Thomas La Grua's Journey to Awakening

May 28, 2011

Going to South America – slight change of plans

Filed under: Writing out the Mind: 2010-July 2, 2012 — Thomas La Grua @ 7:50 am

This morning I woke up to that song by the Eagles (I think): “You know I’ve always been a dreamer, can’t seem to settle down… and take it to the limit, one more time.” It was at a very young age – probably in my teens that I realized that I would use this life to observe and experience that which is here in and as this reality. Of course, I didn’t put it in those words back then; it was more like: “I’m taking a vacation in this life; I’m just going to travel.” I remember my brother asking me what I was going to do with my life, and I told him as much. Then he asked me what I was going to do when I was old and alone with no money and no one to take care of me. “That’s simple,” I replied, “die.” To be honest, my plans have not changed. So, in three weeks I’m off to South America. Relativity speaking, my budget has not really changed either. However, in terms of what I’m carrying with me and my travel objectives, that’s another story. As opposed to 30-40 kilo’s that I used to carry in my pack, I now plan on keeping it at around 10 or less. Instead of racing around to stop in and see as many places as I can, I now plan to settle in wherever I choose – perhaps, I’ll even teach/work for a time in some places. Some of my family have expressed concern that South America is a dangerous place, and have reminded me to be careful. Although, I do appreciate their or your concerns, there isn’t much that I can honestly say that might alleviate those concerns. Seeing/understanding what’s on the other side of the wall requires climbing over, tearing down that wall. In other words, whenever I find myself at a point where things that I’m doing and people and or events with which I interact become too calculable, I begin positioning myself to enter into that which I do not yet see, have not yet experienced, and therefore have not yet understood. For me, it’s never been about the possible destination – rather, it’s always been about the journey – climbing over that wall and experiencing that which is on the other side. So, the plan is to arrive in a country in South America, and go from there. Yes, it’s a simple plan, but the preparations are actually quite complex. The reason for the complexity is to maximize my options while at the same time, be prepared for obstacles. For instance, I’ve just learned that some countries may not allow me to enter from another country unless I’ve had a yellow fever vaccination within the last 20 years. Since, I haven’t, and I’ve just learned that Colombia – my original debarkation point – is experiencing some of the worst floods in recorded history, I’m thinking about changing my flight. Fortunately, I am able to do this at very little cost because I’ve factored in such possibilities into my already purchased tickets. Packing, that’s a story in itself. Gone is my 4 kg, 80 liter canvas cross-country skiing backpack, and replaced with a .98 kg Osprey 55L travel pack. I was going to go for something even smaller, but with this one should be good to carry on; again it’s about having options – being able to pack it fuller and or go on treks, etc. Speaking of carrying it on (the plane), that’s very important to me, especially on the flights from Taiwan to LAX to South America – if it were only that simple. Actually what I’m doing is flying from Taiwan to Guangzhou China, and then to Los Angles, California where I’ll stay the night, then on to Panama, and then to whichever country I decide to fly to in South America, all for about $2,200 – open and changeable tickets. Interestingly, these also happened to be the cheapest that I could find from Taiwan. To get a cheap required return ticket out of the country, I booked it (changeable) for September 11th. That’s all for now, but there’s much more.
Fast forward 2 weeks; I’ve exercised my options to change my tickets, and I’ve opted to, instead of going to South America, stay in Asia and take advantage of low cost airfares, nicer weather – as opposed to the winter in South America – and a whole host of other considerations/options that Asia has to offer. So, the new plan is to stop off in Singapore on my way to Indonesia. What am I going to do there? That, I’ll know when I do it, and I’ll most likely write about it.

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