….
As of a few hours ago I landed in Gatwick, London. The only things I forgot to get were 1- international calling. Luckily the airport gives 90 free minutes of wifi. and 2- since my flight was delayed I wont have enough time to make it to St. Paul’s Cathedral. IF I wanted to rush I probably could have made it…. I don’t want to get stuck in a foreign country.
Besides that here’s what I have learned so far. I met this young woman named Charlotte who lives in downtown Paris. She is an art major who is looking into getting an internship in New York. I asked for her contact information and she agreed to show me around Paris when I am there. I learned that her parents live in Texas and she was in L.A. on vacation. Above all I’m not totally sure if we will be getting into contact. I learned, however, that I shouldn’t be afraid to talk to new people on this trip. I met another person who I was sitting next to who drew the way around the area that I was looking to go to here in London. Unfortunatly…. I will not be able to use this itinerary on this trip. I will use it next time. She was a travel agent who specialized in marketing to the elderly for trips in Europe.
All in all ill be waiting to print my ticket. I have one confession…. I never thought I would know the feeling of being embarrassed about trying to put an outlet into the wall. These young men sitting next to me had a good laugh at my fumbling.
I fell in love with the deepest of your insecurities.
The warmth of your hug caused the explosion of my demise.
Your soft lips against mine? Mostly the retraction of a key to a prison sentence…
a moment describing an eternity.
Our eyes met for the last time. The shades of the forest floors with specs of moss covering groves of pines, cedar, and oaks were graced with an azure skyline, an eternity that never met the coastline.
Oh they met? everlasting erosion of timeless years of minute decisions within hours
The waves of this hurricane are my tears-
The thunder my screaming voice-
The winds are my gasping breath.
Labored hands caress the wheat blonde plains. My callouses worn down without hesitation. They were found again gripping the cell door;