More than three years ago I embarked on a solo journey to India. That experience was priceless and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. While there are life circumstances that keep me in Montreal for the time being, as of late I have been living vicariously through my older brother who is currently traveling South America. His current journey is nothing short of magnificent, and I would like to share some of his travel writing with you.
Text below by Philip Louis
Yes, its true, I haven’t posted a lot of pictures…
But there’s a good reason for that! Much like the time I’ve spent in Vancouver or travelling across Canada or even in Toronto, what I found to be the most fascinating in my travels were and are simply…the people. More impressive than the oldest buildings, the tallest structures, the prettiest vistas…the beautiful people I’ve met, their stories, their challenges, discoveries, pitfalls and triumphs. All intricate pieces in a grand mosaic of “Living Art,” the complexity and beauty of which can easily match and surpass any man-made structure.
If I could post pictures, I would post pictures of the people that have been placed on my path. I have found that they are the reason I’m travelling. Simply…to talk, laugh, exchange, share and LOVE. Ok, yes! I can do that in Montreal…but the people I’ve met through Couchsurfing and sleeping in hostels are different than those I meet on a daily basis. Some of them have been away from home for months…some for years…one particular friend with whom I shared a room with couch surfing said that when he was asked, at the airport, what his country of residence was…he simply couldn’t answer. He had been gone for so long and had lived in so many places for months at a time that he didn’t know what his current place of residence was.
Legally speaking, yes, residency can be determined and established…but where I’m at…nobody lives “legally.” In other words, life is lived on the outskirts of the conventionally established social norms. They live from their heart space. When you live from this divine space, your residence, family, friends, your life can exist everywhere and anywhere at once.
Costa-Rica: Going with the Flow
After landing in Costa Rica, I spent two days at the Costa Rica Backpackers hostel. There I met incredible world travellers who inspired me in every which way. Everyone has an answer as to where they’ve been…much less have an answer as to where they’re going next. Seems very different from the world I grew up in while I was studying (and then) practicing law. And much like my new global family, I don’t know where I’m going next.
I heard Costa Rica was a traveller’s hub…like an Internet router that leads to many other routers. Within the space of a day, I had established a concrete plan and I was on my way to Puerto Viejo to enjoy the sun and the beach. That same night, I met a new friend who mentioned that he was leaving for Nicaragua in two days. I evaluated the opportunities of being on the beach vs. moving up north, further into the unknown. Hours later, a new plan was formed. The next day, I booked an extra night at the hostel and prepared for my travels to Nicaragua. Does this mean that I had spent the previous day planning my entire Puerto Viejo trip for nothing?
Absolutely not. That night, a new world traveler slept in the same dorm as me, and she was wondering where to go next. After months of travelling, she was looking for a beach destination and wanted some ideas. Well, I gave her more than just an idea. I had it all planned out already. It was as if my journey to Puerto Viejo was instantly transferred over and it became HER journey to Puerto Viejo…location, hostel, route and all. We went to the bus station together…she bought a ticket for Puerto Viejo…I bought mine for Nicaragua. Our mutual understanding was so great that we easily said to each other that we were each other’s angels. I discovered that this is who I’m meeting…angels on life journeys helping each other to their next destinations where new angels, lessons and opportunities await.
Nicaragua: Backpacking Lessons
Speaking of angels, I’m now in Nicaragua. Back when I was in Vancouver, I had received an invitation to surf a couch in a small village one hour north of Tegucigalpa, which is the capital of Honduras. I had not planned to go to Honduras but now…it’s just so close to Nicaragua. Why not? I hadn’t made any specific plans for Nicaragua either did I?
Lesson number 1: When backpacking…plan to not have a plan or to have plans change at any moment. So I’m in an amazing hostel in Nicaragua and meet a girl who’s doing some volunteering in Central America. More specifically, in a small village in Honduras, which is coincidentally, the closest village to this town where I received a Couchsurfing invite from. Now if you know me, by now, you understand that I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in synchronicity. Being at any particular place at any particular moment and experiencing a particular event which brings something specific to you, the whole, originating from something much greater than what your mind can understand resulting in our simply classifying it as “random events” or “coincidences.”
All this to say that after meeting a travel partner to go from Costa Rica to Nicaragua, within a few hours, I now have a new angel with whom I am arranging travel from Nicaragua to Honduras (of course, passing by many little gems like the volcano isle of Ometepe in Nicaragua. Can this plan change again? YES! I KNOW IT CAN, and I look forward to anything new. In that way, I feel alive all the time.
Lesson number 2: When backpacking…do NOT book return tickets. Life has a tendency of bringing you forward when you choose to let it. Yes, it’s important to look back, but take a GLIMPSE back, then take a STEP forward. Know where you came from to understand where you’re going. Life is dynamic, seasons change, weather patterns change, people are born and people die. Why would my plans be any different from those present in the perfection that is nature? Nature changes and nature thrives. I change and thus…I thrive.
Yes, it’s true, I haven’t posted a lot of pictures…
But for every picture I haven’t posted, I’ve met an angel (or more) who has touched my life in ways the memories confined in a digital picture could simply, not match.
By now, you angels all know who you are as I’ve never hesitated to tell you how much I LOVED YOU (often repeatedly)! I’ve hugged you all many times, laughed with you, danced with you, have been creative with you and, have also said goodbye to you at some point…but goodbye is just a word we use. Angels are not affected by space and distance…remember, when you live in the heart space, you live from a divine space where your residence, family, friends and your life can exist everywhere and anywhere at once.
I LOVE YOU!