Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Do I Deserve This?

Today is my birthday.  What?  I’m 23?  I haven’t really thought about it until I wrote it down just now to be honest.  There has been only one thing on my mind all day today: how grateful I am for my life.  It is truly unbelievable.  For the last week, my friend Rich and I have continued to ask ourselves—Do we really deserve this?  What have we done in our lives to deserve this?  I truly cannot tell you.  But it made me realize- to live the life like the one I am living I have to give thanks to those who have helped me become the man that I am.  Normally, I would make a post here to commemorate those who have influenced my life, but I will not, as I would prefer to speak with all of you personally, over the course of my travels where I realize a piece of you which has stayed in my life.  Again, to all of you – friends – family – mentors, I will be eternally grateful.  Thank you for making me the man I am today.

One Love,

- Chris

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

3 Stages of Solo-Travel

So solo traveling is a very special experience.  But there are three phases of solo traveling that I think everyone goes through.  Let me explain them in order.
1.     The lonely phase.  This usually starts about two weeks in and lasts anywhere from two weeks to a month.  It’s not the worst thing in the world, but you are lonely.  For those people who are going through the lonely phase, I recommend one thing.  Don’t meet too many people.  Isolate GOOD FRIENDS.  Meet less people and become as close to them as you can.
2.     Stage 2: Personal Growth Phase.  Look- you’re on your own.  Your survival instincts are kicking in – you are learning about fight or flight- how to live on your own—how to live with and deal with yourself and your thoughts.  This is a very complicated process, which is why the lonely phase happens in general.  But you learn.  You learn A LOT.  Especially if you isolate good friends.  So- in this phase it is all about learning.  Learning about culture. Learning about the world.  But, most importantly learning about yourself.  Your values.  Your fears. What you like. What you hate.  This is a long phase—I’m still in it and won’t be out of it for some time. 
3.     Stage 3:  This is only a hypothesis, but I believe that the personal growth phase leads into (and is combined with) the social phase.  The social phase is essentially the learning phase – not of yourself, but of everyone and everything around you.  This phase is crucial in order to become the epitome of a well-balanced person.  A sensei if you will.  Keep learning, but most importantly, to learn the most in this phase, you must track and record your knowledge and realizations. 
This is simply my own theory on solo travel.  Someday, I may write a book on traveling internationally, but that is a far ways away.

Cheers everyone.

- Mr. Chris

Toilet Paper

I had an amazing conversation with a guy from Poland yesterday.  It started with how the world is going to shit.  So.. ultimately we started talking about it--- poop.  A very interesting conversation actually.  Going to some Asian countries can be very confusing to Americans.  Why?  Well sometimes you have to poop in a hole in the ground, and a lot of the time they don’t have toilet paper.  NO TOILET PAPER?!  Well.  Actually- let me ask you what this polish guy asked me.

“If you had s**t on the back of your hand, would you wipe it off with a napkin, or go to the f**king bathroom and wash it off with soap and water?  People are f**king clueless man, they’re literally wiping their asses with the earth.  They complain about forests being cut down while they wipe their asses with it.”  So I asked- well – I can’t use a bidet in the middle of the day or my underwear gets wet.  “So wake up in the morning, drink a coffee, take a dump and take a f**king shower, man!”  “you gotta get up in their and wash that s**t man, a piece of paper just doesn’t do the job.

So there you go.  We are probably wiping our asses with some of the most beautiful trees in the world.

Food for thought.

- Mr. Chris

Rice Breakfasts

Breakfast is a really interesting topic when you go aboard.  When I first Arrived in Indonesia they ate rice and noodles for breakfast--- Like.. wtf?  Coming from America all I wanted was some eggs, toast, bacon, or maybe a breakfast burrito.  French people, for example, hardly have breakfast at all—and when they do, its mostly sweet foods—biscuits, crepes, muffins, etc..  Now – I have realized my favorite breakfast and I will tell you why in a moment.

