A Travellerspoint blog

Until the End

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When I took the leap
Didn't know where at night I would sleep
Didn't know what to lean on
When my emotions ran too deep
Somehow I made it through
but something was missing

When I gave birth to a fire
Never felt so alive
Things became so clear
I knew the moment was near
I felt so close
but something was missing

When I had no contact
and was a prisoner to my own soul
I had to look deep.
Not sure how I found the key
but the door wouldn't open
Something was missing

When I woke up in the jungle that day
I knew the moment was here
I left it all behind
Just a man and his pack
I felt so free
Like the world was mine
But something was missing

It was on the long bus ride
My closed eyes opened and I could finally see
when i let my mind go
and only listened to the soul
It told me what was missing

My black is now blue
I walk with a new point of view
The colors are so bright
and the feel of the sun always feels just right
Although it all feels very real now
Something is missing

When I can feel the beat
Just a second before we meet
When the sound is deep inside
I feel so alive
I can move on now, truly live
But something is missing
It's you

-NGMH

What started as a blog and a journey of fun, adventure and self-exploration has turned out to be much more. My feet have traveled thousands of miles on dirt roads, volcanoes and sandy beaches and my soul has lived a couple lives in that time. I have learned so much about myself and who lives just beyond my mind. I have learned to more than appreciate those people around me that I care about and who have been apart of my life and my growth, from the beginning. I shed a lot of b.s. that I didn't need and found that I like the person under all that much more than I expected. I have found a comfort in my own shoes that showed me that I don't need them at all, my heart can carry me from here. I have learned to laugh at the things that make me mad and to smile at the things that should make me cry.

Unfortunately, these things will not keep me going. They will not push me to what's next. They only serve as tools to keep me focused on the things in life that are truly important. The things that money can't buy. The things that a good beer can't solve.

Through all this, I see through a new set of eyes that allow me to see colors I've never seen and smells I never smelt. Not because they are new, because I never stopped to check them out. They have also allowed me to see love. A love I never had before because I didn't fully love myself. A love that is different than anything I ever thought it was supposed to be.

This blog has been a lot more important to me than I ever imagined when I sat in a hostel in San Jose, Costa Rica and put out my first post. I can't believe how many people have shared in this journey with me, waiting for the next words, the next lesson, the next adventure. Thank you sooo much for coming along for the ride, however long or short you joined me for.

This will be my last post but I hope you got something out of this and I dare you to believe that something amazing is right outside of you.

So until the end, cheers to the past present and eternity my friend!!! Adios

Posted by DondeNathan 09/26/2012 20:56 Archived in USA Tagged the end finale Comments (1)

A Tainted Blog

A dilemma, redemption, back at home, UGA v Mizzou

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Sorry to say, this blog has been tainted. As I talked about after I didn't blog after I got back into the U.S., I felt like I couldn't write freely because I had no barrier between me and the people I was writing about and the ones who were reading it. As much as it has felt really good to be back writing, their voices, eyes, and thoughts about my blog are starting to make me think too much before I write. I now find myself thinking more about how I say the things i say, or the things I talk about or even trying to answer the questions through this blog but that is not what this is about. This is about me and this journey and the things that are happening to and around me.

The more I thought about how this was affecting me, I had to think about the things I have learned in the last year. The things I wanted to learn about myself. The things I wanted to learn about life and what I wanted from it. The way that I wanted to be a better person inside so I could be better to those around me. Sometimes you just need to listen to your own advise.

At the beginning, I told myself that I was going to jump off this cliff and see where I would land. And in doing that I promised myself not to over-think anything, always be true to myself and let my heart lead. That also meant doing it regardless of how people would take it and approve or disapprove, not because I don't care, but because this is the way I felt I needed to go.

The lesson I learned along the way was if I do not like the way people are treating, act differently. Before I believed that if I didn't like how I was being treated, I should change the way they were treating me mainly by making them feel a different way. Manipulate the situation so I could walk away feeling better by getting a reaction or desired result. But that leaves me the one who didn't learn anything.

So I decided that if I am feeling uncomfortable with how these comments and opinions are making me feel, the first thing to do make sure that I am being true to myself. That I can again understand exactly the choices I am making and make sure I'm still doing the right thing. I feel much better now.

It is not the amazing things you do that make you amazing. It is the amazing inside you that helps you do amazing things.
-NGMH

Between renters, I had a week opening to get back into my house last week. I rent it out on a short-term basis, fully furnished so when I come back, I only need my suitcase and a few things out of my storage and it's like I never left! I am getting used to it more now but it is cool when one day I'm on someone else's couch and the next I'm back in my own place. It is also a refreshing feeling that as much as I enjoy it there, it is just somewhere to sleep. The comforts are nice but it's more like a hotel room since I carry my comfort zone with me at all times now and I sleep well wherever I am.

The day I 'checked-in,' I got there early so I grabbed a coffee and went to the patio. The sun was just coming up and I started thinking about how the sun warmed me up in Panama, on top of the Baru Volcano and as i sipped my coffee, I remembered how I would wake up in the jungle and drink my Don Cune coffee every morning. I closed my eyes to go to my happy place which usually takes me to a beach chair in the Cayman Islands, next to a pool with the sound of the ocean in the background on a hot day, but this time was different. This time, closing my eyes took me to the exact spot I was, and it had nothing to do with the fact I was back at my place. It had to do with the fact that I have made it all the way here through this journey and I am better for it. I have found a mobile happiness that I take everywhere and it's a great feeling!

Moving right along....the Norah Jones concert at at the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheater was awesome! I have been to many concerts but this is at the top of my list, mainly because I took it in as much as possible. I made sure to took around, see Denver in the background, the purple and blue colored light-show, the crowd, the smells. I am a huge Norah fan so I payed extra-close attention to her show and her demeanor. While there is a lot of feeling to her music, I was always curios to see her energy live. In the end, she gave just enough so you understand what she is saying but you never really know what is really on her mind. Intriguing.

Over the weekend, I traveled to Columbia, Missouri to see the University of Georgia Bulldogs take on the Missouri Tigers with my cousin and a friend. We flew into Kansas City, MO and headed directly get some KC BBQ at Arthur Bryant's. I knew it was a legit when I walked in as it looked like nothing had changed since the 70's. The slightly rude service was a good sign that the food was delicious and I was not disappointed. I also discovered a new love, bbq + pickles. Wow. Who would have thought that those two things together would change my life. I took mine to go so I could finish it the next day and we ended up stopping again before we came home!

