My final thoughts on Trippin06.
Time is your most precious commodity. You can gain no second back. You can't trade anything in for another moment. This is it. Each little bit of time you have is all you'll ever have. Decisions you make today and tomorrow and right now, - right now - will make the difference between where you are and where you want to be. An idea today may not put you where you want to be next year - but maybe in two, or five. My advice for any and everyone out there who is interested in listening is to find something you truly enjoy doing, and then do it to the best of your ability. Your life will flow out before you like a river. Anything else is a betrayal of your soul.
Don't be afraid. Fear is weakness. Fear is the death of all bright ideas. Fear is the final stronghold of the cynics, the critics, the inflexible. Arm yourself with knowledge, prepare yourself with planning, and advance on your ideas with strength in your heart and boldness in your step. In other words, fuck the man.
On funding: Bri and I didn't win the lottery, or come into an inheritance, or find an undiscovered vein of gold in the mountains outside Orlando. We made a plan, saved our money for two years and worked smart/hard. The real estate market was an unexpected bonus that put us in a position to finish the year with a cushion.
Don't regret. There were plenty of folks who questioned our motivation, our plan, our philosophy on life. There were also plenty of people who were supportive and enthusiastic about the idea. Don't let the naysayers influence your decision. Take helpful advice to heart. Listen to the critics but dismiss the weak and fearful for what they are. This year has been fantastic.
Surround yourself with excellence. Raise your own game, your knowledge, to higher levels. Greatness rubs off. Challenge yourself constantly. What don't you know? Where can you grow? How can you change for the better?
Be true to yourself. If you've been reading these updates then you know that I value a number of things, arbitrarily and depending on my mood and the phase of the moon. That doesn't bother me. It shouldn't bother you. I know what I like doing. I'm quite happy being me. I kick ass!
The world is a wonderful and interesting place. People by and large are looking for the same things from life - happiness, security, comfort, friendship, love, a sense of belonging and community, a sense of purpose, and perhaps a destiny greater than oneself. Everywhere we've been people have been the same. We speak different languages, but don't let that get in the way. There are idiots and assholes everywhere, just as there are plenty of great people who will go out of their way to help a stranger in need. I'll belong to the latter category, despite my cynical nature. Be nice. It works.
What did I learn from the year? This is a tough question. I would like to think I've been secure in my sense of self for a while now, so to call it a journey of self-discovery would be an exaggeration. I enjoyed myself immensely. I don't belong to the category of the civilized world that needs the security of a paycheck and the approval of the majority. Wandering around the globe was a great way for me to de-stress and forget about the nearly six years I spent working in an industry I have no interest in. Wow. You don't want that to be your major life goal, do you? To forget about a job you really didn't enjoy, at all? That's part of what this trip has done for me. I'll never go back to a job where someone can tell me a, b, and c. This is it, baby. Self directed, self-approved, and self-motivated. I have only one boss, and her name is Bri. She and she alone can command me.
What else? Learning a language isn't as hard as you might think. Just move to the country and stay there for six months or so. You'll learn the language or starve!
I have goals that I've been avoiding because they are difficult to achieve. They require lots of sweat equity, cogitation, and planning. I am lazier than I'd like. I have changes I need to make in myself if I want to achieve some of my dreams. Am I dedicated enough to make these changes happen? Only the future will tell, but I'd like to say yes. I pulled this one off.
The trip has helped me become a bit more well rounded. In order to be successful at anything it requires a fair bit of myopia. You've got to be single minded to achieve really great things. Having spent a year wandering around like some sort of mystic dreamer will let me buckle down and regain my focus in other areas of life. I enjoy racing and training but the past two years my personal athletics have taken a definite backseat. I'd like to regain the form I had in 2000-2001. I used to write fiction and poetry. I plan to take that up again. Greatness is within. I must water the seed. My haikus will change the world. ;-)
Memories are worth more than gold. Friends are worth more than gold. Recognize your true friends; treat them with respect. Give them your time. Share yourself. Treat everyone like a new friend until proven otherwise.
Everyone in the world is programmed by their society, family, and peers. In general. Your choice of morals, of goals, of lifestyle focus and aspirations, is completely up to you. You may find value in hard work, a good job, a steady paycheck. You might have humble financial goals but a rich inner life. You might want to play online games all day. Whatever floats your boat! My world is a live and let live. Unless your choices have an impact on my ability to live free and as I choose, you can do whatever you want. I have a center; I am a center. The world flows around me. The world is truly my oyster. Through observation and action, anyone can change the world. Live globally, act locally. Be true to you, baby. Peace out.
Marty Gaal - October 2006