~ Home In The Unknown ~
“A new adventure waited beyond the horizon as I stood alone in that departure lounge once again, feeling the straps of my backpack pull on my shoulders, enjoying the unique atmosphere that comes with having a group of people momentarily enclosed in one space before the explosive power of jet engines left them all scattered sporadically around the globe. As the others buzzed and shopped around, I stood still and stared out the windows dreaming of the upcoming adventure. The planes lined the tarmac outside and my stomach stirred with excitement and apprehension. I was flying solo into the anarchy of another adventure and as always I didn’t know what awaited me out there in the big wide world. Friends or foes? Pleasure or pain? Love or heartbreak? Life or death?
Like always, if I could have known, I wouldn’t have wanted to. For me predictability and order were the slaughterhouses of the soul. To me it seemed too much of all that only took the spark from your eye and the fire from your stomach. It was out there in the eternal mystery of the unknown where the magic and wonder lay. It was out there in the unknown where life was lived at its more furious and fullest. That was the beauty of the adventure which always made come crawling back from the suburban life of security and comfort. So far my ventures into the unknown had brought me many treasures and pleasures. No doubt they had also caused me pain and discomfort too, but it was a small price to pay for the wonders I had stumbled across on my journey through the wild. My soul was stirred by it all. The grand memories. The inner discoveries. The new friends. The burning passions. The feeling of living life at its fullest, knowing that if you were to die in an instant, you would leave the world behind with no regrets at all. That was what kept me returning from the safe and familiar.
When you really thought about it, it didn’t seem to make sense to have such a fear of living in the mystery of the moment. At its core life itself was one big journey in the unknown. At every second we are incarnate in slowly decaying bodies, riding a spinning rock through an infinite universe with nobody who knew to what end. One day we were all going to die and go on the biggest journey into the unknown yet. Still, despite our shared fate and circumstance, so many fearfully refuse the unknown their entire life. They try to organise their lives on a spreadsheet right up until their funeral. They iron out any mystery or wonder. They stamp out any possibility for surprise. For some life is one big wait in that departure lounge, staring out the window but never getting up to take their flight.
Thinking about it all, I suddenly remembered bumping into my uncle walking down the street the week before. After conversing about life, he started to quiz me about my travels. I went and told him all about my adventures and what I had done, and what I had planned to do. As I told him all of this, I could see a spark in his eye, one of bewitched curiosity but also one of sadness. He went on to tell me how he had wanted to do all of that stuff when he was young, but didn’t because he was too set on the security of a steady life. Now all of that had gotten him to where he was now: living alone in an old people’s home, too old and tired to go on the adventures he wished he had went on when he was young.
Thinking back to that conversation I was as ready as ever to hurl myself into the abyss of the unknown. I had even more courage and faith to throw myself into the wild. The gates had now opened and my flight was ready for boarding. I shook myself back to life and I headed toward the plane to begin another voyage out into that big wide world. I thought of the people I was yet to meet, the sights I was yet to see, the feelings I was yet to feel. I thought of the epic adventure that awaited me. I was flying to a country I had never been to, totally alone, but the fluttering feeling in my heart made me feel good. It made me feel like I was going back to a place my soul missed. Back once more into the wild. Back once more into the chaos and madness. Back once more into the beautiful unknown – the only real home I had ever truly known.”
~ A Warrior of the Wild ~
“And there comes a moment in your life when you know that they have failed to break you down. As you emerge with those eyes full of fire from the swamps and storms, as you throw down the muck and mess and madness – as you stagger forth fearlessly with the light of the cosmos still blazing bright in your heart. You will know that they have failed to break you down. When you hear that wolf still growling inside your head – still untamed, still rising up – your raw truth still propelling you forward against all the hollow-hearted and empty-eyed creatures who abandoned the very essence of life and themselves. You will know they have failed to break you down. When you remember that you chose love and not hate; courage and not fear; freedom and not slavery. And though your journey through the wild may have left you scratched and scarred, your very flesh will shine in the sun like a beautiful beacon of victory. You will bear the marks that show you fiercely followed your heart – that show you walked the path of the wild warrior. You’ll bear the marks that show you went out there and lived a life, and didn’t just exist in one.”