We drove two hours to Columbia, MO and checked in. It was cool to see all the Georgia fans all over the place and I couldn't walk far without someone saying 'Go Dawgs!' Our tickets were right next to the largest Georgia section so it was nice to be with the other 10k Georgia fans who made the trip! The game was really good and we ended up blowing them out in the end. The Mizzou fans were really nice, almost too nice but it was a good time.

Now back to reality, ok back to my dream and time to figure out my next step. I am actively looking for a job now so we'll see where that takes me but I can do that from anywhere so I am thinking of heading to Arizona for a couple weeks. The other day I had a harsh realization that this leg of my journey is going to be coming to an end soon. Although I'm hoping to find something that allows me to maintain my mobility, I may end up being stationary for a time, which is almost frightening to me :) That also means that I will have to get my own place or room or something. Although I have asked a lot of my family during this journey, I have really valued the time I have been able to spend with them. I have spent more time with my family this year that any other time in my life and not just immediate family. From the beginning of all of this, I knew that one day I would need to get back to the daily grind and that I will be able to pay back, in many forms, for what they have done for me but I will never get this time back and it is so precious. To be able to take a pause on life to get my life centered and to make sure I can move forward has been amazing and I plan on working on that forever.

Thanks and may amazing happen to you!

Posted by DondeNathan 09/10/2012 09:30 Archived in USA Tagged end happy place amazing bbq uga coffe jones norah dimes kcmo Comments (0)

A Job Well Done

Front office to warehouse, travel plans, the life of a nomad

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Work-life has changed a bit for me in the last year or so. Before my work day would start whenever I work up, usually around 630-7. I would get up, open the laptop, and maybe have some coffee. Then a shower, an iron perhaps and I was ready to go. A ten-minute drive to my downtown office. A hello to Greg, the security guard, next stop 18th floor. My day would be filled with emails, commitments, problems, emergencies, Starbucks, meetings, data, planning, talking to customers, talking to co-workers, and enough internet time to manage my 3 fantasy football teams.

These days, my day starts at 5am. Wake up on the daybed (air-mattress) in my sister's apartment, shower, dress, a bowl of cereal, out the door. A stop at the local gas station for a cup of joe and my 25 minute drive begins. Although I'm a temp worker, somehow I arrive 15 minutes earlier than everyone else, even though I get there only five minutes early (that means everyone with one exception is late every day!) I start by gathering all the cardboard and putting into the compactor, then empty the trash bins, then some sweeping then open furniture. Repeat.

Not something I envisioned myself doing but I have to say, it doesn't bother me a bit. Often, I look around and can see how someone would hate this job. Whether it was the only job you could get, the only one you were qualified for or you just had to do it for money, I could definitely see how this could be a bad job for you. But there are also people who like working their because they chose to. I would fall into that category.

The other morning, as I was eating my cereal, I looked around and couldn't help to smile. What seems like yesterday, but was actually a year and half ago when I started this crazy journey, I made a choice that to let all those things go to see what life had to offer me. To jump when I felt like. To take risks and to do whatever was necessary to keep that going..and this is it. Doing a ridiculous job, at an hour of the morning I do not like getting up at, just to keep this going. This is exactly the thing I vowed to do if necessary, and I do it, and I like it...kind of. This job is definitely not a new career choice or a new way of life for me...it's just a way to make money so I can support my cause, me. That means being able to chip in for where I'm staying, get some groceries, gas, pay some bills and have fun with whatever is left.

Since I've been back, I have had a couple short-term projects that have helped me keep going. They have all been a little different, but generally pretty basic jobs. I like them because they last from a couple days to a couple months. They are your basic 8.5hr job with two breaks and a lunch. Just come in and do your job. It was nice to get back to something where there is less responsibly, less stress, less demanding of time. But for me it became the same in a lot of ways.

The other day I was throwing some Styrofoam into the trash compactor and a guy that works in the office approached me. He asked how long my temp-assignment was going to last for and I told him I wasn't sure. He said that I was doing a good job and I should apply for a full-time position at a new warehouse if I was interested. He also made a comment about me going to school, probably because I have license plates from my college on my car. At first I didn't know what to say. I had seen him everyday pulling into the parking lot because he was the only other person there before me. I didn't know who he was and we had zero interaction before he approached me. I figured he was some kind of boss in the office but I purposely just focused on working instead of trying to befriend him.

At first I wanted to blurt out my whole story, then I thought maybe I should have just played it off, or maybe... I was so confused. I wanted him to know that I was educated, that I had all this work experience that I wasn't just a 31-year-old warehouse worker. But at the same time, I realized that none of that mattered. That those things were/are not me. What is me is the guy who shows up early everyday, works hard and takes my job seriously...and succeeds, whether pushing a broom, leading a warehouse staff, or managing technical teams and working with global customers.

I still had to say something so I stumbled around and told him a bit of my story, thanked him for the acknowledgment and politely declined. He ended up telling me he was just filling in for someone and it was his last day...and that he found it interesting that we were both short-term employees but beat everyone to the office everyday :)

Where do you live? Where are you staying?

That is an interesting question. In the last 5 days, I have slept 4 different beds. I am currently rooming/daybedding (air-mattress) with my sister but have been doing some dog-sitting, stayed with a relative and actually even got to sleep in my own bed for one night which was great!

Right now, I consider the Portland, Oregon/Wahsington area home, mainly because my other suitcase is there. See this picture is already murky. A month and a half ago, I was in Portland and got a call that there was a work project and they wanted to fly me out as soon as possible. Twenty-hours later I arrived in Denver, CO. I went straight to work and that project lasted 3 weeks. A couple days after that, I got onto this temp job and have been doing it for a couple weeks. I'm not sure how long I will stay on as I have a couple things planned and have a job opportunity that may open up (more on that in a later post).

As of this second, I'm planning on staying in the Denver area for the next month or so. Coming up there is a wedding, a Norah Jones concert i'm going to and really excited for and a family reunion thingy. Then off to Columbia, Missouri to watch my Dawgs take on Missouri. Then I'll try to get to Massachusetts to help my brother move and perhaps make a stop to see my other brother after that but that's too far for me to think.

