Archive for March, 2009


March 30th, 2009

A couple days ago, I hitchhiked after the tendons in my shin were about to buckle.  The fourth car that passed my way picked me up.  The man and woman in the car were well traveled and were of refined character.  It was a singular experience, that split second decision to ride with complete strangers – the moment in which my heart stopped and my mind blanked, where the visceral led me – and it was the ride of my life.

There are those who decide to abandon picking up hitchhikers because it can be quite perilous.  The person or persons that decide to do this assume the dangers of theft, rape, and murder.  One that is able to do such is both bold and altruistic.  The well-being of another stands above his own safety and comfort.  I would analogize it, to a lesser extent, to saving a person from a burning building.  It is during times like these that the benevolence and goodwill of humanity are shown, where man’s character will be judged, dissected, and forever be emblazoned across time. America’s pastime seems very much alive, even if the murderers and rapists have ruined the once glorious image.

My faith in humanity has been restored.  I believe it is still possible for system wide change, and that history will not repeat itself as long as there are those who are willing to defiantly step out and evoke this change.  I’ll leave you with an aphorism from C.S. Lewis:

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.



March 25th, 2009

Many have inquired about why I chose to do a solo trip.  I would fain say something, not about why I chose this route, but about what I observed.  Most people are frightened, or, in the very least anxious about doing anything by themselves.  Many cannot escape common fears that pervade mankind – the fear of rejection, the fear of being judged, among a myriad of others.  It is never too late to give up our fears and our prejudices.  There is no concept so new or a practice so old that should not be put to the test.  And to test it we should, because it is the only way to better ourselves, to elevate mankind, and to acquiesce to the inner voice that bellows for truth.

Before I left, my mentor mentioned that extended travel with companions is destined for failure if everyone doesn’t share the same vision. I have been reading Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, and it has spoken volumes to me. Though it has passed its sesquicentennial, the book holds timeless wisdom:

I heard it proposed lately that two young men should travel together over the world, the one without money, earning his means as he went, before the mast and behind the plow, the other carrying a bill of exchange in his pocket. It was easy to see that they could not long be companions or co-operate, since one would not operate at all. They would part at the first interesting crisis in their adventures. Above all, as I have implied, the man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready, and it may be a long time before they get off.

It is hard to find someone whom shares the same musings and insights. It is equally tough to discover another whom shares the same lifestyle and temperament.  When you find the person that satisfies all these, hold on dearly.  Such individuals come by once in a blue moon.

I suspect that marriage can be analogized to companions on a road trip.  When the going gets tough, it often seems easier to leave than it does to solve problems.  Modern day technological advances and conveniences were supposed to indicate a more satisfied and fulfilled life.  Yet in the country that leads others in these respects by a wide margin, roughly half of all marriages end in divorce.  Could one of the main ingredients for a successful marriage be to have a similar vision in life?

Good night, and good luck.

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And so it begins

March 23rd, 2009

The time has come. A new chapter in my life has started. To mark the turn of the page, I went bald. Here are the before, during, and after pics. It’s true. Shaving the hair makes you feel naked. My head is more delicate than my inner thigh. Everytime the wind blows, I feel like someone is prodding me with a feather probe. But on the upside, no one will want to mess with me, which means I don’t need to buy a Rambo knife for protection. When I get to the Midwest, people will think I’m the first inducted neo-Nazi Asian skinhead.

My trip was delayed by several days due to last minute logistical measures and unforseen events. I finally have all the bare necessities that I need to start the trip, including some duct tape, in case my hood flies off.

This will be my living room, dining room, bedroom, and transport during the trip. It is too bad that the only ones I will be entertaining are the likes of Thoreau and Covey.

The official trip begins today, where I will ride into the sunset for Death Valley. Goodbye forever?

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