Back in Bogota once again and not long left now, roughly six weeks, until I head to New York City for a completely different Adventure. I am absolutely exhausted from my trip to the Caribbean but i’ve got another story to tell and I am happy. Once again I am amazed at this planets’ ability to continue to teach me about it, its people, and myself.
In my last update I mentioned my excitement about my trip to Providencia Island, it did not disappoint and it may of clawed its way into my top 5 favourite places I have visited. The island has a rich history of English colonisation, piracy and in more recent history the emergence of a Rastafarian culture.
This island is nothing short of incredible. Here amongst the friendliest and happiest people in the world, with deserted crystal clear blue beaches, purple mangroves, barrier reefs and mountains and islands to explore. Not to mention you have the freedom to do whatever you want.
The island is quite small, surrounded by a few even smaller islands. An old pirate fort rests on the island Santa Catalina belonging to the infamous Pirate captain Henry Morgan. Almost every beach has a reef nearby full of exotic underwater plants coral and a diverse range of fish, reef sharks and manta rays. The biodiversity is simply beautiful.
I have a new appreciation for the world underwater… it is so enchanting and peaceful swimming under the ocean with these animals. It is made even more eerie and surreal by the fact that there is often not another person around for at least 2 kilometres. It is just you and the Caribbean sea. Anything with that much mystery naturally draws my attention and it is now one of my goals to achieve my Scuba diving accreditation to explore even more of the seemingly infinite great oceans.
The beaches are dotted with little Reggae bars and simple restaurants preparing the fresh caught fish from that morning. With marijuana all but legalised on the island, everywhere somebody is enjoying a joint. It didn’t take long before we had our own to enjoy for our time on the island. Smoking a joint, drinking a beer, listening to reggae music, relaxing on an island paradise, looking out into the Caribbean with maybe 10 other people on a 1 kilometre beach is perfect. Just reminiscing on these moments relaxes me.
There is an unmistakable atmosphere of freedom. The people understand that their own life and health is their responsibility. As long as they don’t harm others they have the right to do what makes them happy. Nothing is set in stone and nothing is black and white there is always an exception after all.
People ride around on motorcycles in board shorts no shirt and no helmet often after smoking.
Drinking beers all day? That’s ok. Want to ride my Jet ski? No problem.
When is check out? Well you are leaving on the boat at 3pm why don’t we just say 3pm or whenever you want.
You’re short 10,000 Pesos? No worries hop on the boat.
Can I get a ride back to my Posada? Sure. How much do I owe you? What? Nothing. One love brother.
It is truly liberating and I met a number of people both natives and foreigners who had come the island to escape the craziness of modern society. I met a trio from Bogota who sail the Caribbean supporting themselves with fishing and partying on the islands they visit. I met an island native who spent 14 years in Bogota as a flight attendant but decided to move back to have his freedom and see his son and wife all year round. I met a 62 year old Texan who was finally living his dream of sailing the world. The island is full of people who love life and refuse to be a part of rat race.
The freedom was infectious. With no money, 300ml of water, half a loaf of bread, and no hostel to stay, my friend and I were essentially homeless for the last 36 hours of the journey. We managed to sneak into a hostel and occupy the empty beds, we took water from the breakfast room and left for a day on the beach with all of our luggage. It was both a humbling and liberating experience.
I had a beautiful moment on the beach one night relaxing under the stars sipping on tax free whisky and smoking a joint I seemed to awaken at least for a second from my dream. The dream that has been my life these last six months and the dream I am still living.
I had this clarity and suddenly all the places I had visited the people I had met, the things I had done and was planning to do all came to me at once. I was overwhelmed with how lucky I am to be trekking around and exploring this beautiful world, taking in cultures meeting new people and constantly evolving as a human being.
My perspective is changing “weird” is becoming a relative term when you realise we are all so vastly different yet still so similar. With similar hopes and dreams people we love, we are all sharing this experience of life. I am so excited to keep going on the adventure and see where it takes me see what I become. I am just genuinely loving being alive at the moment.
Just like that I seemed to slip back into this reality I have been living in these past months. To be able to take the long view to gaze upon my recent life from an outward perspective filled me with an overwhelming sense of appreciation. I do not think I will ever be the same person I was just six months ago and that to me is exciting!
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” – T. E. Lawrence
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