It’s early morning, my most cherished time of day. This is the period of each day when I’m as well rested as I’ll ever be. My brain is racing with batteries fully changed, and it’s now that I’m at my most creative, observant and retrospective.
This is the tenth such morning I’ve had in a row. This particular morning I was awoken by a cacophony of strange bird calls welcoming the arrival of a new day. It is also my tenth straight morning to have woken up in a country other than my own.
I traveled extensively as a young man, for years on end in fact. I loved the adventure of travel and was convinced that by the time I left this world my footprints would be found far and wide, across every continent. It is so. However, by the time I reached my mid 40s I suffered the dreaded “Midlife Crisis” that most men, and probably a great many women are familiar with. Rather than going out and buying a wardrobe unsuited for a man my age, purchasing a shiny red sports car, or generally carrying on as if I were only half my age, I went in the opposite direction. I had already lived a life most men entering midlife crisis could only dream of, so my midlife change consisted of settling down, planting roots and being “normal”.
I had no idea living a normal life was actually a living death!
I found myself surrounded by voluntary zombies. Hordes of similarly dressed men and women all doing very similar things while trying to convince themselves they actually had a life. None had been infected by the bite of one of the flesh eating, walking dead… no… they chose to be zombies! Finally I looked in the mirror and discovered a voluntary zombie was staring back at me. I recoiled in terror. I too had become a stresses out, overweight, sickly zombie deluded into thinking I was still one of the living.
I knew right then and there that I had made a grievous mistake. The person I once was committed a form of suicide. I had voluntarily turned myself into one of the walking dead who wander about repeating the same tasks day in and day out. There was no longer any adventure in my life, and little hope the day to day drudgery would change without me taking action.
I had to restore the me I wanted to be with a mega overdose of freedom, adventure and living life to the fullest. It was at that moment that I admitted to myself I was addicted to travel and adventure, and that I was in serious need of a fix. I knew then that just like an alcoholic or drug addict, my addiction would become my priority in life. I stuffed some necessities into a backpack, boarded a plane and began a journey to nowhere in particular, of a duration my eventual death will determine.
Ten days on I have shed weight and I’m feeling more alive than I have in years, decades actually. I’m about 95% vegetarian… close to having my carnivorous cravings weaned away completely. The constant state of stress that was my life caused a mini-stroke at one point. I simply forgot how to speak. Now all signs of stress, high blood-pressure, headaches, tight shoulder and neck muscles, and occasional constipation issues are already a thing of the past.
Last night there was this younger looking, slightly sunburned man staring back at me from the mirror. It was someone I knew from long ago, looking older but much wiser. I almost wept at being reunited with my old friend who I’d lost touch with. I vow I shall not do so again!
I’m in Guatemala, having arrived late last night from Mexico. It was dark when I and my traveling companion crossed Lago Atitlan by boat taxi to reach Santa Cruz. I hear the birds calling to me. It is almost 8:00 AM, time to step outside and see clearly where I am and begin my 11th day of spiritual resurrection.
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