The life of a nomad is not easy but it's all a matter of perspective for me. I'm not sure if I could have made this change so quickly without taking off for a couple months. When you get to and live in the moment, I found that I had to give up a little focus on the future. And that doesn't mean I can't still plan and know what is going to happen next, it just means that I am more open to take advantage of the things happening in front of me to stay in the moment. To live without regret. To make sure that I do not find myself walking by a rose without noticing it. This flip-side is that if I allow myself to look to far ahead I would spend a lot of time worrying and driving myself crazy. Although I risked it all, I haven't lost anything yet so I still have many options and a couple layers of security that are there if I need them.

Just like my life as a backpacker, I know that at some point when it is dark out, I will be able to have somewhere to sleep, if even a couch or a floor. My standards for a good place to sleep have eased quite after sleeping on little to nothing for two months so I sleep well where ever my head falls. I also still have some peanut butter and honey close by at all times as it I still consider that staple of my diet. I do eat normal, good, regular food quite often but if cereal and pb&h is all that is around, I have no complaints.

As this journey continues, I know I will probably soon find myself in the same bed long-term but until then I appreciate all the other places I've rested!

Thanks for reading! If you would like to be notified of my posts right when I make them (as opposed to coming back to this site everyday, wondering why I haven't written in a week or something), feel free to subscribe at the bottom. If you would like to remain anon, use a cool name like B Slick or Leo Pierre.

Oh and don't forget to show Flip some love, the kid guy is doing amazing things!

Posted by DondeNathan 08/15/2012 18:45 Archived in USA Tagged job plans backpacking nomad beds honey butter jones peanut longterm norah Comments (0)

Back At The Top...Still

Greys, A Great Day, Travel Plans, Blog Rules

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Although I have, to a large degree, been able to stay in the moment and not get too far ahead enough to lose sight of the present, I'm sad to say that I have not had many "Let the ... Lead" moments. Being around people who know you, being in familiar environments and being too aware and accustomed to cultural norms makes it more difficult to just take off running down the street barefooted without people staring or thinking I am crazy. As a result, I have found some other outlets to keep in-tune with what I am feeling on the inside and keep my mind open to new things.

One great attitude that I picked up from my sister is saying 'yes' to just about everything. When I was abroad and someone asked me if I wanted to do something, I would try to think of a reason not to say yes and I never found one so I try to do the same here. Sometimes it leads to awkward interactions, strange environments or really awesome experiences! A couple of weeks ago, a cousin invited me to hike a 14er so I said yes without hesitation. Two weeks later, I woke up at 4am to drive (ride) an hour and 15 minutes into the Rocky Mountains to take on Gray's Peak. I was a bit more prepared than my last hike, but still walked into it without knowing, or caring, too much about what I was up against.

The major difference this time was that we were starting at sunrise, not ending so I would be able to see the trail ahead of me. Sounds like a good thing but eating and elephant is difficult, to most. The good thing about hiking at night, is that it is only physically possible to see a couple feet in front of you so you are less likely to get overwhelmed by the 8-mile hike up a volcano in front of you. Good thing for me is that my previous trip helped me prepare, unfortunately mother nature (altitude, grades, etc) and physical fitness can't be circumvented. In order for me to make it, I had to remember to just keep focused on the next step, then the next one, then take a break, then the next one, and repeat. I had a lot of time to think back to my trek to the highest point in Panama, the two cool dudes that I hiked with, the symbolism behind that ascent...and where that has taken me today: 14,270 feet above sea-level.

1412376_101..32912_o.jpg.

There is something peaceful about looking around and seeing mountain peaks at eye-level, being on top of the world. To me it is a reminder that there is so much more of the world for me to see...after the soreness in my muscles goes away. It was not until a couple hours later I realized that it was a year ago, to the day, that I had conquered Baru!! Ironic, symbolic, amazing, coincidence? You decide. A good friend told me that when things like that happen, it means that you are exactly in the right place in life. I tend to agree but I also think that whatever you believe is real.

That was a week ago. Today, I got to do something that I live for these days: to take a peek into someone else's passion. I spent most of my day at the local art museum. I hadn't been there in a couple years but immediately felt comfortable when I walked in, I'm not sure if it was the quietness, the inspiration in the air or the company. As I strolled through the exhibits, I felt like I had the place to myself. I walked through, focused only on what piece was in front of me oblivious to people and conversations around me, maintaining my personal space only in my mind where no one could come close to invading. Normally when I look at art, I try to see what they are trying to convey, or maybe what they were thinking when the painted this, or maybe even what other people may get from it.

My level of comfort took me back to going with what I felt like doing so I began to go to the paintings I was drawn to. I tried to focus on what feelings I was having when I looked at them. Sometimes it was warm, sometimes, it was calm, sometimes it was very empty. One thing I enjoyed the most was watching other people observe art. The ones I enjoyed the most were the people who obviously had a passion for art and would stare intently at a painting. A couple times I asked what they were looking at or what they saw but I found it most interesting and rewarding to just be around someone who was in a place they felt comfortable, safe and normal. The calmness and ease is a feeling hard to find with everything going around me all the time.

Moving on

So I just realized that this is still a travel blog and I still consider myself a traveler so I may as well share my travel plans. Looks like I will be sticking around Colorado for a couple more months....

  • I'm going to have to pick this up in the next post*

And that brings me to my rules for this blog. In order to keep myself on track and protect the innocent, here are the two rules (or guidelines since I reserve the right to add to the rules at any time) that I use:
1. Do not erase or edit.
Although I normally know the topics I will write about and obviously have some idea of what I am going to write ahead of time, when I start, I do not go back and erase any content or story I share. Once it is down, I leave it. I may rarely erase a sentence and change the structure but if I write something a little too personal or revealing, it stays. (you probably have noticed this as do I, haha)
2. Somethings are off limits
Although there is not much I haven't held back, I have chosen to omit some topics, people and events that are either too personal or involve other people's personal lives. This blog is about my travels, experiences and journey and definitely includes the people I meet and that are in my life but I will not write about anything that will put someone else in a bad position or air something that is meant to be private. (plus, I have to save some things for the book)

Until next time...close your eyes, take a deep breathe. This is the life you chose, love it!

Posted by DondeNathan 08/05/2012 21:10 Archived in USA Tagged art travel on personal top yes comfort rules baru chance greys fate Comments (0)

I Am Here!

Life Plan, Colorado Tragedy, Blog-Therapy

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I was born in Brighton, Colorado 30 plus years ago. In '85 shortly after my sister was born, we moved to a smaller town of Rawson, Ohio. In the next 12 years, I would live in Mexico, Colorado, Minnesota, and eventually back in Colorado. Throughout those times, I was exposed and grew-up in a variety of cultural, racial, religious and economic environments.

