Are we nomads? Are we hippies? Vegabonds? Gypsies? Travellers? Worldschoolers? Maybe a little bit of some, less of others, and not enough of any to be defined by a single one. This is the point of this existence: to reach beyond the scope of ordinary labels. To be UNDEFINED. To reach a level of personal understanding when the branches of our existence can no longer fit into a box.
We are now entering our 5th month on the road as fulltime travelers. It has been a wild ride to say the least, full of varying momentum, expectations, and experiences. Nothing ordinary, nothing mundane, nothing predictable in any sort of way. To some this might sound stressful or positively delightful. In all honesty, it has slowly progressed from one spectrum to the other. The mind gradually shifts when we realize that our bundle of expectations greatly impacts and usually diminishes a genuine reality. How easy it is to ruin an experience by something as ridiculous as premeditation. The narrow boundaries of our perceptions create a film of disappointment when things are not as we thought they should be.
This is how we came to enter the world of “today” through our travels. Not a day or a date, a time, a month, or even a season. All of that seems to be of very little significance. I suppose this has become possible through our lack of a genuine plan, route, or desired ending point. The concept of time has blurred and ultimately become irrelevant. It is a blissful existence.
I think it has also been influenced by the concept of “manana” in Ecuador. Of course, manana means tomorrow. But, here, it is not a literal sense. In the beginning it was quite frustrating, even infuriating. How often someone would tell us manana…will no intention of doing anything tomorrow. First, it was the fruit truck who promised me a fresh watermelon manana. She never came. Then, it was the mechanic who was busy, but would see us manana. Manana was Sunday and he wasn’t open then. Or the shop keeper who promised shoes in the next size manana, but didn’t deliver until a month later.
Somehow this concept of a lighter existence has slowly but surely seeped through our veins. It is charming that people do not live by the regiments of a clock or a calendar, or a sense of responsibility to others. Why should they? Why should any of us? It is not about being rude, obnoxious, inconsiderate, lazy or any of the awful assumptions that used to cloud our judgement. It is about living. Leaving the alarm clock off, stopping to grab a fresh donut, or pausing to smell the rain. Allowing yourself to forget one last melon or to happily dismiss the fact that tomorrow is Sunday.
Sometimes it means waiting to leave until tomorrow, next week, or next month…because we are happy where we are, and why would we rush away from that? Because we have time. Time is all we have and we owe it to ourselves to stop allowing it to be a limit.
We had originally thought that by now we would be well on our way through Peru and maybe even on to Bolivia. We are still in Ecuador. Willfully and content, even if the circumstances were not intentional. And through this we understand how irrelevant 5 months are in the grand scope of things. It means that we surely will not complete the entire continent in 2.5 years. It could very well be double the time. We are completely okay with that. After all, 5 years really means nothing more than 5 more birthdays. For us, it does not mean 5 grade levels, 5 years of salaries, or 5 summer vacations. Maybe 5 more sets of tires, possibly another tent or two. A lot of miles, a million memories, and an entire chapter that we’ll recall as South America.
Time is just a dimension that we mean to defy. A label of sorts worth shirking to the side. Another part of our existence that we will let drift to the wind. For we are too busy living in today to remember that tomorrow has any true bearing on the choices we have made. This must be what it means to be happy, content, ALIVE!