I wander because I am a searcher
I search because I know there is beauty to be found
I live because I love
I love because that is all that matters
I weep because I must move on
I smile because I carry memories
I remember because it is my story
I tell the story because it is also Our story
I get lost because I wander
I wander because I am a searcher.
~Matt/Warrior of the Light/Wind/Melmin
I was three-years old the first time I traveled outside of my native United States, courtesy of a military transfer my father had which relocated us from stateside to Yokohama, Japan. The path that lied ahead for me as I eventually undertook my own naval career, and beyond, was set in stone, if not stealthy. A life of wanderlust was set in motion from my earliest days where memories are blurry at best.
No doubt that I could not have forecast forty years down the road and seen many past port calls and trekking excursions that would ultimately serve as my primary mode of inner growth. And it hasn’t just been setting abroad, either, that has brought my gypsy/pirate self-fulfillment. In fact, at our wedding a few months ago one of my best Navy buddies reminded me that he has seen the “running Matt, mountain biking Matt, surfing Matt, Jeep Matt, and now whatever this is called Matt…or Wind…whatever your name is.” Yes, my journeys have produced a lot of sometimes whimsical/always enlightening advances in my quest for the Holy Grail, to include a rather unexpected name change.
So, what is it exactly that runs through my veins which provides the endless restlessness (aka drive) to keep me needing the road so badly? In a 3-D setting, I would sit down at a psychologist’s desk and recall all the miles spent on the road while mom and dad drove back and forth across the extensive landscapes of the United States, for starters. This would be a true enough statement. Not quite the full picture. I might toss in how I remember fondly playing with Japanese children around my age when we only cared about playing, and not about understanding each other’s languages. Yeah, that’s a bit of the truth as well.
Maybe it’s the thrill of seeing the world through constantly evolving lenses, where comfort and emotional endurances are always challenged. Might be getting closer here, but still not the resounding “clang” of the bells of having hit the target. In fact, I don’t know that there is a definitive in the physical world which would fully explain the itch that hits once I decide to settle into a spot for even as little as three months. Yes, there is just so much out there to explore and a lifetime is for sure nowhere near enough to get it all in, and yet that is still not fully the whole of the equation which keeps a person like myself moving ever forward (upward…or inward?) in the search for, well, the meaning of life, for lack of a better explanation.
Every time I find a new place that I love, I quickly exclaim “I could so live here!”, only to be quickly followed by an immediate sense of grief that I would give up so many other places and experiences. It’s a bittersweet path, being a nomadic soul. Then again, isn’t any path?
It seems that no matter how we choose to live our lives, or perhaps more aptly how our lives have chosen us, we all have our trials and tribulations to work with, and hopefully to gain the world from. For an increasing number of us this is being parlayed into setting free from the material world, selling or giving away all of our possessions, and taking to the global highway in pursuit of more than the ritualistic wake-up, go to work, play with the kids, eat dinner, go to sleep, wake-up and begin again lifestyle which scientifically is proven to be causing many diseases and imbalances in our homeostasis. And that’s just on the homefront. Imagine the butterfly effect ripples of that across a world of seven billion humans.
So it would seem that my life of little choice when it came to traveling incessantly, to include my naval years for the most part, has actually set forth a precedent of the need to find a deeper, richer meaning to life. Inadvertently, this also led in part to my really crazy spiritual Awakening and the subsequent need to really set out with my life in my backpack and a meager $1k/month in Navy pension to dig as deeply as I can for the answers that a few select big names in history have tried sharing with us all. Basically, traveling has become the answer, when the question was always “WTF is life all about, and why am I still here!?”
On a deeper level – some, like my wife and I, would say “on the 5th Dimensional level” – traveling is fundamental to finding the answers that our backyards and neighborhoods tend to protect us from. To set out into the great unknown with little resources ($1k/month now for two people) with no home proper to return to is quite an undertaking, regardless of which Dimension we’re talking about. Many whom we’ve encountered, and then oddly run into many miles away several weeks later, have suddenly had such intense spiritual awakening moments that they immediately go into a long discussion of what they’ve experienced…even though we’ve never let them know what we believe spiritually. In other words, Spiritual Traveling is calling many of us to its teachings.
I guess I owe so much more to my parents and to my naval career than I ever could have seen coming. It really doesn’t matter much, as my wife and I are continuing to discover, if you spend your travels in mindfulness farms or in cheap hostels surrounded 24/7 by noisy motorcycles, for a spiritual experience is really all about the inner growth and seeking more than it is about the location and people with whom we connect. Don’t believe me? Take a trip to Thailand sometime and observe how many Wats and monks you find within the confines of every city, town, village, and in-between. You’ll find them right next to the omni-present 7-11’s. It’s not about the location externally; it is solely about the inner work we do. And that is precisely what the military life (ever since I was born) has prepared me to do: the hard work, regardless of the frustrations, agonies, or pains. Maybe I’ll close by thanking Uncle Sam, for without the Red, White, and Blue that I proudly – blindly, even – served for more than twenty years, I might not be the Light that I am today: and for that monthly pension and free travel. Gods and Goddesses bless you all on your own journeys.