It was not an ideal situation for a kid trying to make friends, but in retrospect, it was a great experience and learning tool. It has allowed me to be able to adapt to many situations and be able to identify with most people, at least to some degree. In terms of my life plan, there were a few defining moments I remember vividly that lead to this grand life plan that I hatched out somewhere between middle and high school.

One night pulling up to the gated entry to the small community in Punta Bandera, Mexico probably in 1986, I remember my dad saying that I should be a Finance Major in Accounting when I go to college and go on to get a Master's Degree. My affinity for management replaced finance but it was that point where I 'decided' that I wanted to go to college. Flash forward to 8th grade, filling out career choice surveys and tests. Computer Engineer, paying $80,000 a year? Sounds good to me! Still focused on going to college, over the next couple years I started thinking about my plan.

Well I'll start by going to college at the University of Colorado, Boulder, the flagship school in my home state. When I"m done, I want to pour myself into work, save money, buy a house and a boat (not sure where the boat came from) and live the bachelor life until I was about 30, then get married, have kids and live happily ever after. I was about 15 or so when this plan was put together.

...it's a nice March spring day in Denver, Colorado in 2011, a year ago; I turned 30 just 6 months ago. I'm sitting the couch in my loft, working from home on my company provided laptop. After graduating from the University of Colorado, Denver (didn't get into Boulder and had no plan B so I settled for Denver), in 2004, I got an entry level position at a direct marketing plan. I wasn't making great money, but was able to get a loan and purchase a loft close to downtown Denver right before the economy and housing market collapsed. I did take the GMAT test for graduate school twice but found that it doesn't matter how many times you take it, if you don't study, you won't pass. DUH. I gave up on that because I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it and obviously I didn't want it that bad.

I lost my job a week after I closed on my house. I can't say I was financially prepared but I pushed through. Over the next 4 years, I would do some consulting and take a 'temporary' job at a software company, moving my way up to manage 4 teams. During that time worked my ass off, as much as you can working on a computer, and almost doubling my salary during the recession.

One spring March day, I wasn't feeling the office environment, so I took my 5 minute drive home and started on this project between conference calls. I sat back, looking around and realized that I didn't want to do this job anymore, and that my 15 year plan didn't lead to the happiness I expected. Other than money, I couldn't think of any valid reason that I had to do this job if I didn't want to. With the help of a friend, I hatched out my exit plan. The next day I was nervous and anxious; after my boss arrived, it took about 30 minutes before I could get her at the right time. I'm a big fan of poker and I was about to pull of one of the biggest bluffs of my life.

We sat in a small conference room and I told her I was leaving the company...in a week...or I would be willing to stay for transition if they were to offer me a severance package. My savings wouldn't cover half of my bills for the next month if she balked but I went for it and they accepted. WOW! There is no freedom like going all in and walking away a winner. I now had two months and some cash on the way to figure out what was next.

It was during this time when my emotions started to surface. I found myself waking up everyday, knowing I was on the verge of something amazing. I knew whatever came next was totally in my control and that I was open enough to take it all in. I would get chills and feel tears periodically everyday thinking about it.

If you are late to the blog, you can pick up the fun here, if you've been along on this ride, you know that what came next was definitely AMAZING!

Flash forward over a year later...

Three weeks ago, I was at the Colorado Rockies baseball game at Coors Field, laying on the playing field, watching fireworks with some close friends and family and realized "Wow, I'm really here right now!" Over a year ago I pretty much risked it all; I quit my job (which was a big part of my identity), gave up most of the things in my life that gave me comfort, looked as deep inside as possible, ready for what ever I found, and I am still here, alive, healthy, stronger than ever! That feeling that I was on the verge of something amazing has now turned into the feeling that I have actually made it, that this is exactly the amazing I was looking for, that if this was the my last day, I will sleep peacefully forever. And I mean that.

"When you your lose wealth, you lose nothing. When you lose your health, you lose something. When you lose your character, you lose everything." A wise friend shared this quote to me and I can't agree more. Looking back, I found myself focusing on the wrong things in life but I am so happy that I have tookthe opportunity to change that.

I've been getting that feeling various times over the last couple weeks. Writing again has definitely helped me try harder to look around and capture these moments and really explore and understand how I'm feeling at the time, I call it blog-therapy. Although frightening at times, it is a good feeling to be able to put this out there for friends, family, strangers and the world to see. you have a choice to take a read or not, skip a posting or a couple and it's ok with me.

Five days ago, less than 10 miles from where I sleep, there was a mass-shooting, it was a huge tragedy. Over the last days, I have read/seen crazy amounts of news coverage, talked to people about it and read all of the facebook posts. In emotionally-charged times like this, the sympathies, 'heart goes out,' 'thoughts and prayers,' and other symbolic gestures are everywhere.

  • Blogger's note: ok this was the first post i've ever made where I got burned out while i was writing. It has now been a week since I started this post. I've had time to think about it so I'm going to change directions and save us all a little heartache*

...When I think about how I feel about the shooting, I can not say I know what the families are going through and I do not think that thinking about them or 'sending' my thoughts is going to help. It is just a horrible time and I do not think that anyone, regardless if you have or have not had something similar happen to you or someone you know, can really understand or empathize with that kind of loss. For me, this journey is much about preparing myself for the inevitable, my death.

It's bound to happen. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe 50 years from now, but it will happen and it's a pretty scary thing. I have to say that I carried a fear of death throughout my childhood. Crazy as it sounds, it was mainly because the only reason I was afraid to die is that I wouldn't have the chance to fulfill my goals of college and work, that I would die before I reached my full potential of success.

Some time that March day, or the preceding year, that fear changed for me. I started realizing that even though I looked around and had everything I dreamed of, I was not sure how people would remember me if I died, or how they would feel about me. I started an unorganized, long process of looking at the relationships in my life and realized that all of this sucess and comfort I had built had replaced the comfort I found in the people around me. That comfort allowed me to feel ok treating the people close to me in life badly or differently just to maintain that comfort. When having success wasn't enough, I looked for respect and congratulations because getting there just wasn't enough. So the only (un)logical thing for me to do next was give up the money, plans, aspirations, and future for the chance to find new comfort in the moment, in treating my friends, family and strangers with the way I felt on the inside, not the way I wanted them to make me feel.

