“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”
It's always the long goodbyes that seem the most sudden when they finally culminate into a parting of ways. Although I've been preparing for this for some time now, it certainly has come as a shock. Nevertheless, its the path I've chosen, and I'm confident that the many sacrifices I've had to make will be well worth the experiences I'm going have.
Like most people reading this, I enjoy the comforts and securities and liberties that this society has to offer, and I certainly appreciate the opportunities that lie before me. In fact, it is because I appreciate those opportunities so much that I have chosen to do what I am doing. There are so many different societies out there, a diverse multitude of cultures and ways of life. So many beautiful and magnificent places on this earth to see. Why, I wonder, stick to just one of them when I have the ability to see them all?
After living in one place for a quarter of a century I began to ponder the purpose of my life. I grew older and experienced and gained a heightened sense of perspective on this world and my place in it. I discovered surfing, which helped me develop a profound appreciation for the power and beauty of nature. I began to contemplate my existence, and leaving all the questions and confusions aside, the one conclusion that I could reach was that surely there must be more to life than the one imposed on us by this society. Surely, this beautiful and magnificent world is out there for a reason – for us to enjoy and to explore. Life, I reasoned, must be made the most of, and as privileged as we are, especially here in North America, to not do so would be to take this life and this beautiful world for granted. Perspectives are broadened and toleration is heightened for those that explore beyond the familiar. By stepping into the unknown and engaging with other cultures and environments, ones becomes exposed to experiences which increase ones appreciation of life and this world. It sounds easy because it really is, all it takes is a conscious effort to constantly widen your perspectives by exploring the unknown. The world is an immensely large place and the moments of beauty are infinite. The more people begin to appreciate what we have before us, the better we will all be.
This society often deters us from following our passions, with a call for practicality instead. But the ultimate measurement of happiness should be the fulfillment of one’s passions, despite how unconventional and difficult such paths may be. Of course life is not easy and requires hard work and practicality in order to survive, especially for those less advantaged. That, however, does not mean that we must conform to the conventions and norms of a given society. We should look harder at the way we live our lives and at the things we actually need to be happy as individuals. It is incredible how easy it is to simplify ones needs and desires and pursue a passion, the hardest part is taking the conscious step.
This is exactly what I have done. I’ve lived a simple life over the last year, I’ve stopped being a mindless consumer and set my priorities right. I’ve worked hard and have saved enough money to keep myself afloat for a long while. I have rid myself of most of my material possessions and have settled any outstanding commitments. And now, I’ve set off on an indefinite journey of personal development to learn more about myself and my place in this world by pursuing my passion of surfing while I travel and learn a second language. All that I’m leaving behind are my cherished family and friends, who will be with me in my heart and mind, who I will see again.
I will attempt to keep these writings updated and interesting, and hope that many will read them and follow me on this journey. Leaving ones society and culture behind is not for everyone, but I know that there are many out there who long for such freedom. If there is anything that I want most out of this, it is to inspire those souls who are searching for something else but simply don’t have the courage or knowledge or discipline to find it. This is how easy it is...
“And so I stand among you as one that offers a small message of hope, that first, there are always people who dare to seek on the margin of society, who are not dependent on social acceptance, not dependent on social routine, and prefer a free-floating kind of existence.” - Merton