For breakfast, my favorite food now is rice.  Rice with meat or rice with eggs.  Sounds weird, right?  Normally you eat rice for lunch or dinner.  Well, I’ll explain.  Rice is a carbohydrate.  It is used for energy, and can ultimately make you fat if you eat too much of it (believe me).  So what happens when you eat rice at night?  Well, you’ll probably gain some weight.  What about in the morning?  Talk about a healthy 5 hour energy—rice is amazing.  Hard to conceptualize for an American, but believe me—you should try it.  This morning I had a kabob and sticky rice and did so much work it was fantastic.  So there you go—morning = carbs.  At least for me.

- Mr. Chris

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Messenger Ritual

This story has a tendency to make people pretty confused, so let me give some back-story to this.  (this is going to be a complicated post that networks through time and space).  Lets do this.  OK..

So me.. Like an idiot, I decided to bring a dictionary with me abroad instead of a book.  As if I would study that.  Derp. So I eventually give the dictionary away to an English school, and am officially bookless. But, I met a girl from Cal Poly in Bali who actually gifted me a present – The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho.  He also wrote The Alchemist which was a book I enjoyed.  He basically takes life lessons and turns them into an interactive story where you can be involved and entertained and learn at the same time.  This book – the pilgrimage – has roughly 11 exercises to work your spirituality and your mind.  Today I will talk about one of them; The messenger ritual.  Ok, lets do this.

I highlighted my favorite page in this book, and I will transcribe it here. 

“ Over and above the physical forces that surround us and help us, there are basically two spiritual forces on our side; an angel and a devil.  The angel always protects us and is a divine gift – you do not have to invoke him.  Your angel’s face is always visible when you loo at the world with eyes that are receptive. He is the river, the workers in the field, and that blue sky.  This old bridge that helps us to cross the stream was built here by the hands of anonymous Roman legionnaires, and the bridge, too, is the face of your angel.  Our grandparents called him the guardian angel. 
“The devil is an angel, too, but he is a free, rebellious force.  I prefer to call him the messenger, since he is the main link between you and the world. In antiquity, he was represented by Mercury and by Hermes Trismegistus, the messenger of the gods.  His arena is only on the material plane. He is present in our work and in our ways of dealing with money.  When we let him loose, his tendency is to disperse himself. When we exorcise him, we lose all of the good things that he has to teach us; he knows a great deal about the world and about human beings.  When we become fascinated by his power, he owns us and keeps us from fighting the good fight.
So the only way to deal with our messenger is to accept him as a friend – by listening to his advice and asking for his help when necessary, but never allowing him to dictate the rules of the game.  To keep the messenger from dictating the rules of the game, it is necessary first that you know what you want and then that you know his face and his name.”
“ If I had to use a metaphor, I would say that your angel is your armor, and your messenger is your sword.  Armor protects you under any set of circumstances, but a sword can fall to the ground in the midst of a battle, or it can kill a friend, or be turned against its owner.  A sword can be used for almost anything… except as something to sit on”

So, these thoughts have been in my head for weeks.  I have been seeking out my messenger in the physical and spiritual world.  So, this is where it gets a bit complicated. 

I meditated and reached a state of deep meditation, trying to meet my messenger, and she manifested herself to me.  And hey, shes a good looking girl (classic that my messenger is a cute girl).  But I had a problem, I couldn’t see her face.  That disrupted me.  BUT, while I was in the streets of Bangkok, I had a feeling something important might happen—and hey, I met my physical representation of my messenger. And we went on a few dates too.  We laughed, we danced, we talked, and it was incredible.  It was only for two days, and then she was gone.  I’m I’m relatively positive I might never see her again.  I hope I do though, kuz she is wifey material.  Skinny, maybe 160 cm, blonde (she died her hair), a pointed chin and a smile on her face with what I could tell to be some kind of a darker side- there was something inside her that I knew needed to be exorcised.  Yet, I she taught me so much, and now I finally have a face to match the body.  She has a name, too, but I will never tell anyone her name.

I recommend you to meet you messenger and look at the world with receptive eyes.  Its helped me tons.


- Mr. Chris