So back to all those thoughts and prayers, donations and vigils...the only thing I know how to do in times of tragedy, the only thing that I learn when the pain isn't close enough for me to feel is ask myself, "If this was my last moment, right now, do I have any regrets?" Not many people can say no to that question so the next question is "What are those regrets? and what is holding you back from being able to live without that regret?" Some that I used was that I didn't have the money, or the time, or I would be able to tell that person I loved them later or tomorrow, or I had to work, or I was tired.

The moral of the story is that if you want to support those people who have died, or have been affected by tragedy or whatever cause or ailment you sympathize with, why don't you do those people a favor and live your life to the fullest

TODAY

Posted by DondeNathan 08/02/2012 19:39 Archived in USA Tagged towns death up life small blog therapy growing tragedy regret Comments (0)

Looking Forward?

The truth, my life now, what's next

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As I was trying to figure out how to start this post, I realized that the only time on my entire Central America driving anything was in a kayak for a couple hours around Boca Brava, Panama. Although it is great to be able to get in my car and go when I want and where I want, I find myself spending less and less time looking out the side windows, except to check my blind spot. On my trip, most of my time was spent looking out of bus windows, over the side of a boat, on a walk in the jungle or just chatting with complete strangers. Now the law, safety and my environment is forcing me to look forward, to see what the next street is, the next plan, the next meal.

Don't panic, I have not left this Moment, and I hold on to that dearly but I am starting to find myself looking forward not around. It is a struggle to slow things down when they seem to be moving so fast. Maybe it is because I have been working lately, or maybe because I have been saying yes to almost anything anyone invites me to or maybe it's just because I like it that way.

Even though today, sadly, I finalized things so I will be in Denver until at least September, and it is not because I do not want to be here. And it is not because I am not looking forward to the weddings, family outings and dream concerts that will be going on...it's because I am thinking about all that right now and now looking around this apartment I am in, appreciating the touches my sister put into it. I think that is a lot about what this journey was about.

The truth is that is one of the reasons I haven't blogged for so long. I have been in the moment for sure, and have had some cool moments but between those times are daily routine, rut, news, facebook, noise.

Ok, why don't I slow down and think about what happened today I can reflect on. Started out with a pancake and some internet, took a nap as I didn't quite finish my sleep this morning. Met a friend for lunch, ate some mexican food and chatted. Was trying to waste some time before work, so I drove to Wal-mart then decided to get a Slurpee and my car wouldn't start when I got back in it. blah...blah....got car back....work was over...came home....blah. I can't say it was a bad day at all, and during that time I listened to some great music and had some fun thoughts but this is far from where I was a year ago. Well I don't need to recall because you can just read for your self. I almost cried a little tear of joy when I just switched over to actually see what post I did a year ago.

I know and always knew that I couldn't live that life forever but I have fought hard to hold on to the things I learned and at the same time, learn from the familiar places I'm in now.

I haven't told many people that I have started writing again so I was surprised and motivated when I saw 200 had checked out my first blog back so I promise to keep it going. I do have to say that it's comforting to be able to write again and I'm looking forward to keeping it straight from the top and honest.

Don't forget to check out my cousin's blog, show him some love.

Posted by DondeNathan 07/19/2012 23:37 Archived in USA Tagged on work life to moment daily denver routine holding Comments (0)

Still Going

Catching up, getting adjusted, keeping the dream alive.

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Before I left on my trip, I started reading some other travel blogs to see how others approached their travels and the things they did. One thing I despised is when the people I was following would all of the sudden stop writing. It left me wondering if they made it home ok, are still traveling, had a bad experience, etc. Well sorry to say I did the same. So Sorry!!

Part of the reason is that I am just caught up in this fast-life, always pushing me to speed up and look forward when I spent so much time getting to the moment. The other part, is that now when I write, I have to look those people in the eye and feel a little more self-censored. Regardless, I have been itching to get back to this so we’ll see where it goes.

It’s a hot, sunny day here in Denver, CO. I’m sitting at a coffee shop a couple blocks from my condo. I have a lot to tell you but I don’t want to over do it so I’m going to pretend that I’m back in that small internet ‘room’ in Al Mina, Panama where I would write from when I was staying in the jungle. There was a lot of noise from the school kids and a 2-hour timer staring at me. One time I got caught up in writing only to be snapped back to reality by the attendant telling me my time was up.

I’m happy to report that I’m still on this journey, although it hasn’t been easy. As far as coming back to see what the U.S has, I’ve definitely done that! I spent time with family in Atlanta, Georgia, Hudson, Massachusetts, Yuma Arizona, and Camas Washington. I’ve driven through or stopped in these states:
• California
• Oregon
• Idaho
• Wyoming
• Utah
• New Mexico
• Tennessee
• Kansas
• Missouri
• Kentucky
• Even made it to Mexico for a couple hours

A lot of those were covered while driving moving trucks but still enjoyed seeing so much of the country that I haven’t seen before.

I’ve spent most of my time back in Colorado but recently ‘relocated’ to Camas, Washington, although I’ll be in Denver for a month or two. I have become eerily comfortable with my nomadic life although I am now looking for a job so I can reload and plan the next leg of my journey. I traded my backpack for two suitcases and I usually drive, sometimes even my own car, instead of busing it but I do miss the bus sometimes.

As you can imagine, it was an adjustment coming back to the states. The night I arrived in Atlanta, I was hungry so we stopped at a fast-food place and I got a hamburger, fries and small drink. $6.25. WHAT!? Definitely not the two and three dollar meals I was used to. I had no complaints about my sleeping situation for the two months I was gone but I did get some great sleep on the deluxe air mattress that awaited me. Two days after I arrived, I was standing at Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta, having a couple beers before watching the University of Georgia Bulldogs at the Georgia Dome on national TV. The next day, I was at Turner Field watching the Braves. I remember thinking to myself ‘A week ago I was stranded on a desert island in Panama, sitting on a beach with no electricity!’ Over the next month, I spent some great time with my expecting cousin and then with my brother and his family in Massachusetts. Even thought being back in the U.S was over whelming, it was nice to be able to adjust a little before heading back to Denver.

Driving out of Denver International Airport was weird. It was almost 4 months ago that I left; not knowing when I would be back and now the Rocky Mountains are staring back at me. For some reason, they are different than I remember. Bolder, colorful, grand. I never appreciated them as I do now. Just an hour later, I was driving my own car down highways I grew up on, seeing things that were familiar to me. It was a sense of comfort that was almost uncomfortable. I had shed most of the things that gave me comfort and now, slowly, they were coming back.