~ Time To Rise ~
“I know you kept it hidden away for so long. Facing out at that grey world, you were sure it would never understand the things you kept locked away deep inside yourself. You stared into their eyes and sensed that they weren’t ready for the things you had contained in your heart. It was a world of culture and convention; of tradition and expectation; of concrete and sanity. You felt incompatible with what was presented to you. And so you locked it all away. You suppressed your inner voice; you hid your true nature. But please wild one: a little courage – a little courage. Whether you feel like it or not, this world is your home and there are people and places out there ready for you. With a little trust in yourself and you will be led down paths of tremendous beauty and mystery and magic. You will create and do the things that will leave you truly fulfilled. You will experience a new plain of being – the plain of the one who lives every day as an epic adventure in the unknown. Yes, not all will appreciate your authenticity, but the ones who do will welcome you with loving arms. So go on – go forth and take the leap of faith. Throw open your heart. Let the spirit birds locked away inside rise up into skies of freedom. Let yourself migrate towards the shores of your own destiny. Live a life so fierce and fearless that the others have no choice but to join you on the quest of freedom. God only knows, in these dark times we could do with a few more free birds up there to inspire us all.”
“It’s the stray-dog soul madness. It’s that itch you can’t scratch. It’s that feeling that leaves you staring up at ceilings in the middle of the night. You may settle down occasionally, sink into that sofa of comfort and routine, but even in those periods you will consistently look out around you for certain things. You will look out for the foreign travellers in your own town. You will look out for the birds taking flight from telephone cables. You will look out for the leaves being swept down the street in the wind. And when you see those things some part of you will just desire more than anything to join them and get lost once more out in the unknown. A part of you perpetually longs to be wandering down the cobbled lanes of some old European town, or hiking through a mountain wilderness, or sitting on a foreign beach staring out into a sunset sky. And no matter how much time passes, the madness shall never truly leave you. The years of wandering shall carry on and on; the infection in your heart will remain in some way. Even on your deathbed your heavy eyes will still lift to the horizon once more – ready for the next trip, ready for the next adventure – ready to sail back to the starry ocean of infinity where your stray-dog soul truly belongs.”
~ The Responsibility of Freedom ~
“So many people say they want freedom, but very few actually mean it. Being truly free means thinking for yourself. It means being solely responsible for the direction in which way your life is heading. To a lot of people that is a terrifying prospect. People would rather sink back into their sofas and be told what to think; they would rather follow the crowd than instinct – would rather be guided by an institution than intuition. The reason why is that living freely is the greatest form of responsibility there is. It means being the sailor of your own ship. It means trusting yourself to the water and self-navigating the ocean. Ultimately, being truly free means getting up to look in the mirror everyday knowing that it is you – and only you – who is responsible should you drift off course and end up sinking into the abyss.”
~ Reclaiming Your Heart And Mind ~
“From the moment you can understand words, you are enrolled and controlled by a culture that teaches us that we are all marginal and that life is ordinary. But venture outside their control for a short while, and you sober up from the illusions. Life is not a formulaic journey to the grave down a grey highway of bills, television and weekend drinking. There is more. Despite what those men in suits say, there is more. I implore you to have faith in your own individual direct experience. I implore you to step out beyond the comfort zone, follow your bliss and wander into the glorious wilderness of the unknown. You may get messy hair, dirty feet and a broken heart – but on your deathbed you will be able to look back and say the thing that matters most: “I lived my life to the full”.
(taken from my book ‘The Thoughts From The Wild’ available here)
~ Into The Wild ~
“The choice between a conventional life and an unconventional life was one we all faced at some point. The period of your life where this happened was mostly in the post-education years. The first part of your life, you don’t have any real agency over – you simply follow the law and go to an institutional education facility for the best part of two decades. But when that was finished you suddenly were given an opportunity to walk whatever path you wanted to. Although there are many vehicles, there are essentially only two roads: A) You start a career and follow a linear and safe path of mortgage, kids and retirement, or B) you go down the rabbit hole and try something different. For me, the only desire I had was to travel and so, two months after my graduation, I caught a one-way flight to South America to begin my journey into wonderland. Over the next few years I continued walking down that path. The way took me to peaks of mountains, to seedy hotel rooms, to erupting volcanoes, to almost dying stranded with a friend in the woods of winter.
While it was thrilling and invigorating, I would be lying if I said at sometimes I wasn’t anxious or worried. Often I reflected on everyone else back home busying away, building their nests and bank accounts while I basically had nothing but a backpack and a worn-out passport. At my lowest point I was on the other side of the world with $50 to my name, sleeping in an airport lounge with no plane to catch. Suddenly I began to question myself; suddenly the homeless people on the sidewalks became society’s warning about where I could end up should I drift too far from the road of normality. Where was I going? What was I doing? Was it all really worth it? Yes, I won’t lie. I won’t lie and say sometimes I wasn’t apprehensive, or concerned, or that I didn’t think about turning around back onto the safe path, but it only took the thought of me slowly dying inside in a life I hated over many years to pick up that backpack and continue walking wide-eyed into the wilderness of the unknown.”
(taken from my book ‘The Thoughts From The Wild’ available here)