Today's blog, and first of 2017, comes from Denver International Airport, Terminal C (Southwest's Haven), where I am Fort Lauderdale-bound, and eventually Colombia-bound. Two years ago on this day, I was wandering Colombia (my first South American country) and simultaneously experiencing an absolute whirlwind of emotions. Boy, has a lot happened in those two years...
That trip led to so many realizations, and was really what I now consider to be the turning point in my life. After years of slowly drifting away from what I loved to do (travel, make movies) and getting lost in the "rat race" that American Society can be, I whimsically decided upon Colombia after a failed plan to go to Brazil. Unhappy with my life at home, I was excited to get away from it again via my love for travel, but I carried with me more emotional baggage than I could carry, and it wasn't until I landed that I realized how heavy that baggage was.
My trip to Colombia was no different than a psychedelic (defined as "mind-revealing"- thanks Augusto) trip, complete with euphoria, wonder, happiness, and fear. Traveling wasn't the cause of any of those emotions- only the catalyst for what was within. I experienced a new culture, a new continent, new marvels, as well as a serious look at what the hell I was doing with my life.
Throughout my entire trip, one prominent thought prevailed; I didn't want to go back to my shitty bartending job where I wasn't fulfilling my true potential or earning the income that I hoped I would when I desperately entered the field to eradicate my debts. I felt so overwhelmed with anxiety that it was almost hard to enjoy the beautiful country around me. I quit my job, despite very little savings, another job lined up, monthly bills, and an unfulfilled lease- from Colombia.
That leap into the canyon toward the unseen bridge was the start of my emotional resurrection. It got worse before it got better, but today, two years later, I am happy and doing what I love to do for a living. Forget "American Dream"- it's anyone's. And we're all capable of it.
I have since lived 6 months in Mexico, 14 months in New York City, and 2 in Colorado (it took me 2 months to leave). Immediately upon returning, I started devoting my time to this page, Travel tips and stories to share with everyone, and committed myself to making a difference in the field of Travel, with a determination to re-hash my love for video and marry the two.
It took a while to get back into the field, which began with the Colombia video I made below. But I continued to hone my craft, and now, I'm the proud owner of Arcadian Pictures, a Film Company dedicated to positively impacting this world and the people in it. This time when I go to Colombia, I will see it through very different eyes.
My dear friends, Juliana & Juan, who are more brother and sister than they are business partners, are already there, waiting to show me a new side of Colombia. And I can't wait! Although I was wrestling with my emotions during my last visit, I was definitely taking notes on the way of life, and I remember saying to a newfound friend in Medellín, "I will return to this city."
True to my word, I will. In three days.
It's funny- sometimes, when you don't know a place well, the images and memories that are burned into your memory stay fixed as "what a place is like." And yet, often when you visit a second time, you see the place as some new world altogether that doesn't look like it did last time. That's the beauty of Travel; that's the beauty of Life. No two experiences or memories will ever be the same.
I've got to head to my gate for now, but I just wanted to check in and encourage you all to follow your dreams while you're here, alive, and have the opportunity. Don't wait for that day in the future to do what you want to do or see what you want to see; it may never come.