I didn’t really have too much of a plan once I got back to Denver but I ended up getting a short-term job at a warehouse for a couple months. It was a completely different than the 8-6 office job I had before, and would have probably been one of those ‘humbling’ things if I hadn’t completely gave up on that corporate job that had always been so much a part of my identity. I had been renting my condo out so I was staying on my cousin’s couch for the first month and a half I was there. My renter moved out and I found myself back on my couch, watching my TV for a couple weeks. It was really weird. I had a few moments where I looked around and realized that I didn’t need any of this anymore. As much as it was great having the comfort of my own bed and all of the things I worked for, I just didn’t need it anymore. I started realizing that I could be happy with much less.

The best part of being back was being able to see and reconnect with my friends and family that had been so close and supportive of me on this wild journey I’ve been on. The hardest part, was being able to find new ways to connect with them after I learned so much about myself and had so much growth in the short time I was gone. It is definitely a two-sided sword: how to act around people who have known you for years, or your whole life, when they have known you to be and/or act a certain way but you now feel different on the inside and how to have a different presence around people when you naturally fall back into the comfort of who you were before.

My approach to that was to focus on getting to know those people all over again, and giving them a clean slate. On my side, I tried to talk less, and be more. Instead of trying to explain what I have gone through or how I feel, I just tried to just listen to them and to be a part of their family for whatever time I was there. Do things that I felt right instead of things that sounded or looked right. It is definitely not easy but when I feel myself getting caught up, I am still able to close my eyes, take a deep breath and remember what my new purpose is.

I have found this to be hardest with the people that are the closest to me. While everyday I wake up with contentment, it is the people closest that are usually in thought during those moments when I feel out of control. To a point I really expect them to just blindly support me but I understand and, to some point, expect them to question me to make sure I’m on track. Most of the time, I am not able to explain in any logical sense what exactly I am doing with my life right now but it is in those times when the calm I have on the inside reminds me that I’m on the right track.

One of the most trying moments I have had so far is a conversation I had with my mom. After being nothing but supportive since this journey started, she finally shared her apprehensions and questions about what I was doing and where it was taking me. Through this very emotional and honest conversation, I didn’t get defensive or start thinking about my rebuttal. I just sat and listened. While I was defiantly shocked that this was coming out, it is not something that completely shocked me. Subsequently, an hour later, I left on a 22-hour, solo road trip from Portland to Denver where I had plenty of time to digest and think about what she said. Normally, that would have rocked my world and sent me to question what exactly I was doing but in this case, I still felt resolved. I definitely heard her and it did make me think about some decisions I needed to make but didn’t through me off course. This was a defining moment.

One of the more interesting aspects of being back is talking to some of the people that have read this blog. The night before I left, I sent out a mass email to most of my contacts letting them know what I was up to and shared my blog address but I didn’t really know who got it and who was actually reading. I actually felt a little embarrassed sometimes when someone would mention that they read it. I ended up sharing a lot more personal things than I planned so I felt a little bit naked but at the same time, that was the point right?

The other thing that happened is that a lot of my other relationships changed. I became closer to some people who were just casual friends, some friendships faded or my feelings changed about them and others became a more important part of my life. Feeling contentment on the inside, definitely helped me be more open and honest with some of people. I guess I have not ever really had a problem being honest but now I feel less vulnerable to reactions when I do so.

I have kept in contact with a few people I met on the road, I’m sure I’ll run into a few of them at some point. After about two weeks back in the States, I started getting road-sick even though I was getting a little burned out on it at the end.

At the moment, I am on another temporary work project here in Denver that is supposed to last to the end of the month. If I am going to be in the U.S for a while I really need to get a place of my own so I have been looking for a job nationally. Right now, I’m looking to find a job for a year or so, pay some bills, and save some money for another adventure. While I’m not looking to get back into that life again, I look at is as a means to and end and hope I can keep it that way.
Although life is not easy when you do not have an income or a bed that is yours, the feeling I get almost everyday when I realize that I quit the career I always wanted over a year ago and I’m still living this dream and a lot of that dream and still have the freedom to make choices. One of my motivations for starting up again, is my cousin recently quit his job and started a cross-country motorcycle trip (www.flipouting.com) and I found myself wishing I was living that dream…oh wait I am!

Posted by DondeNathan 07/12/2012 12:32 Archived in USA Tagged fun family back hard times outlook learnings Comments (0)

Stranded Like Gilligan

Goodbye Real World, Hello Island Paradise

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Sorry it's been a while since the last post, I was 'stranded' on an island in paradise.

So there was a pretty large rain storm so we didn't end up going to church on Friday. Ortega is a big Yankees fan so we just watched the game at his house. One of the pitchers, Mariano Rivera, is from Panama so they televise a lot of the games. There are a couple other Panamanian players in the MLB so they cover a lot of them. As I said earlier, Ortega's wife is a indigenous Kuna also and decided to redo her leg 'bracelets.' All of the older Kuna women wear them on their legs and arms. I haven't done any research on them but it appears that they wear them from a young age and when you look at their legs, you can tell that it has some effect on their bone and muscle growth as a lot of them are bow-legged. Early in the morning, she took the two chairs outside and started the process. First she took off the existing ones she had on, then started putting the new ones on. A little later, one of her friends came over and helped her. The process takes almost the entire day and is apparently pretty hard on the back. The patterns are pretty intricate and colorful.

While we were out touring the City, Ortega bought his daughter an umbrella and his wife some fabric for her native clothes she made. I found it a little wierd as he showed me a couple times that the sandals he wore were torn and he didn't have money to get new ones. Later in the night, he was packing his stuff into a cloth sack as he was going back to work in San Carlos the next day. I had a small day backpack I didn't need anymore so I gave it to him so he could use to take to and from work. He was happy and thanked me...then gave it to his daughter. She already had two backpacks but he didn't even think to use it for himself. His daughter had nice clothing and new shoes and it seemed that even though he, more than once, told me things about him being poor, he did have opportunities to get himself things he needed but instead chose to give his daughter things that may not have been necessary. It's hard to explain in words but i've been struggling to understand this over the last couple days.

