Tag Archives: stay young

Siddhartha’s Best Student

Last night, I met an interesting cat. It happened like this:

Bom Malandro: Yo, where you at G? 
Pirata: Na casa. Tranquilo. 
Bom Malandro: Come to my Taco spot. 
Pirata: Ait

When I walk in, Bom Malandro is with four strangers . One of the guys buys drinks and sits back down next to me. There is an intense urgency about him. Just about as intense as his humility – when he speaks he makes himself phyiscally shrink so as to be more polite. This is in contrast with the biceps popping under his T.

He drawls Hey, sorry. Do you mind if I ask you some questions?

Of course I don’t mind. My name is Mark. I’ve been in Seattle for three weeks. And I don’t know where I am going. My kinda guy, except he sounds so… innocent. I’m from North Carolina. Used t o be in the airforce. Back a couple of years now. just divorced my highschool sweetheart. Live throws you curves. I have this Contract Law Masters Degree through the airforce academy, but it’s just a job. Paying the bills. Maybe this young man can learn to swerve.

Siddartha Seeks Students
Siddartha Seeks Student

Then I find out that he survived the Middle East while working a liaison role. I was dumbfounded imagining this twentytwo year old gringo kid entering a Sheik’s sweltering tent somewhere in the dunes of Mesopotamia with nothing but a translator, a GI badge, and a few of your two trillion tax dollars to try to win some heart and minds with.

Nevermind, he already knows how to swerve. He only needs permission now.

~ His own ~

I don’t understand Peter. The guys I served with, they were my family. We got so close. But I don’t have their certainty of purpose. That is the first step to your truth. Why do you say that? Because certainty follows a continuum of knowledge. Strangely, the less you know, the more certain you are, and the more you know, the less certain you are.

Somehow I need to figure out what to do with my life, Peter. What’s your plan, Mark?  I don’t have one. OH, perfect.

Wait what? Nobody told me that before. Yeah, I know, son. The importance lies not in thinking that your path is somehow special, but in knowing it is your path, and nobody else’s.

What should I do?

Buy a one-way ticket to Thailand. When everybody walks straight, turn left.

Siddhartha Tree Buddha Gautama BUrma Mandalay
Maybe you’ll even find your own Buddha Tree


Via Ergo Sum


Travel Growth Change Adventure Explore
Go on, click me.

With the above motto in mind I dedicate this, my new digital nomad home, to welcoming stupidity into my life.

My own, mostly.

You ask, “what’s stupid got to do with some highfalutin Latin, or travel?” Well, aside from my intercultural faux pas being rather tangential to the general public, everything, as it turns out. Stupid and travel are more brotherly than you thought.

Remember being a kid?  You didn’t know much back then. Which is unfortunately the whole point of being a kid. First you can’t walk, then you can’t talk. Then you try to eat and food keeps falling out of your mouth. You basically suck at life. Your entire existence consists of soaking up everything around you like a sponge at an Ibiza foam party. If you would know how to, you’d feel like an idiot most of the time.

You know what? Don’t let that feeling go. Own stupid. Stay childish. Make mistakes. Keep running into things and falling down. Bounce back up . Stay learning and growing. Travel further.

But here is the rub: It’s not more important to get back up again. It’s more important to fall down.

Wait, what?  All our lives we are told, “It isn’t how many times you fall down, it’s how often you get up!” Sorry, wrong, next candidate.  We are working on shifting the old you can do anything you want paradigm by a couple of light years.

Though getting up is somewhat of a prerequisite for falling down again. Why is there more to this then we thought? Simply, because falling down keeps you young. It doesn’t just teach you tenacity. The feeling of incompetence combined with discovery and learning is what helps your brain and body stay on their little tippy toes. Roots you in the moment. Hello Eckhart Tolle.

So if you see me making a fool out of myself at a new sport, a musical instrument, or simply falling flat on my face while jumping on a tree to impress a girl, laugh at my stupid body still trying to grow up. Because I certainly am.


And since travel is the most enjoyable, experience and food rich way to feel stupid I might as well keep on rolling. Surely, nobody would hold it against me were I to chose a tropical island rainbow paradise over Kamchatka. All that sun, the sea, the interesting locals, the long days and pleasant nights…

But then again, remember that time, when I clogged a Mexican toilet for the first time? Or when I nearly died from eating that medium spicy Pad Thai? Or when I asked for dick (pau) instead of bread (pão) in a Brazilian bakery?

And with that in mind, I break a lance for the one-way ticket. I take a stance for the year of gap. I say, grow see the world one foolish culture wall breaking mistake at a time.

That is, if you want to live forever.

 – Via Ergo Sum –