One of the powers of travel-- or maybe it's of truered's book-- is that it makes you think about the direction of your life. I told a friend recently that what I wanted in life more than anything-- more than enlightenment or good friends or incredible experiences-- was to leave it a better place than I found it. But instead over the past two years, I've spent my time chasing after women, spending gobs of money and time to start a travel blog business, and spending more to see the world. And for what? To better be a person, to make something cool, to understand the world? It's all dry-runs; practicing instead of doing. I'm the only one to benefit. And for all the fun I get out of my contract work, it's just fun; I can't take pride in it, because it's isn't helping anyone.
There are a million ways my skills could go towards making this world a better place. I have a project already made to help college students find host homes in swing states so they can change the political sphere. My aunt is bringing infrastructure and computers to the wilds of Costa Rica. One Laptop Per Child needs skilled programmers. And if all else fails, there's always Pakistani schools.
I've been thinking of where to go when I leave Cambridge. Prague has a huge appeal. It's a place for artists, and people who live life as art. We are all artists, desperately trying to manifest our deepest selves, and let our art shine so that someone else will want to share its glow. That (translated, distilled, reduced) was the understanding that came from my recent acid trip.
Now I disagree. Life is love, and a love of art is to mistake the finger pointing for the object it's pointing at. Loving is easy; I don't want to love my art-- I'd rather love children in third-world countries.
Of course, I won't totally give up life as art. It's too much a part of me. Or for that matter give up chasing women (especially not in this lovely country) or my travel blog (it will be great and useful) or travel (it continues to serve me well). But Prague? I'm more likely to move to Africa.