Was pretty tired from the long day in the City and knew I had to get up at 4am so went to sleep a little early. I forgot to mention that the night before, I was awaken by a pretty loud noise outside at around 4. Not sure what it was but as I tried to go back to sleep, I heard some noise at the trash can behind me. I did not want to look because I was pretty sure it was mice or rats coming to feast on the food in there. This was one of those times where I had to shake my American mentality and realize that this was just the nature of their lives and something that I had to deal with. I finally put in my earplugs and went back to sleep. When i got up to the next night around the same time I heard the noise again. I flashed my headlamp in that direction so I didn't get any surprises when I turned on the light. Ortega got up too and waited while I finished packing up my stuff. We headed out to the main road to wait for my ride. When they arrived, I thanked him and gave him $20. While he was thankful, I got the feeling that he considered it a payment and not a gift. I wonder if that money will go to buy something they need, like a table or shoes, or if he will use it to buy stuff that is not a necessity. Is it my business to care? maybe or maybe not but it's something that bothers me...and something that I may not ever be able to understand.

My ride in the 4x4 was about 2 hours through some windy and hillly roads. I felt a little car sick a couple times and was thankful to finally arrive at the boat port. I paid my $2 fee and waited for my boat to arrive with the other people that were arriving that day also. The boat ride was about an hour long and was pretty amazing. After slowly manuvering through a small canal, it opened up to an awesome ocean view with small islands dotting the horizon. I've never seen anything like the water, it was navy blue and seemed so clean and clear. There are 360+ islands in San Blas, mostly really small. We passed some that were no bigger than a normal yard in the US and even a couple that only had a couple palm trees and a hut or two. I took some great pics, will post them later, so you'll have to see them for yourself. We arrived at Isla Igua, and pulled right up to the beach. There was a girl reading a book on a chair partially submerged in the water and people chilling on hamocks. The island was maybe the size of a football field and only took about 15 minutes to walk around. Half of the island was for other 'resorts' and the other half was the inhabited by about 30 Kuna people. In terms of facilities, it made Gilligan's Island look like a 5 star resort. All the houses and faclities were made out of palm, there was no running water, and only a couple hours of electricity at night coming from a generator. The 'bathroom' consisted of a toilet with a large tub of water. After you tinkle, you fill up a smaller bucket and pour it in the toilet. The shower was next to it, and consited of a huge elevated tub of water with a pvc spicket. They did both have concrete floors.

They got my bags for me and situated my in my palm-covered hut. There were 3 beds in there with mosquito nets, a small table made out of palm wood and sand floors. I got my trunks on and headed for the beach, which was pretty much outside of the front door. Later in the day, we took a boat to another island and did some snorkeling, volleyball, and beach chilling. We headed back to our island and I took a great little hammock nap after a great shower. Some of the other people headed off to 'town' and came back with my dinner, lobster! There were two Iraelis and a Bolivian woman who were together and apparently they didn't like what was offered for dinner so they asked for some pork. They paid the money and the people from the 'resort' headed back off to town. At first, we thought it was a joke but they came back a little while later with the meat...ok it was actually a live pig!!! My canadian friend, Sophe, and I didn't care to watch them kill it so we headed to the other side of the island to watch the sunset. My dinner was amazing and we spent the rest of the night watching them try to get a fire going and cook the pig, which they strung up over the fire. This was their first time so it took quite a while but finally it was done. I couldn't help but have few bites *sorry Nikki.

The next day, I woke up, had breakfast and found a seat on the beach. I dig my chair into the sand in the water, put on my music and comensed what I like to call a little hard-core chillin. I spent most of the day there just soaking up the sun. We headed to town a little later, which was basically a shanty town where a lot of the Kona's lived. There was a basketball and soccer game going on at the basketball court but the main attraction of the day was a ceremony, similar to a quineneta, where there was some ceremonial purcessions *sp?, food, drink and lots of people. We didn't partake but was were able to see some of the goings on. It was pretty cool to see. I had my camera but didn't take any pics as I didn't want to be rude. As we walked through the town, people were very friendly and kids would come up and say hi. We headed back to the island after they picked up my crab for dinner. The israelis left and I realized that I had the whole place to myself for the night. There was another resort place next to us and one on the other side of the island but my place was just for me. Some of the locals decided to have a party on our island so a bunch of us sat around, listening to music and drinking beer.

Woke up early the next morning and took the boat back to reality. The ride back to the city after the boat, seemed longer than before but a couple hours later I got to Luna's Castle. It is a pretty large and popular hostel in the middle of a historic neighborhood. Didn't do much once I got here as I was pretty tired. I leave back to the US tomorrow so going to scope out the bus route for tomorrow and maybe do a little shopping. Enjoying my last hours in central america and trying not to think much about heading home. Until next time my friends...

Posted by DondeNathan 08/30/2011 08:16 Archived in Panama Tagged city san paradise panama leaving deserted blas stranded Comments (4)

Real World: Panama

Staying with a family, San Blas Next

I only have a few minutes so here I go...

Ok, maybe my spanish isnt that well (cant figure out how to use the apostrophy on here). I thought my friend Ortega was going to take me to San Blas with him but I later realized that he offered to take me to his house instead. His jerk of a boss didnt show up until late on Wednesday we we didnt end up leaving San Carlos until 800. Three hours or so later, we walked up to his house. Modest to say the least. there are two bed rooms, a kitchen and a living room. I purposly did not add bathroom because they do not really have one. There is a kind of outhouse outside, a sink and a hole for #1s. We were greeted by his wife, 9 year old daughter, and 30 something step son. Not sure why, but the son does not like me much and has not said anything to me since i have been there. We had a plate of rice and chicken and headed to bed. I had a hard time sleeping as it was pretty hot and there were mosquitos. There were a couple times when i asked myself what was I doing here, but this is how people live and it is important for me to see and live it. Ortega told me earlier that he pays 100 a month in rent. I took a couple of pics and will post them later. I had to take them when everyone was gone as I did not want to be rude and take them while they were there. After I looked at the pics, I realized how different it was from what I am used to.

After a couple hours of sleep, I had to wake up when everyone else did as I was sleeping on the couch in the living room. I felt pretty uncomfortable so I told him that I was going to head to Panama City that day so I could make my way to San Blas. He told me to stay another night and I would leave the next day at 8am. I needed to push myself so i agreed. His wife made me a couple of eggs and then Ortega and I headed off to the store. Everyone around here uses busses or taxis as no many people can afford cars. We jumped into a taxi and headed to town. We ran a couple of errands and headed to the super market. It was wierd walking around with him as I felt like I was among the people while at the same time, I got some pretty strange looks as this isnt a place they see many tourists. I am still having an identity crisis as my skin and hair is similar but they still call me a gringo.

