I was in my 250-square foot apartment, staring at the sun rising over the majestic Andes mountains, when my phone rang.
I’ve been in Peru for over 10 months. It’s been one of the most electrifying, educational time periods of my entire life. In two more months, it appears that I will be flying back to Washington D.C. to stay with my parents for 3-4 weeks. During that time, I will be planning the logistics of my next destination.
Bali is currently my top choice. Land of many gurus…and possibly…romance! I smiled at the thought so often associated with the movie “Eat Pray Love.” After all, it wasn’t the main reason I was considering Bali as a destination. But it was fun to think about!
My Dad started off the phone call…
“Look, Scott, we know that you’re on this world travel kick and you want to be on television talking about travel and spirituality, but have you considered a ‘Plan B’ if this doesn’t all work out?”
I paused for a few seconds to consider his question.
“Honestly, no, I’ve never thought about a Plan B. That’s because there is no Plan B,” I said flatly.
“It’s great to have dreams, Scott. But we all have to live in the real world. What are you going to do if you run out of money?”
“Make more money, I guess. Listen, Dad, I’ve been pretty sick in Peru 5 or 6 times. I’ve had parasites in my stomach. I had $200 remaining in my account when I got my current travel video job. Does that sound like a ‘Plan B’ kind of guy to you? Did I fly home when all that super difficult stuff happened? Nope. I’m still here. I think you should prepare yourself for the strong possibility that I might be flying out of D.C. soon after I get there. And it won’t be for a weekend at the Hilton in Paris. It will be something a bit more rigorous.”
“I see,” my Dad said thoughtfully.
“I know you guys are just looking out for me. I get that. But travel is not my hobby. It’s my life.”
“Alright. Well you know we support you no matter what. It will be nice to see you.”
“Same here, Dad. I’m looking forward to spending time with you guys. And, also, oxygen, at zero feet elevation.”
We hung up the phone.
Now, I’m not saying it’s a terrible idea to have a Plan B. I sometimes admire people that have a Plan B. I’m just not that guy. I’m not sensible in the usual definition of the word. I apply logic to most situations, I have a reason for everything I do, and a strategy, but I’m not ‘sensible’, exactly.
I’ve spent nearly my whole life not really believing in anything except making good money, fine dining and craft cocktails, having a good work ethic, and appreciating my wonderful colleagues of which there have been many.
But I never believed in anything.
That feeling didn’t happen to me until I started broadcasting on Periscope (Twitter’s Live Platform) about a year ago. That’s when I felt something. I felt it in my balls. It felt like me.
45 years is a damned long time to wait for that kind of feeling.
You think I’m gonna let go of that feeling now? After waiting longer than some people live? My biological father died at 33! You gotta be outta your mind!
My parents won’t see the validity of my purpose until real money starts coming in, and that’s fine. I don’t blame them. That’s just how they’re wired. In some ways, that’s a legitimate way of thinking. Hell, even I used to feel important when I’d get that envelope on Fridays with all that money in it, and I’m a very different person than my parents. Money can’t truly make you feel important. You’re already important. That’s just something we are all born with.
Somebody asked me, recently, how much money it would take for me to go back to my old job, being in an office for almost the entire day.
I thought about it for a minute.
“1 million dollars per year,” I answered, because after one year I would probably never have to think about having a job I didn’t want. Then I paused, reflected again, and I changed my answer.
“I wouldn’t go back for any sum of money that exists.”
Not because it’s a horrible job. It’s a fantastic job! I just don’t want to do it anymore.
And this is the important part: because time is far more valuable than money. And a year is a lot of time. If I only live to be 80, I would have spent more than 1% of my entire life in Peru. And I’m quite happy with that trade.
But I thought about it from my parents point of view. What if, God forbid, something happened to me and they had to deal with it? It would make their life a living hell. But I can’t think that way. Not now. Not ever. I can’t let those kinds of demons keep me from living the life that I envision. That’s the kind of Plan (B)ullshit that kept me doing a job that didn’t speak to me for years and years.
But I’m grateful for that job because it got me into TV. I’ve loved TV since I was a little kid watching “The Brady Bunch.” TV has always fascinated me. Thrilled me. And now TV is better than ever. I dare someone to watch the first episode of “Heroes” and not watch the second one right away. That, my friends, is some good storytelling.
Or “Lost.” Remember the pilot episode of “Lost”? How totally engrossing it was? At the time, it was the most expensive pilot ever made and boy did they spend that money wisely!
You know what I say to Plan B?
I say F that s***!
You know what one of my favorite places in the world is?
Unknown wonders lie just outside those gates. Things you never imagined possible. The people I’m searching for around the world are living and breathing just outside those gates. The gurus! Men and woman with ancient knowledge that can be used to improve the quality of our lives. People who see beyond ordinary life…beyond the world as we typically understand it. Psychics, shaman, reiki masters, plant medicine experts.
Those people excite me. The thought of meeting them drives me.
I’m going to find them.
That is Plan A.
Where “A” stands for “ALL IN.”
Every. Single. Chip.