Rainbows and Storm Clouds


Traveling is not always rainbows and sunshine. It's not a constant lounging on a beach and drinking cheap beer and having blinders on only to experience all the beautiful parts and pieces of a country. Its not all the best photos we see on each other's social media platforms. Those are the pieces of our lives and of our travels we choose to share for many different reasons. Maybe because those images speak to us. Maybe those images are what we want our audience to associate us with. Or perhaps we share those images because they are reminiscent of the places, the people we met and food we tasted that melted our hearts and changed our lives indefinitely, and we want to share it with the rest of the world. 

It can be those things, but what most of us don't see online or consider sharing in such a universal platform are the extremes of travel. The depressing lows, the self examination, the leaving the people behind you just met for a few days that feel like brothers and sisters to you. We don't see the neo-colonialism that's ever present in this new generation of travelers and entrepreneurs alike.

We don't see the parts of each other's lives in the moments where we're broken down, crying to ourselves on a public bus in a foreign country because of the overwhelming contrast of dark and light we experience during a trip.

Crying of utter exhaustion, crying because of loneliness, because of the sheer beauty of the countryside we're zooming past all alone. Crying because weve never been a part of a more familial culture that takes you in and gives you everything they have just to make you feel at home, when you're a complete alien.

When language you can understand is out the door and your ability to survive lies in your competency in reading body language and in social cues. A smile, a kind gesture.. or the opposite.

Some of the best times of my life have been on the road, enveloped in gratitude to experience the world in this way we can now. The most growth in my life has come when I'm beaten down, scared, sorry and so alone I forget the feeling of community even after just a few days.

It's really about he parallels. The light in the dark and the dark in the light.

From Pacific to Atlantic by Thumb

It all started out with a beautiful day in sunny Santa Cruz, California. I was living up from the harbor, off of 7th Ave, in a beach house with my four best friends. Life was good, really good. In fact, it was too good. I had been harboring feelings of discontent towards the American culture for some time, and these thoughts began to buzz uncontrollably in my head like a fly in a room that refuses to find it's resting place. Resentment for the ease of it all, for the excess of material processions, the frivolous spending of currency, the constant and mindless clucking of passersby  by way of reluctant eavesdropping, that only someone who was born into this society could possibly hold indignation for. 

 I had a normal day of working on boats in the harbor, road my bike around town, ate well, and had come home to my beautiful house with a tremendous notion of curiosity and impatience for the unknown permeating my core. Something wasn't right. Yet how could it be, that I had everything one could want- a great job, friends, a roof over my head in a gorgeous town by the sea. But still, my spirit craved more.. there had to be more out there than just this. Instinctively, I got on my laptop and began scouring all online flight portals, searching for the cheapest flight I could find out of the country. I didn't care where I was going, I just wanted to go somewhere different, and be completely knocked on my ass, bewildered, alive, awoken from the daily affliction of mundanity. Immersed in a culture apart from my own. America can be a very, very dry place. If you let it, it's all too easy to be swept up into the cyclical cycle of the rat race, the never ending hamster-wheel scenario of work, buy, satiate with material goods, work, spend, etc. I like to call it the "chasing rainbows" affect where the society at large is set up so that people are never satisfied, and left always wanting more, more more. a non- existent ceiling of desires and false hopes that the new car or the big house, the perfect smile will lead to a happy life. Good worker bees and the corporate name of the game is Distraction. Distract people with these inconsequential desires, cravings and day to day crisis instead of encouraging out of the box thinking, self-actualizations and curiosity for the outside world. Outside the bubble. It is a safe land. A calculated land. The American coined  "freedom" has often tickled me with it's irony and propaganda.

And thus, what my relentless scouting had led me to; was a $100 flight to Cartagena, Colombia- from New York. 

"Well then," I thought; "I must get to New York! What better way than to hitch-hike across the country?" And so I did. For one month I went from California all the way across the Great Big Land of the Free to New York City. And most importantly, is that I am still alive and well to tell the tale, and to encourage others to do the same if ever the opportunity arises. It is our duty as humans to be alive. Live! Below are just a handful of the hundreds of photographs and video footage I took while on this journey.