Later on we walked his daughter to school, which was really cool. He and his wife are indigenous to san blas so she is always wearing their clothes, which are all hand made and colorful. I found an intenet spot on the way and stopped in to make some human contact. Back at the house, he made some calls and told me I had a ride to san blas on Saturday...which meant I will be staying another day. Not sure how I felt/feel about that but thought I could save some money. Later that night, actualy last night, we headed to the store to pick up some chicken. On the way he casually said to me that $30 would be cool for me staying at his place. I was taken a back by this but kind of expected it at the same time. I got my words together and told him that I completely wanted to contribute and pay for food or whatever but the premise of me coming with him was so I would not have to pay for a place in the city. Plus I told him, I was intending to leave and he asked me to stay. These people are definately poor and I was going to give them some money either way but I did not like how it went down. He agreed with what I was saying and did not get mad or anything. I paid for the chicken for dinner.

There is not much to do at his house, so today he took me down to Panama City and gave me a little tour. Details on that later but it is a cool city. Lots of people and sky scrappers. Say the line for the panama canal and some of the city sights. We are headed to church in a little while and i am hoping to get a haircut after I am done.

5 am bus to san blas tomorrow and 3 days and 2 nights on the beach. Looking forward to it! I have been in contact with the columbian family and hope to stay there Tuesday. Got to Go

Posted by DondeNathan 11:42 Archived in Panama Comments (1)

Lost at the Beaches of Panama

Santa Catalina, San Carlos, Un Amigo Nuevo, Y San Blas

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Sorry for the gap in communication, been without internet for a while.

So I didn´t end up leaving David until a day later than expected, as the haul is pretty long and I missed the last bus. Although the next day in David had to be in the 90´s, it was good and eventful. I got to spend another night talking to My Dear Friend and Zenaida, the columbian senora I was translating for. Her and her husband left columbia 30 years ago and came to panama to start open a book store. Now they run the largest publishing company in Panama for lawyers and are very important people here, they also own a very large Teak wood farm. She was telling me stories about the history of a place in panama and how the people hold onto their culture to this day and it ended up being one of my future destinations here, San Blas. I told her I was leaving soon and wanted to go to San Blas before then but was trying to avoid Panama City. She offered to let me stay at her house and I accepted. I´m so excited as that was one thing I wanted to do on this journey, stay with a family and get a taste of the real Panamanian (/columbian) lifestyle.

In the morning I awoke to news that the hostel owner had an argument with the staff and fired them all at 1am! I kind of felt like offering to stay and help but realized that he needed to handle his own business. I caught a 1130 bus out of a blistering David and wasn´t really keen on the journey ahead. After about an hour drive, we picked up a couple leaving Boca Brava whom I recognized from the Lost and Found. Two hours later , we arrived in Santiago. I decided to tag along with the couple, who were from Greece, traveling for a couple weeks in Panama. We grabbed some food and caught another bus for an hour to Sona, then a cab for another hour to Santa Catalina. I did a little research but apparently not enough as the hotel I got dropped off was the wrong one. I walked for about a quarter mile, backpack and all, and found myself at the Surfers Paradise. I was planning on splurging $20 on a room with a/c but they didn´t have any so I settled for a dorm room for $8. I settled in and headed down, only to run into 6 people there that were also at Lost and Found. It was nice to see familiar faces again. The views were amazing and we just sat on the porch outside their rooms and watched the sunset, amazing! I was exhausted from 2 weeks of no solid sleep so I called it an early night and ended up sleeping for 13hours! I woke up to a good breakfast and some great fresh shakes they all made. John, a cool guy from California, offered to let me move into his room with a/c for $15, YEAH! Most of them surfed but the waves weren´t good so we chilled for a while and headed to the beach. The water was warm and we had a blast. There isn´t much to do after dark so we played some dominoes and watched some movies, the place had satellite tv.

There wasn´t internet so I headed into town to find a place John talked about. I was expecting a sign or something, but after walking for a while down a long road I didn´t see anything. On a whim, i walked up a couple flights of stairs to a restaurant and asked if this was the place, and it was. The guy, from Portugal, told me to wait a minute and came back with a computer bag. He pulled out a little netbook, plugged in his mobile card, and signed me in. He explained that the town was too small so the phone company would never install phone lines. I tried to order a sandwich but he said they were closed. He was cooking for his family and offered to make me a burger and I couldn´t pass that up. The computer was too small to write a post so I did a few things and demolished that burger and made my way back to the hostel. Later that night we went to a restaurant in the middle of now where, literally, and had some pizza. Probably one of the best days of eating for me here so far!

The next day, Monday, I decided to head out but wasn´t sure where. The hostel owner, who drove me to the bus, told me to check out San Carlos. I headed back to Sona, then to Santiago and found a bus headed to Panama City that would go through San Carlos. About an hour in, I figured out that they weren´t going to tell me where to get off so I had to pay attention and try to figure out the cities we were in as we passed them. San Carlos came and went and I wasn´t sure if maybe there was another stop or something!? I almost gave up and went all the way to Panama City, but took a risk and got off at one of the next stops. Decided to get some lunch and get on the internet to figure out what to do. An hour and two $2 beers later, I still didn´t know what to do so I caught a bus heading back to San Carlos. It was only $.30 and I got into a cab. Wasn´t sure where I was going but told him to take me to a surf camp, didn´t care which one (slightly remembered that from the hostel owner.) He drove me to Rio Mar Surf camp. There was one guy there who greeted me and told me they had a room for $18, which was a little more than I planned to spend but it had a/c and no roommate so far, so I obliged. Got situated and went back out. He spoke no english but my spanish kicked in and we chatted. He said I was the only one there and everyone just left. We watched baseball and talked sports. He also said that he was a native of the San Blas islands. He pulled out some pictures of his kids and family and showed me some of their native clothing. I told him I was heading that direction in the next few days and he offered to take me with him to stay with his family! YES!!! Normally you have to pay all these fees and cab rides and pay $25-50 a day so I am pretty excited. I´m staying another night there and we are headed out tomorrow afternoon.

I emailed the columbian lady so I hope to be able to stay with her at least a day or so when I get back from San Blas. Just over a week before I leave to Atlanta and I plan on taking advantage of every minute.

My time on the net is up but I do plan on explaining some more about my decision to head back to the states in a future post.

Thanks again for all the support in all the ways you give it!!

Posted by DondeNathan 08/23/2011 13:14 Archived in Panama Tagged san santa blas carlos catallina columbian a-c Comments (0)

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