Teigs & DuncanMy last day in Ecuador was pretty chill! I returned from Cotopaxi to find Teigs hanging out at the hostel waiting to head out for some eats with Duncan and myself. What an awesome friend heh (considering we got back at like 8 PM so she was pretty damn hungry)! The three of us spent the night chillin out together having a few drinks, laughing, and enjoying good friendships. Something I’ve appreciated this entire trip.

Then at the cheery hour of 4 AM I headed out to the airport to catch my flight to Houston. Fortunately for me I managed to meet a really progressive girl named Kelsey from Seattle (who knows Duncan and ironically took the same flight as me). It was a little emotional finally saying bye to both Duncan and Teigs even if it was that early in the morning (yah their rock stars cause they got up early in the morning too just to see me off). I have to admit that it was weird to finally leave the country that I had been touring around for the last two months. It was nice to hang out for the 5 hours I had to spend in the George Bush airport *cringe* with Kelsey. We had great discussions about taking action against Coke in her school! GO KELSEY!

Returning home was pretty nice as I got to go the wedding of my two best friends Roman and Jamie! It was a really touching wedding and totally emotional. When two people who love each other that much make that commitment it’s really special. The last few days have been pretty crazy busy and culture shock has been hitting me off and on. I’m not regretful and almost thankful for culture shocks presence right now. It can be a super important learning experience if you let it.

Tonight I was talking to my friend Anna and she asked me what things I was inspired to change in my life (or do) now that I returned. What a beautiful question really? Sure it’s back in my mind, but I hadn’t really articulated how this trip had impacted me. So my mind started to churn as I thought about things I had learned, wanted to change, do, or accomplish as a result of my experiences and travel. It’s a tough question but some things came to my mind…

  1. Build a bike generator – Whether I do it this month or when I get back from my next trip it doesn’t matter. I think it would be cool to offset my energy use through some bike powered free energy.
  2. Seriously consider permaculture or cob building – There’s a few programs I know about that offer courses in permaculture and cob building. The more I saw farming and experienced things through Jatun Sacha the bigger the drive I’m feeling towards this future. It’s really important in our society right now, and plus working outside all day sounds like a fun way to live ones life. Who knows though maybe after I do the course I might no like it…doubtful.
  3. Buy Local – I realized after seeing farmers hauling huge bags of fruit, chocolate, and other items on their backs in Ecuador that there is an importance to buying produce locally. Why? It’s not fair for people who are working that hard to receive so little and honestly I should be paying more for that tropical fruit. I’ve always tried to buy fair trade where I can and this isn’t to say I’ll completely stop buying tropical food cause that’s not the point. The point is that it’s important to encourage farming near my community and the food is fresher regardless. Now you’re thinking geez dude then you’re putting these people out of work. To that I say…man I saw the markets…there is never going to be a lack of demand and the farmers will just sell more locally.
  4. Be free … be true … let yourself go – Unfortunately, lot’s of times I think we all get hung up on certain things in our lives. Sometimes it’s hard to let yourself go during an experience for whatever reason. But to me … coming back I’ve realized it’s more important to really be a part of the moment rather than thinking about whether you are being part of that moment properly. To much thinking sometimes can create confusion and not enough reflecting can create ignorance.
  5. It’s just material … seriously – For those that don’t know I had my bike stolen during my Ecuador trip. I lent it to a friend and someone decided that it needed to be freed from the lock holding it in place. The funny part of the entire thing is that I lent it to my friend for the sole purpose of it going on an adventure too. Well it really has now :-P. But again really I was sad but what can I do … and really it’s just a bike. It did have some serious sentimental value to me … it survived a flying trip off of the Otesha car, travelled 1800 KM with me, and many other nutty trips. Sure being back I miss having it around, but I’m ok wtih all of that. I dunno there is more to life then a destiny of dying with certain things in ones possession. I’m happy to say that I don’t own that much at this point, and I have no desire to obtain that much more. Live rich inside yourself not with many things around you.

But you know life is about discovering these things as you. I’m sure more will come to my head as I go along. I certaintly think that much of my trip reinforced a lot of the things we talked about in our Otesha skit (like support sweatshop free, eating locally, letting it mellow, etc).

An Ode to My Friends / Family (new and old): I’d just like to say that I love you all. You’re beautiful peeps and this is something that I hold closer then my possessions I think. Everyday I feel this beautiful happiness when I talk to various peeps and … well you’re really my extended family. What the fuck you ARE my family (all of you). So thanks for being there in all the crazy facets you are.  🙂