Do I over-analyze age? Is it, really, just a number? In my opinion, it is not. Through the decades of our lives, we go through a variety of different stages. If we are living as we should be, we experience many things that throw us up to the highest altitudes and the lowest depths (hopefully literally, as well as figuratively).
As a solo traveler, and simply as a crazy travel addict seeking adventure, there have been many times I had a good, scraping, petrifying encounter with death. Being brushed by haphazardly-driven buses in Buenos Aires, getting lost for hours by myself in the Pantanal of Brazil, spinning ceaselessly in the ocean’s undertow in Costa Rica, and panicking underneath a raft while being asphyxiated by a damn GoPro that had been strapped to my helmet while whitewater rafting in the Padas River, Borneo- these are only a few of the examples. This is not to mention the many people I’ve loved- young and old- whom I have lost over the years.
Point being- our time is borrowed. It is so easy to take our lives for granted and put off what we really want until x, y, or z has been accomplished. Fuck that noise. The time is now. We will never have today or yesterday again. At age 33, I am more comfortable being who I am than ever before. I know what I want, am not sorry for the decisions I have made pursuing my Personal Legend, and trust even more that my path is leading me where I need to be. That being said, I am not getting any younger. My parents are aging, the majority of my friends are married and/or raising children, and I still contemplate the fantasy of living in a parallel universe.
These are facts of life I cannot change, but I do have control of my pursuits. As Tom Petty sang, “Well I won’t back down/ no, I won’t back down/ You can stand me up at the gates of hell/ but I won’t back down/ Gonna stand my ground/ won’t be turned around…” And so, the 33 goals and aspirations I have for the coming year are as follows:
- Spend as much time with my parents and family as possible.
- Get back into shape.
- Move to Barcelona, Spain.
- Travel to at least two more continents and 10+ countries.
- Improve my photography skills.
- Increasingly support eco-living- less consumption, less waste.
Finally see my musical/poetic hero- Bob Dylan- in concert.
- Continue the pursuit of a minimalistic lifestyle.
- Explore as much of Portland (and Oregon) as I can.
- Go on a cross-country road trip.
- Learn a fourth language.
- Take my advocacy for animal and human rights to a new level.
- Start writing poetry, and doing poetry readings, again.
- Volunteer more both in the U.S. and abroad.
- Go skydiving.
- Spend (waste) less time on social media.
- Save more money.
- Finish writing my first travel memoir.
- Start playing soccer (futbol/football) again.
- Meditate daily.
- Run a half-marathon.
- Rock climb in the great outdoors.
- Read at least 33 books, including Ulysses.
- Put Portland Travel Massive on the map in a major way.
- Backpack to the remaining countries in Latin America I haven’t seen.
- Inspire as many people as I can to live the lives they dream of.
- Trek the Camino de Santiago.
- Interview homeless people around the world to gain a better understanding.
- Head to Tanzania, volunteer with refugees, and head to Uganda to trek gorillas.
- Start drawing and painting again.
- Become permanently location-independent.
- Sail the seas (instead of relying on flights and over-land transportation).
What about you? What are your aspirations for this year of your life?