Every opportunity I have to travel teaches me an ocean. Travel is a space to observe the world around me, to look inwards and to concentrate my focus on creating a space for protecting my little candle in the context of a city that produces the wind, weather and worry known for extinguishing small flames.
This trip is unique in that I spent a great deal of time with a friend who I met in 2013 while traveling India and another friend who I met while at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India in 2017. Argentina and Paraguay respectively.
This trip would also include the opportunity to reach my seventh continent- Antarctica, before the end of my 27th Birthday. That trip brought with it incredible people and learnings. It brought opportunities to camp out on the sheets of Antarctica, to explore on military style Zodiacs and to jump into sub-zero Antarctic waters. It had moments of stillness, of joy and even BBQs on the deck of our ship with Antarctica about us.
Folks like Bryan, Nabeel, Bastian, Roslyn, Dale, Alex. People who have lived lifetimes more than I have and whom I’d take many learnings from. We spoke of adventure, excitement, love, ambition–and ambition unchecked. We spoke of happiness, calm and presence. We practiced Yoga everyday on the boat–even while navigating the 8 meter waves that risked us in the Drake passage while tilting our boat 23 degrees in either direction. The M.S. Expedition was a gift. Certainly, it was an investment but anyone who travels should share that travel is an investment in the self.
It’s now 12:21AM in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
8 weeks ago I sat on a couch in midtown considering the long walk the time ahead would be. It has been an incredible walk–sometimes it passed quickly, other times like molasses and often I found my days including both sentiments. Now, it’s finished. Whatever it was and was not, is written; maktub.
Not everything I expected to be home there will be there. There will be a lot there that I’ve been looking forward to. And there will be so many pleasant surprises that have me idly smiling in appreciation–the baristas hearts in my coffee while the snow gently falls included.
Returning to New York this time is different then the last few times.
I aim to practice unattachment and in the same moment look forward to attaching myself to so much. Returning home this time is returning with a big weight lifted–something I want to do, now done.
I love travel and learning new things, but being home and building home is what speaks to me right now. I return home most excited about being home. The idea of staying in one place fills me with excitement. I’m thrilled to find commitments in a more visceral way; to navigate ambiguity and build certainty; to gather things that can be taken away.
I’m ready for that again.
It’s a gift. I am so happy that I have had the last few years to explore the world, language and culture from around the world. I am so excited to have the next few to take what I’ve learned and explore my home through language, culture and inviting the world to join me in New York.
Onwards and Upwards
Courage is the friend we can always spend time with, but the friend we fear. She, Courage, invites us to stand in greatness. We fear her, Courage, for that. We fear Courage for the greatness she eludes & invites us to step into. Courage is strong. Courage writes her own story. With Courage, we can do anything. We may not succeed, but we will show up.
Showing up is a sign that Courage is around.
Some of us befriend Courage out of circumstance: injustice in our vicinity, challenge and struggle. We experience Courage from a place of need. As necessity is the mother of innovation, like Batman’s light, necessity calls Courage to approach closer.
Cuddle Courage – experience life.
Should we find ourselves puzzled about which direction to run, consider which decision in 50 years will have us looking back still curious, unfulfilled. Run towards Fear–Courage and Fear, they are so different and but we find beautiful things when we find them together. We are a speck of dust in an infinite timeline.
Live each day as if it was our last and our books will burst from the seams. Live our lives the way we are called to and our tales will be an example of what can be for the children who take our place here. Just as we stand on the shoulders of brave ancestors, we are the shoulders that children will look out from.
Show them hope.
The ones who inspire us most are courageous. They show up, work and stand in truth. What they gain from experiencing courage is more important than what they lose in momentarily separating from the herd. By choosing a path less traveled, they etch their stories into history and enable us to enjoy greater equality, stronger spirituality, a more robust understanding of science, the stars and the world around us. Their commitment to humans and the improvement of the human condition remind us that above all we must entertain Courage in the protection and care of people.
The world looks much different today than it once did. Should we invite Courage to live through us, we may further bend the moral arc of the universe towards justice and joy.
Let that be our North Star as we recognize Fear and Courage, inviting them to walk together with us.
What does it mean to be honest?
Different things to different folks. To me, it means saying what you mean, meaning what you say and doing that.
Sure, it’s brilliant to be honest with others. I think what is equally important (yet not conversed about enough) is being honest with yourself.
Where might you be being dishonest with yourself today?
One area I can think of where people aren’t honest with themselves is goals and habits.
Are your daily habits aligned with your goals?
If you had the opportunity to honestly rename your goals based on your habits they may paint a better picture of where you’re headed.
One keystone habit I’m trying to create is sleep. My goal is to be healthier, more fit and more vibrant. And yet, I’m up at 4:30am writing this note.
My action does not currently line up with my goal. Tomorrow I’m at a wedding. My action probably won’t line up this whole weekend–it’s my cousins big fat Indian wedding.
I’ll aim at Monday.
For the moment, I’ll bask in the joy of self-expression and indulge in the ‘publish’ button after a long hibernation.
Polarities exist. They’re fun and helpful to hold. Polarities aren’t the best for goals. I’m seriously going to give better sleep a shot.
Onwards & Forwards Young Brown Man.
ps: Anik Khan dropped BIG FAX. Check it out.
Thanks for all the awesomeness you’ve shared with me. I’ve had three people this week share that they read and like the stuff up here. I’ve got a buddy that texts me every couple of weeks to let me know to keep writing. And someone I look up to hit me up to TALK TO THEM about blogging. (WTF!?)
It’s amazing to hear that people actually read what goes up here.
- I love writing.
- I love growing in my ability to write.
- I love that you enjoy reading some of that.
My trip to Colombia will mean a lot more writing.
I arrive in Colombia this Thursday. I’ll write soon to share more about my decision to leave New York, what my intentions are in this expedition and how I’m looking at all of it. That will look something like this post I wrote in 2014 during my travel in India.
I’m grateful for the wonderful people that surround me and the communities that gather those people, making them easy to find.
A decade ago my mind was on basketball and my little community built around church.
Today my mind is on creation, reconciliation and growth.
Consistent is my yearning to impact my community, my need to build deep relationships and my yearning to fit in.
At some point around 5-7 years ago I was forced with the reality that I needed to surround myself with different people. The people I thought I was closest to actively moved to create space between us. I’m sure me picking up on that expedited the process.
The cold I felt in those lonely lows are well worth the warmth and growth I feel today. How full my life would be if I could share that warmth and depth with others around me.
A flame has the power to light up a space. A larger flame can light larger spaces. A small flame can’t light much.
People are the same.
What can we do to feed our flame?
How can we maintain hope?
How can we spread our flame?
Live the questions, the poet Rumi says.