Being able to share a blog publication is always a great sign that I am having more time for myself. It also means I can also connect with the outside world after what has usually been an intense period of wanderlusting towards new horizons, whether they are beyond the limits of our physical body or not.
The fact of having the possibility to have someone read these few lines at this very moment is even more special to me because it had been four years (since my 9-month stay in Japan from September 2014 to July 2015) that I had not been capable of sharing much at this time of the year because of some supermassive energy vortex called Chacahua that was sucking me in. Those who have kept following my crazy adventures during all these years know almost as intimately as I do about this tiny Mexican island off the gorgeous coast of Oaxaca; It has not only bewitched my soul with her dazzling beauty but has also and especially taught me so much in terms of both my personal and collective growth through the beautiful souls I have met there.
I ended up having the most amazing life in Chacahua for ten months in total (out of three six-month cycles in Mexico between December 2015 and May 2018) almost completely off the grid with not having much more than my tent pitched inside a small cabañita (hut) on the beach and a well to wash not far from it. Being in Chacahua was the end of a longer-term cycle and surely the beginning of a new one since for the first time of my adult life, I could take as much time as I wanted (or needed) to sit back, observe my life and contemplate it so that I could figure out what I really wanted (or needed) to do with it for the new upcoming cycle.
Yet, this concept may sound slightly paradoxical with the idea of going with the flow and letting go of everything but after all, why would it be incompatible with the idea of knowing where we come from, where we are at and where we are going as a global direction in this existence of ours?
I believe that when we are fully attuned with ourselves, hence with the true essence of our soul, it is actually possible to See the flow of how events and encounters connect to one another in the long run to take us to a very point in time and space regardless of the natural dualistic judgment (“good or bad”) with which we humans tend to perceive an experience. The problem is neither about taking the past into consideration and see how much we have listened and learnt nor about discussing future possibilities among a infinite ocean of them.
The problem is that we usually get completely stuck with the past and we project ourselves way too far and too much in the future given that the Now is the only concept that truly exists in both our human and spiritual perceptions of life.
In fact, there never is a “problem” unless we judge and get stuck on a situation instead of perceiving it for what it is. Yet, I am fully aware that it is very tricky not to judge because we have been trained and conditioned to do so since we were born, both directly and indirectly, through social environment (including the “marvelous” media) and to put a label on anything and anyone all the time.
And at the end of the day, Chacahua (and Mexico as a whole) has allowed me to complete this process and to eventually take the time to contemplate and feel what I had achieved until then and where the cosmic winds may take me next. Not because I wanted to know what was going to happen but because I was actually very thrilled about the Unknown that was lying before my bare feet and about whatever would be waiting for me on the way.
Nevertheless, when I left and said farewell to Chacahua for an indefinite amount of time in March 2018, I could not imagine that it would have almost made sense to go back there at the end of the same year, after spending some intense months in the mountains and forests of California like I much enjoyed doing the three years before. But it would have “almost” made sense just because it was on my way to Colombia . After all, when I departed from Chacahua last year, I had no clue that I may go back again to the USA later on, which was an opportunity that came to me in August for heading there in late September.
Overall, I have remained open to the magic of what was meant to come to me and I realised that even though I had a new occasion to return to my beloved Mexico and Chacahua in order to close and open a new chapter of this life as I have done so many times there before, I felt that my energetical necessity of the moment was to go back to Colombia regardless of financial and/or geographical asspects. And it was not an easy decision to make. Or else, I did not even “make” anything and it turned out that it was what made more sense in order to shift cycles in the very long term and move forward in my life and my long journey around the globe.
Now, one might ask why go “back” to Colombia. Well, because I had already spent two months there from July to September, close to a tiny village named Santa Elena and located at 2600 metres above sea level in the Andes, one hour away from Medellin (the second biggest city of the country after the capital Bogota).
In fact, 2018 was a year of healing for me. One may argue that each and every single year is a year of healing for everyone but I still think that it becomes something much more powerful when we really put the intention to do what we really need to do in order to heal. Of course, the concept of “healing” sounds like our physical body is injured, which may be the case at some stage, but there are many types of injuries we can endure, especially when it comes to the emotional body.
I (and quantum physics) believe that all our injuries have an emotional cause, mainly manifesting themselves in a subconscious pattern. This precept justifies the fact that we tend to do the same mistakes and have to learn the same lessons over and over again. Indeed, digging down the rabbit hole is something that we all have to do at some point in both our human AND spiritual experience and it just depends on how deep we are ready to go.
By now, I have never felt so fit and strong and flexible in my life after doing a substantial amount of yoga, isometric strength and long stretching work on a daily basis for over a year. It is part of what the freedom of choosing this way of living has provided me with and it is not so bad considering that I am going to turn 40 in a few months.
Nutrition has been a very crucial part of it as well and I can say that the freedom that I have manifesting in the last couple of years has allowed me to exercise as much as during my university years 15 years ago. The difference is that I am so much more conscious about everything I am doing.
