Watching Anthony And Dreaming
As I lay in my bed watching re-runs of DVR'd Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, a strange sense of excitement mixed with the uneasy-nervous energy of the unknown hits me. We are once again heading out to explore and seek out new adventures in three days. We are heading to Central America to live on the Island of Roatan, Honduras and we are driving there from the USA. Yep, through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala to Honduras. Anthony then says something that resonates; "Certainty Is My Enemy".
We have diligently worked for over a year now in San Diego, saving money and dreaming of things to come. It's very difficult to come back to working in your home country where life is now perceived as... boring. How can the USA seem boring? We can live on a small island in the tropics with not much to do and feel less bored than we are here? Kinda seems like a mixed up way to think, doesn't it?
What Is It I Feel?
Is it the fact we have been living in foreign cultures and the daily discovery of something new has spoiled us for the familiar? Maybe it's the fact, we are just adventurous souls who crave doing things no one else does? Or, maybe we are just tired of living in the USA and all the problems that have emerged in the last few years? Maybe it's a mix of all these things, coupled with our own perceptions of the world we live in that has clouded our sense of reality. Are we just perceiving life in foreign places and the deep seeded thirst for adventure, as something that makes us feel alive?Or .... are we simply feeling alive because we are living the adventure?
Back to Anthony
I admire this guy when he said "Certainty Is My Enemy". It is a phrase that became my mantra at times while traveling. He also said " I am all about doubt, questioning oneself in the nature of reality.. constantly." I guess in many ways I am similar. I admire the way he is able to show the culture of the places he goes, yet infuse his reality, upbringing, and opinions in a way that explains a sort of... pilgrimage to find himself through questioning his nature of reality. Maybe that's the thing about travel that appeals so much to me. Going somewhere and opening my mind to absolutely foreign perspectives that help me to question my own. I grow on the road.
It's hard not to feel philosophical when you embark and great adventures. You doubt yourself. Are we making the right decisions? How will these decisions affect our future? What will we encounter? Who will we meet and how will they impact us? This is where the nervous energy comes in of which I mentioned in the start of this post. I do some research before taking on these adventures. I generally spend weeks.. even months googling (or is it googeling?) everything I can think of. Reading countless stories of travelers and thousands of posts on forums. I plan the route and research what we might need to bring with us to make life more comfortable. I should feel confident that everything I have researched and learned will "carry me through". But I don't.
Certainty. Are we really ever certain of anything? I think that as we go through life, we should not be so concerned about how certain we are. The certainty that something will happen, puts us in a box and at times becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Uncertainty keeps our minds open to new possibilities instead of definites. The Indefinite Journey is the name of our blog, not the Definite Journey. It's unknown the future and the more certain we are that something will be a certain way, leaves us open for for a mind that's closed.
Uncertainty creates a purpose to find out. Possibly, it is this that keeps me excited to travel. I feel a purpose. I read, interact, dream and study, only then to realize at the end of the journey that even though I read these countless blogs and forums, all travelers have a unique perspective based on their own experiences. They are profoundly personal. All the research of "other people's"experiences never match up to mine... good or bad. Uncertainty my old friend… it’s good to have you back!
Change In Perspective
I wrote this blog post in 2014 before moving to Central America for an indefinite amount of time. Shelly and I were going to become Scuba Instructors and try to teach on the Island. We became instructors and taught on the island for 7 months before we left to search for more work through Central America. We drove down to Panama, Stayed 1 month in San Jose, Costa Rica, saw every country in Central America, and still didn't find work. Then we drove back to San Diego camping along the way and taking our time. Then we camped across the USA. We saw numerous National Parks and spent a year doing all of this.
We couldn't have possibly planned this. Since writing this post, we have learned not to plan so much, it doesn't work out that way anyway. We have learned that being uncertain is more than ok, it's preferable. It allows you to be you, not what your fears, prejudices and pre-judgements say you should be. This is what travel does for us. It teaches us the way through uncertainty that we need not fear or withhold prejudice and pre-judgements. The only thing I can be certain about is that certainty is my enemy.