I am now in the town of Capurganá, which is located just south of Panamanian border on the eastern shore of Darrien Gap AKA the narrow land where Pan-American highway pauses between Alaska and Southern Chile. It is apparently one of the most dangerous regions in the World. Why?
There are virtually unpassable mountains, many dangerous animals and plants as well as drug traffickers and guerillas that are not to make your life better during your strolls through this wild jungle. Unlike many immigrants who are desperate enough to cross it on foot in order to find new life in the Northern parts of this continent, I’ve only took a boat to get here from a cute town of Necoclí and after crossing the border to Panama on foot, I’ll fly in a small 12-seater to Panama City, ending the South American part of this trip ):
I’ve spent a month in this beautiful and diverse country and all I say for now that it’s nowhere near enough to get even a taste of Colombia, well I got a lil’ hint of what this country is about. History gave the very friendly Colombians a very hard time, but in the last 20 years Colombia have made a long way. I’ll cover the subject in a separate piece, although a whole library wouldn’t be enough to cover the complexity of Colombia’s history and presence.
For me, personally, this was a bit emotional because Santa Fé de Bogotá was a focal point of my journey, due to the fact that I have a lot of mates I used to share the house with in Stoke Newington some time ago. Since then, I’ve been saying that I’ll come and see you and here we go – 15 years later…
Besides the fact that I was treated like a king, I was also given a chance to get a great insight into what life in Bogotá and Colombia are about. Emotionally, catching up with people I used to hang around during some of the best days of my life (so far) was a bit of a headfuck.
All I say on this subject is that I’m glad that 15 years haven’t created any gaps when it comes to friendships like this and that I’m very happy that they all are doing really well. Thanksy again for being who you are 🙂
So what’s next?
Vale. I’ve still got some land to cover but I’ve been taking it easy when it comes to mass tourism lately. I’ve noticed that the homey welcome I received in Bogotá made me feel like wanting to have a home again 🙂
Furthermore, I was enriched by real conversations with my real friends – it was very refreshing after 5 months of mostly stereotypical shalow-ish hostel chats where you have not enough time to develop a proper friendships mostly (bless the exceptions – you know who you are 😉
This has brought me into thinking about my future for the first time in months. Interesting subject, it is 😀 I have drastically pre-concluded that I find travelling being an illusion only as opposed to a real live. First, you don’t see much of full reality in places you visit because it’s service-orientated and you are the spender/visitor only.
I mean that you are not the part of local community that has to deal with their own everyday shit. Furthermore, most people are more relaxed and therefore much nicer and positive during their holidays if compared to their normal daily lives. Is this the real life or is this just fantasy?
In conversations you can get more personal because you know you most likely won’t meet these people anymore and your actions are kind of parallel to that as well. Morals and will to experiment/cross one’s comfort zones with unusual activities in general are shifted a bit as well – even on a normal 10 days holidays – we all turn to treat ourselves better than normal when it comes to restaurants, the amount of wine drunk, semi-adrenaline activities like ziplinning and all that kinda stuff, etc…
In other words, unless you really push it (he he), the consequences of your actions or words spoken during one’s holidays generally have a smaller impact on your current environment. Life without rainy Monday mornings when you have to get up to go to work is just simply easier and lighter.
In a real life you are however a part of a small community that always has some micro climate-environment which you share with your long term colleagues and friends. It’s the life where consequences of your actions could have impact on quality of that environment’s general health, while the holiday environments are naturally designed to be able to take more shit – if you don’t believe me – ask the locals from Magaluf 😉
It sounds rather sad to be limited to such a simple dual perspective of life but it might not be such a black-or-white thing. As for myself, I guess that I need some sort of a mission, which would mark my presence in this world by something bigger than just enjoying landscapes or getting from A to B to enjoy more landscapes. I mean that I need things to be heading somewhere in order to get the full potential of anything, really.
What I’m talking about is that I am no longer sure what sort of a value this trip has when it comes to me becoming better person anymore. I’ve cleared my head in Patagonia, I’ve recharged my social life in Buenos Aires and Cabo Polonio, I’ve filled my soul with some unforgettable memories on my way north and in Bogotá I got some sort of reflection on all this.
I mean that unlike holidays, the real life goes under the shiny surface. It’s not just about sunshine, sunsets and landscapes or “instant” friendships or how did Chuck Palahniuk described it in his novel Fight Club. To re-balance all that no-mission stuff, I have had this site, thanks for reading by the way.
Only other ongoing thing I have had is the “pass it on” plot, that I’ve been promoting heavily during this trip. You do something nice and refuse compensation explaining that the receiver can do that him/herself next time they will have the opportunity to give 🙂
But those two don’t do the proper job for me anymore. I guess I might be ready for a change.
Get a job or keep going?
Yep, I’ll start looking into into some preferably creative job offers, but I guess that even something a bit boring for good money (to balance the boring element) or something boring in a great location would do, so I will get the full magical potential from seeing waterfalls again 😉
Or maybe I’ll go crazy, stretch my already weakened economy and I extend my trip by making my way back to Europe on land and boats through China, Indonesia and the Midnight Express from Tehran to Istanbul and Vienna at the end, copying the original version of this trip…
The other option I dreamed about was to open a beach-front co-working space with few rooms and artist studios. It might involve going back to the gorgeous western Colombian Caribbean coast and try to find that place, if I don’t find such space in Nicaragua or Guatemala. For either location I would have to win a lottery or get some crazy investors 😀
One never knows 😉 I think that if one tickles one’s luck long enough – it could just start laughing at some point, innit? What would you do? What shall I do? (:0
And as for this site?
Just 2 days ago, I’ve discovered that there already is alongtheline.com (my honest sorry goes to the Alaskan twenty-something girl, who came up with the name first – I didn’t want to nick the name of yr blog – I swear). So I’ll be probably looking for a new name as well as new platform and finally also some real design in order to make the last push to make this working…
I’ll update you asap about any new developments. Currently it’s not easy to concentrate on this stuff, while being in Caribbean – life is not so easy here – it’s not just going to work and all that Monday morning stuff – sometimes one has to to the bloody beach stuff and everything related 😉
In the mean time – here’s some cool contemporary Colombian music 😉
BTW: Please let me know if you had any ideas or possibly solutions regarding the future of this site. I am happy if somebody enjoyed some texts here but given the amount of feedback – I ain’t got no idea if I should change something or even if it’s all worth it all together…