Personal Experiences

I see these are now quite old, and since - I've seen and done some pretty crazy stuff. You'll have to talk to me. I think some things are best not shared here ;)

July 3rd, 2013. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

A Subtle State of Mind

‘I need to go to the bathroom’, I think to myself. My eyes are still closed – I really don’t want to get out of bed. I ponder it over and make a decision, ‘Ugh – let’s get this over with’ – But still not really wanting to move.

Suddenly, a vast emptiness washes over me. All of my thoughts disappear and my sensations cease. The emptiness consumes my entirety. I feel separated – even from my own body. My consciousness free, bound by nothing, not even my mind – floating weightless – one with the vast emptiness. Light. Clarity. Calm. Peace. Emptiness.

My consciousness rushes back to my mind. My thoughts and sensations return – I’m trapped in my body once again. I realize I have no idea where the hell I am. Not a clue. No longer tired, I swing my torso upwards and open my eyes. “Oh my God”, this exclamation out loud. I look out the window just to be sure. It takes me a moment to put together my memory. “Wow.” I whisper.

Peaceful emptiness. I think about that feeling often. Does this happen to others who travel often?

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark

June 25, 2013. Palenque, Chiapas, México.

A Rainbow in the Jungle

… Beautiful. Everything is green and brown, the vines intricately wound from the jungle ceiling to the bottom of my feet … Cold shock. The water pouring on my head from the heights above … Calm. I float and listen to the sounds of the falls … Curious. The bone/wood instrument lay amongst the various accessories of the bag … Natural Beauty. As she happily sits an eerie calm seems to be about her … Peacefulness. “Would you like to?” in response I shrug my shoulders and tilt my head to one side. “Ya,” he replies, “we are like that too.” …

… Knowledge. As we leave my friend explains, “Every year in one location around the world, the World Rainbow Gathering…no alcohol…natural highs…meditations lessons, yoga lessons, stretching…paint is from the berries…camping, fires, singing…vegetarian food…circle time…Krishna? Ya, especially her…” …

… Wonder. The three nature people are now in the falls grooming and walking slowly, but the woman … Inspiration. She lay sleeping in the center of the multi tiered waterfall … Beauty. Her right arm acting as a pillow while her left arm dangle lazily over the edge. Her left leg pulled up close to her chest, her right leg extended straight back. … Natural. The water move lazily around her and fall respectfully below her level – looking up for a final glance, I am sure. Omniscient. She appears like a Jaguar – queen of all the jungle…

Had I captured an image of her then – laying in the falls, it would have been the most beautiful image the world has ever seen. I did not. No one in the world will ever again witness a visual stimulus so beautiful as that.

… Strangeness. A powerful feeling consumes me as I leave the falls for the last time: I can’t help but think that they know something I don’t … Decision. ‘I need to go to Rainbow’, I think …
World Rainbow Gathering

June 25, 2013. Villahermosa, Tabasco, México.

Hitchhiking Without a Thumb

We quickly weave our way through the last four lanes of traffic. My foot hits the sidewalk on the other side and I turn to look at the busy eight lane highway we had just crossed – The Periferico Carlos. I motion my right arm to the ground letting my heavy bag in my hand touch, my left hand already loosening the straps on my backpack. My right hand moves to my waist to pull my buckle free when my friend yells excitedly, “Rylan, I think he’s stopping for us!” I look back up towards the highway just in time to see a massive double trailer semi come to a stop near the curb closest – my friend already running to the door. I start to walk towards her, my backpack still on. As I near the door she is smiling. “Yup, good to go!” I laugh as I enter the cab of the semi and introduce myself to the driver.

Dani and I had just crossed the second busiest roadway in Villahermosa – the state capital of Tabasco with a population of over 600 000 people. Our plan was to cross the road, catch a cab to the edge of the city, then hitchhike to our next location. And yet, in the center of the city, on a major roadway, the very first driver who drove by actually offered us a ride. Such was the average experience of hitchhiking in Mexico.

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