All in all, 2018 was a year of becoming even more aware of the ultimate priority I should give to my body as my very own temple and the vehicle that my soul has chosen to reincarnate on this planet so that I can fully channel whatever energies I am meant to convey and endure whatever experience I am meant to embrace for me to grasp whatever lesson I am meant to learn.
As you have already surely noticed, it is more important for me to share the emotional part of my quest rather than the geographical one along with its wondrous features along the way. As a matter of fact, both concepts are inexorably undissociable in the travellers's life, which is all about the magic of parting from an old routine for good and staying abroad from an extended period of time without going back to what we used to call “home”.
We then realise that Home can just be anywhere (even inside of us) and that we can create and manifest our very own reality just anywhere we fall in love with a place and its people and reciprocally.
2018 was also the year during which I crossed the most borders in my life; Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia and US. Yet, doing the same distance I did between Mexico and Costa Rica overland (8500km) with Rudy (my car) is still less than what I did when I crossed China from Tibet to Shanghai and then to Mongolia (9500km) in 2014. As always, Space and Time and especially physical borders are very relative concepts indeed.
From the moment I left Northern California in early December 2017, I drove about 17000 kilometres in total all the way to Costa Rica and the only reason for which I eventually did not make it to Panama is because it is truly a huge bureaucratic gamble to sell an imported vehicle in these countries. It made much more sense and far less costly at the time to sell Rudy in Costa Rica and fly out to Medellin, Colombia from there.
Overall, my second stay in Guatemala after last years's was not more exciting than the first one as it is really challenging to find authenticity in the human experience with locals in this country, far from the over-exploitation of mass tourism. My stay there (mainly in Antigua) was pretty much exclusively focused on the process of getting my back fully tattooed, which may sound slightly trivial in the first place and yet the achievement of a ten-year, long-thought project.
After concluding the explosive Guatemala adventure with the strongest and deadliest eruption of the Fuego volcano in forty years, an unexpected surprise was waiting for me on the other side of the border of El Salvador. And El Salvador did not fail to stick to the true sense of its name for it “saved” me from assuming that I did not have much to do in Central America aside from geographically crossing these territories from point A to point B because they were on my way to South America.
Of course, nature can be beautiful just anywhere according to the manner we are able to enjoy our silences and solitude at times or according to the souls that we are sharing these special moments with. It is all the people we meet and the smiles we bump into on our Path that define and gauge the quality of our human experience. And one does not need to travel at the other side of the world or in a supposedly utterly different culture to comprehend that even if it may help a lot and considerably accelerate the process.
We can also discuss the idea that it is because we love to do something that we generate positive energies and manifest the “right” people in our lives but it is not always accurate in a sense that we could be in the most beautiful place in the world, it would not be as enjoyable as it could potentially be in we are surrounded by people who have a different energy frequency. Then, it is all about the timing of it along with synchronicity on the way.
In my very own experience, El Salvador was an exception to the local masquerade of the omnipresent tourism that has destroyed the genuineness of what used to be the heart of the Mayan culture in Central America.
I am certain that some fascinating local communities still exist somewhere in Central America but they are really hidden and/or forgotten and there is not much off-the-beaten track travelling that can be done there. I believe this has taken place over the last decades because it has become more accessible to travel, the countries are small and it is like a geographical funnel not only between Mexico and Colombia but also between the huge masses of land that are North and South America.
Central American States are so tiny that it takes us back to the concept of “property” in Western Europe, where it is actually very challenging to find stretches of land that does not belong to anyone. In fact, when thinking about it, it is almost impossible to do it in Europe unless you go high enough in the mountains where Mother Earth takes it rights back and the climate becomes to harsh to live there.
Consequently, everyone goes pretty much to the same places and it feels as if there were more people than in a bigger country because they are more concentrated in terms of density due to the limited space and possibility of movement.
There is not much obvious, visible ancestral culture in El Salvador (apart from a few temples here and there in the North) and the touristy side of the country is more focused on surfing along the Pacific coast as foreigners mostly come for that reason.
Nevertheless, despite the intrinsic beauty of the Pacific shore, it was further inland that I was dazzled by the pristine, virgin nature and the willingness of the locals to live in harmony with it in all its possible senses, to the point of driving through villages and barely being able to see houses since they are surrounded by all types of greenery.
Most importantly, El Salvador has this reputation of so-called “dangerous” country and even though a lot of those who watch TV and the news may not go to such places, they are actually a blessing for people like me. In effect, after 6 years and 4 months travelling around the world overland and after more than 16 years since I started backpacking or vagabonding, the most interesting local people I have met actually live in these “dodgy” places such as Turkey, Iran, Russia, El Salvador, Mexico and Colombia. Not only are they some of my favourite nations and cultures in the world, where I ran into some of the most hospitable people ever, but also did I feel so much safer in these lands than what I could feel in the USA, Western Europe or even in what used to be my hometown in France where I would hardly ever walk in the streets of the city centre at night.
Everything is a matter of perception.
