Sunday, 25 March 2012

Crazy times!

Hello to everybody who reads my blog, and sorry for not posting anything, this is the first time I have been near a computer in about a week.

I have been keeping a journal, but I am also behind with that, its been a whirlwind the last few days and a bit of a blur to be honest, with not much sleep, about 1500 miles covered and only about 50 pounds been spent.

I will try to type up my travel journal on here when I am settled at my first volunteering placement, where I am headed tomorrow...

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Less than a week to go..

I've definitely been slacking with the blogs again these days. Its mostly down to a lack of motivation, and also being pre-occupied with setting off on my travels and the whole business surrounding that.

So, its Tuesday night and I will be leaving next Monday, its still sinking in to be honest and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it all. Obviously it's what I've been waiting for but I can't help but doubt myself as to whether I'm prepared for it, both mentally and physically. It seems to have only just sunk into my girlfriend as well, which is also playing its part in making me slightly uneasy about leaving.

But then I remember why I'm going and why I've wanted to go for so long... 'that world hunger and poverty could be removed from the face of the planet if only 10% of the USA military budget was used for such purposes.' and other such quotes fit quite perfectly.

You get the jist, its my own little 'Into The Wild', its my own version of 'On the Road', I want to be Jack Supertramp, Chris Kerouac and all my literary heroes. However it seems most idea's like this have been realised and it's old news for people to get out there and do some extraordinary shit with their lives. But even if it has all been done, it must have been done so many times for a reason.

I have one phrase that I'm gonna try to emphasise to myself on my travels...'Get out there and find some truth'. I'm going away because I don't want to have to put up with shit tv, shit conversation, spending money on things I don't need, wasteful, ignorant, self-obsessed people and media driven propaganda. Going to southern Spain will most certainly not do anything about this, but hopefully I will learn ways in which to put up with them or fight against them.

Me seeking this 'enlightment', if you will, is an interesting subject in itself. With me having lived with and worked with mentally handicapped students for nearly half my life, I have watched them, interacted with them and learnt from them. One aspect of the differences between me and one of the more severely autistic students that I think is particularly interesting is the seeking, or obtaining of happiness.

Now you could go into extra depth on what happiness is and so forth, but lets just take that word as it is. Happiness, having a good time, achieving, etc. For me it seems the only way it can be achieved is by constantly striving towards a greater goal. Be it getting better at skateboarding, writing more, or travelling further afield taking the road less travelled, I am constantly after the happiness, and I suppose if this is the case, I probably won't find it any time soon. Sure, I will have some damn good times along the way (I hope), and I might even take these statements back at some point. But the guy who stands outside on the lawn, and twiddles the blades of grass between his fingers, watching them float away on the breeze, whilst making high pitched noises, seems to be having a better time than I am whenever I see him.

Does happiness exist? Or is it something made up to be twisted into whatever form it takes...? Big house, nice car? Hitch-hiking, meeting new people? Watching grass fall? Maybe I'll try all and decide afterwards..

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Open your eyes..

Quick little update on goings-on, I will hopefully be leaving between 16-20th March, preferably the 17th, this is due to me finding out that Dragon Festival is happening from the 16th til the 26th this year. The first time I was at this festival, was also the only time I've ever been, and it left a lasting impression on me.

Without a doubt one of the craziest places I've been, I'd say it was very very loosely organized chaos. But full of the most interesting people, most of them living some form of alternative life-style; travelling by all kinds of van, bus etc. with the biggest sound-systems I've ever seen. It claims to be Europe's biggest free festival, and advertises itself (advertising is definitely not the correct word) as being open to all performers, travellers, soundsystems and free people.

I have also made some further arrangements on, and should hopefully be staying with a guy in Bordeaux, I figured I'd try to couchsurf only in cities, if I find myself in the countryside of any sort, I will jump on the opportunity to wild-camp. I have been reading 'The art of camping' which is getting me geared up for the great unknown. I have also spent many hours trawling the internet for information on wild camping, although I suppose one can only do so much reading about camping.

When you get to a quiet piece of woodland in the late afternoon and set up your tent, no amount of reading will prepare you for what will happen. I suppose I have reached a point here in England, where I have some sort of disregard for my own well-being, as long as I am experiencing living, minor danger or anxiety is nothing compared to being out there.

Not quite sure how its going to turn out being at a festival by myself, but we shall have to wait and see. The good thing is I don't have a strict time schedule to stick to, as long as I keep my HelpX hosts informed of when I will be arriving all should turn out well. Saying that, I have literally just found out that the first hosts I am visiting have some form of connection with the people I lived with, with my family about 12 years ago. Interesting. I don't know whether that is a good or bad thing, I have sent them a message to enquire as to whether they are based in the same location I lived.

Now another question I have pondering on; is it selfish of me to travel and live in some form of freedom for as long as my budget will stretch?

I don't think there is a definitive answer to this question, however I have recently been influenced by various sources, and it is clear to me that life is for living and I don't enjoy my time here in the same location, repeating routines. The idea of mild danger and not knowing what I will be doing the next day appeals to me greatly. I can see that this probably doesn't appeal to everyone, but I would like to ask these people whether they are truly happy in their position. Working for the majority of their time, for what? So they can impress? Does that flat your paying for make you genuinely happy? Does your car that you lowered make you feel better about yourself? DO those clothes you're wearing make you a better person? These aren't for me to answer; as the saying goes, each to their own.