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Finding My Mantra

A Note on Where I'm Going and Why

CANADA | Saturday, 2 August 2014 | Views [470] | Comments [1]

Forgive me my digression, but I feel that it's important to note that during my five years at university, it became increasingly evident to me that the capitalist model is unsustainable. Simply put, it doesn't make common sense that we can continue to produce more, indefinitely, on a planet with finite resources. Despite technological optimism, I think it's clear given our impacts on the earth's air, water, soil, biodiversity and so-on that no amount of human innovation will allow us to continue on this path without destroying the planet - including ourselves and the civilisations that we've built. Furthermore, I find it entirely disheartening that the system which dictates our lives is one predicated on people always having more but never feeling it's enough. There are dozens of reasons why I think that the capitalist system is flawed, and I could go on at length, but I'm sure that by now you get it. Case in point, I've found it difficult to continue working full-time for minimum wage to uphold a lifestyle which isn't designed to make me happy; which seperates me from the process that keep me alive, such as growing my own food; and which propogates qualities such as competition and mistrust rather than cooperation, vulnerability and love for one-another. 

So, I've decided to head to Central America on the last day of September without a return ticket, where I'm further away from corporate media and wage labour, where I can trade my labour for a place to sleep and for food to eat, and live my life by means of a bartering system rather than trading hours of my life for things I don't need. I want to learn to grow my own food, to build my own shelter, and to find peace in my own company without having to be distracted by "entertainment".

That being said, I also don't want this trip to be one where I go away for six months, do some charity work, take some pictures with local children and come back to humble-brag about what I've done. I will make it a point to be aware of my own priviledge throughout my trip - being able to take a trip like this is a rare priviledge on a global scale, as well as historically for a young woman. I also have no intent of co-opting indigenous or local people's ways of life and livelihood. Anything that I do while I'm away I intend to ensure is dignified for both myself as well as the people whom I will be interacting with and I hope that it will prove to be an experience which manifests itself in the spiritual growth of and as a learning experience for both myself as well as anyone whom I share these experiences with. 

The main reason I've chosen to start this blog is to hopefully provide some encouragement to other young people to take risks to find themselves, and not be afraid of change. A friend recently reached out to me to express that it was inspirational for her to see someone not only talking about going on a trip like this but to be actually doing it. It made me wonder whether or not this is something that a lot of people dream about doing and never do, for fear of the unknown, for fear of student debt creeping up on them, for fear of what other people will think, etc. That being said, I want to express that I am TERRIFIED. I'm leaving my job and my apartment. I'm selling my bike and I've sold most of my clothes and posessions. I'll be thousands of kilometres away from my family, friends and my partner, Paul, who will be on his own trip at the same time. I also have about $25 000 in student debt with the government which I have to start paying back next year. I'm afraid of change, I'm afraid of not being in control, I'm afraid of being far away from things which are familiar to me and I have anxiety for which I'm currently weening myself off of my medication for this trip. In all honesty, I think I'm more scared than excited at this point in time. But I know it's an experience I'll regret not having, and I know that in the end, this trip is the beginning of a long healing process which will benefit me greatly and give me a much greater perspective on what it is to be human, and how exactly I want to live my life. So, that's why I'm doing this, and that's why I hope that if such a thing has been in the back of your mind as well, my documentation of this journey might help you or someone - anyone - let go of the fear that's holding them back from an experience that could change their life. 

Tags: central america, growth, learning, letting go of things, spirituality, travel




I really enjoyed this piece. More, in fact, than anything else I've read on this site. Looking forward to reading your next articles!

  katja Aug 3, 2014 9:59 PM

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