I’ve Been A Lot Of Different People
Do you remember that guy from high school who based his entire personality on how many parties he went too, all the booze he drank and the women he allegedly slept with? The one you didn’t think would ever leave the small town, because he was too committed to getting blackout drunk at every opportunity. One of the guys you figured would become a bum, or burnout if not for his parent’s money.
Then somehow got accepted into University, and by the gift of the gab, and knowing how to bullshit, managed to finish on time. That stereotypical freshman who drank way to much first year. Reinvented himself every two weeks in second year. Disappeared on an abroad trip in third year. Then came back and graduated quietly in fourth year.
That guy’s me. And I’ve been traveling since I was an infant. Obviously, my first travels were with my parents. How else would a baby get across Canada? Cool fact, the first time I flew solo, I was six years old. And my first solo travel experience had me sailing the Caribbean for a summer at 15.
After I finished school, I was so excited to unleash my knowledge of Development upon the global market. I had no idea how, so I figured I’d travel and figure it out.
I didn’t gain skills that would straight line me into a career. Instead, I learned about how the world works, and my Prof’s said to use this knowledge to avoid becoming stuck in cycles. Use this knowledge to understand the cycles and you’ll be ahead of everyone except the billionaires. during my course, I learned about the cycles of wealth, class, poverty, power… The works people!
If I took anything from it, it was that getting caught in the rat-race would be worse than death. A predictable monotony justified by blind consumerism and the addiction to security. I wasn’t sure what I would do to make my fortunes, but conviction told me adventure was the way to do it.
I loved my program, and the literature I studied at University, though I was tired of reading. After 4 years of reading books and journals on how the world works; it was time to see more of it first hand. Learning at my own pace, focusing on my interests, without the conformity of grades.
So I took risks. And I failed. Over, and over. I’ve failed more times than most people my age have tried. My failures have resulted in homelessness, sickness, needing to be internationally bailed out by my parents. Winding up as a homophone salesman. Returning to jobs I swore off. Dream job rejection letters (after pre-emotively moving to the cities and countries). Falling short of personal goals… The list goes on, I’ve done a lot of things in my quarter-century
.I’ll keep trying. Setting my stubborn mind to a hair-brained plan, and pushing forward, despite common sense, logistics, or the competition…
To Really Put A Label On It
A few months after Mom and Dad had to bail me out of Indonesia, they brought me one of their friend’s birthday parties. In typical Ontario fashion, a woman greeted me and asked “What do you do?” I was humiliated to say “I sell home phones” This was 2019 after all. I wanted to say I was a tree-planter. But this was a party for my parents, and they take zero pride in having a son who plants trees instead of doing some white-collar job. So I choked out “I’m in sales”.
That night and the days following, I moved through a haze. “What do you do?” I no longer had an answer I could give while feeling comfortable with myself. She asked it so different than the others. It’s a common greeting in Ontario. No one cares about you in Ontario; they just care about the job you do, and how it affects them. For so long I’d say I’m doing this for now. Or, I’ll be this or that soon. But I couldn’t anymore. I had been doing this job close the three months. It was what I did.
I’m not entirely sure why it affected me so, but it did. And I spent a long time thinking it over.
Until it hit me.
I’m a story teller. At parties, people loved my stories. Its how I got the attention of girls, and the thing I did between drinking. At University, I’d often derail lectures to give long tangents about my wild weekend. I joined a writers club, and for the first time in a long time, found a hobby outside of guitar, videogames, and binge drinking.
And this led to me shrugging off a major failure. See, while I was in Indonesia, I was trying to make it as a writer. I could live for cheap, and there was plenty of cool things to do around where I stayed. I had this big dream for New Zealand and while I waited for my visa approval, I would utilize my time by writing short stories, and chapters for my book.
The stories were all rejected, and my book never got past the fifth chapter. Shit hit the fan while going through customs to New Zealand, and I landed on my ass at my parent’s… Selling home phones.
What do you do? Well I tell stories of course. I may fail in the act of doing things, but I’ll paint a clear picture with my words and imagery. I guarantee you’ll learn something. My life may be unfocused but so too is the life of every great writer and drifter.
And so, after a few months, I got back into writing. It’s taken a lot to learn how to balance writing with traveling (especially when you’re working, or in areas with low power) but I think I’ve gotten there.
So I want to tell you stories. From the day to day, dispelling the glam behind long term backpacking. To my oldies but goodies. Sharing my favorite memories, triumphs, and horror stories from around the world.
With four seasons of tree planting. Four countries of residency. A list so long of near-death experiences I’ve lost count, and photos for days. I’ll tell you about the world. It’ll be informal. I’ll swear. But all the knowledge is backed by my experience and a degree on how the world works.
Basically, this blog is street, and book smart. With swearing! Because that makes me cool like Kerouac.