I figured out what I want to do when I grow up. I want to see EVERYTHING.
You heard me.
That exists in the world.
No stone unturned. Adventure with a side of adventure. Please, and thank you very much.
I’ve been living in Peru for six months. I’ve slept on dozens of buses traveling the length and breadth of this awe-inspiring country. The word gratitude comes to mind as my home country potentially falls into spectacular ruins while perfectly mirroring the narrative of the movie “Idiocracy.”
I have a lease here. An actual legal contract on my apartment in the bohemian hills above the main square of Cusco, Peru called San Blas. My lease is written in Spanish. I signed it anyway. Hell, I wanted to be locked in at $125 US dollars per month. Go ahead. Handcuff me. That was a bar tab in Los Angeles. On a Tuesday.
Anticipation is the best part. The heart soars. The imagination expands.
What do you see when you think of travel? Perhaps...
The Arc de Triomphe looking out over the the romantic, the smile-inducing, Champs-Élysées lit up like Christmas.
Hot air balloons decorated in bold, primary colors soaring over the wildebeest and zebra migration of the Serengeti.
Soaking your weary bones in The Blue Lagoon, Iceland.
Making a wish with your lover at the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
Travel lifts up the entirety of my soul. It is the core of who I am. It is my red blood cells. My mitochondria. I want more. I need more. I finally know what Wall Streeters feel like. Greed. Lust. I’ll do anything to keep it going.
I have no 401K. No savings account. No safety net. I’ve spent every dime I’ve ever made in my 45 years on planet Earth to get this far. I’m almost on empty.
A bit surprising for a guy that didn’t leave the United States until he was 35 years old. Travel? Overrated, I scoffed. It’s a waste of money. Why leave the best place in the entire world? I’ll be here at The Ivy in Beverly Hills if you need me. You know...reachable by cell phone like a human being while eating my tuna tartare, with a bathroom nearby that has sufficient power to accommodate toilet paper. Enjoy your stupid trek in Nepal, hippie.
My first trip to Havana in 2005 changed all that thinking right quick. It was like having the best sex of your life for two weeks straight. I got bit by the travel bug. Hard enough for a skin graft to be necessary. If you haven’t lost every penny of your money in Cuba, while traveling illegally there, and taking motorcycles across the countryside of Viñales only to beg for loose change at the local banks, you, my friend, have not lived. I will tell you the Cubans at the bank found it hysterically funny for the gringo to be begging for two dollar sandwiches. Hell, just the exit fee at Jose Marti airport was twenty or thirty bucks! And we were many miles and many days from that event. We were royally screwed in the Caribbean. It was exhilarating. It changed my life. I’m demented. I’m an addict. For cultures and places I don't even know exist.
Make sure you feel great about your life. Not OK. Great.
This may not mean travel, but figure out what it is and do that thing regardless of parents’ finger wagging, 401Ks, ‘doing the sensible thing,’ and whatever else people say with lower IQs than you and who will also be dust. Very, very soon, in fact. Ordinary dandelions will feast with exuberence off the dust of these ‘brilliant’ advice givers. Really think about this for a moment.
Do what fills your heart with joy and meaning.
Don’t wait any longer. Don’t wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.
And then wait some more.
Do it now.
Love and luck,
Scott in Peru.