In recent years, Honduras has also gained a reputation of being one of these “unsafe” locations but again, I did not really take that into consideration before crossing its border.
Sure thing was that I did not intend to stay there for the simple reason that Honduras has also become the new worldwide frenzy on the American continent for cheap scuba-diving as Thailand used to be in Asia before they ruined all the reefs by over-exploiting them. I did not want to participate in that consumerist farce and in the superficial party atmosphere that is usually affiliated to it.
Then came Nicaragua, which was meant to be the actual highlight of my Central American journey and where I thought I would stay for weeks exploring the place, at least when I originally planned the trip. It was a totally different story when getting to the border since a nebulous, intense conflict had been born in the country between the people and its government and the fancy of lingering there for some time rapidly vanished. Subsequently, I ended up crossing Nicaragua in 4 days from the Honduras border to that of Costa Rica, 400 kilometres further.
It was a pity because I had heard so many beautiful things about this country and it could have been a huge disappointment not to be able to travel properly there.
However, to be perfectly honest, it was not a dissatisfaction at all because I did not feel that there was anything waiting for me in Nicaragua. I gladly accepted the synchronicity of not feeling welcome there and of having slipped through its numerous barricades on the road, which was quite intense at times especially in the South. Yet, I never felt in danger for locals understood it was not my war.
Meanwhile, I did see beautiful landscapes on the way but nothing truly exceptional to the eyes of the experienced, off-the-beaten-track traveller. Furthermore, I do not think that any country in the world is worth 17 dollars a night per person for a shabby dormitory, which is almost as expensive as Japan and quite common along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua.
I then thought it would be much more interesting to travel Central America with a van in which it is possible to sleep (especially during the rainy season as camping is close to being impossible). But I have to refute this idea because again, in my humble opinion, Nicaragua and the entire Central America have been already way too much spoiled not only by mass tourism but also by the influence from the North...or from the West, depending on how you look at it.
It was high time to cross the Costa Rica border and even if it is one of the most expensive countries I have ever visited, at least it did not fail its reputation of also being one of the most beautiful places in the world when it comes to its stunning scenery and biodiversity.
There are still many beaches in Costa Rica that can only be reached by boat, which is quite a meaningful symbol that this country is truly a gold mine regarding its amazing wilderness and the hidden jewels that are still to be explored. This land sets one in immersion to learn the language of Nature. But only to a certain extent.
It is no coincidence that, consciously and subconsciously, I have most enjoyed my time journeying in bigger countries almost all my life (Australia, India, China, Russia, Alaska, Canada, United States, Mexico) because to the exception of New Zealand and La Reunion Island (which are not “big” places by definition yet scenically spectacular in essence), they are where nature remains sovereign with greater free space, hence where it is accessible and coherent (to my experience) to connect and commune with Her.
Therefore, these territories are where it is possible to encounter our very own freedom and to fully let go of the permanent conditioning and distraction that we all experience on a daily basis on different degrees and levels.
Even though I somehow did enjoy my stay in Costa Rica, I did not feel like I was really at my place in Central America and spontaneously decided not to go to Panama as originally planned and to fly straight to Colombia. Consequently, the overland voyage that I have not done between Costa Rica and Colombia has become only the second section I have not explored for this round-the-world trip after Pakistan (between Iran and India) in late December 2012.
Nevertheless, there happened to be an exception to the overwhelming mass tourism in Costa Rica and it was the three delightful weeks I spent at Playa Dominical as I was dealing with all the bureaucratic paperwork nonsense when trying to sell Rudy (my car) after 8 months and 6 countries of loyal company to one another.
I had always felt like arriving in Colombia would be an important milestone in my journey because of being the gateway of entering the exciting, long-awaited South American adventure that I have kind of delayed for the last couple of years.
I have just bought a van because I believe it is what incarnates the balance of what I need at present in my evolution after hitchhiking half the planet and suffering enough the rough experience of local transportation. I am about to get started again my long road trip around the globe, this time around South America and I truly look forward to that. The idea is first to head from Colombia to Patagonia (Southern Chile) and then back up through Argentina and Uruguay towards Brazil.
Yet, I do not know much about how much time the journey is going to take as I have, in fact, never known from the very beginning when I left France in September 2012. The difference, nearly 6 years and a half later, is that I am more and more willing to finish my journey and establish my own space of tranquility, learning, sharing and healing somewhere in harmony with nature, and South America is beckoning at my soul somehow.
Thank you for reading me and for being in my life. 2019, and especially its astronomical and astrological patterns, is going to be a thrilling year and I take advantage of the situation to wish you a captivating revolution around the sun in which all your dreams come true because of putting the intention to manifest them in your very own reality regardless of what people think about it.
I wish you to embrace as much your human experience as your spiritual one because they are both fascinating in themselves and one cannot go without the other.
I wish you to be yourself and find your true essence and to be passionate about it and to be surrounded by the people that love you unconditionally for that reason. I wish you to keep discovering the Universe both above our head as well as beneath the delusional border of our physical body.
Spread the Love.
Journey around the world overland since 2012.