Contrast Settings

1

When the colour of your life begins to dim – seek adventure. For though the world can often appear bleak in the adult way of work and survival, the open road provides moments where the greyness fades and you return to the infant-like state of seeing. Suddenly, among new sights and new smells and new possibilities, everything is again magical and mysterious. Suddenly you face the world like a wide-eyed child in an amusement park of flashing lights. Suddenly the mist of monotony clears like early morning fog, and life shines bright in brilliant colour once more.

Advertisements

The Power Of Knowing You Are Not Out Of Place In This World

When you are here and now, sitting totally, not jumping ahead, the miracle has happened. To be in the moment is the miracle.” Osho

highland-2599412_1280

To be happy and content is the perhaps the most common desire of the average human-being – to feel like everything is in its right place. But from an early age it is easy to feel out of place in this world, as if we don’t quite really belong. 

As we enter school, teachers suggest now isn’t good enough by asking us what we want to ‘be’ when we grow up. As we leave school, friends and relatives suggest now isn’t good enough by asking what we are ‘doing next’. When we get a job, our bosses suggest that now still isn’t good enough by telling us salvation lies in targets and promotions. Elsewhere advertisements suggest we are incomplete by telling us the latest ‘must-have’; governments urge us to plan and save our money for our retirement; religions even tell us we are ‘sinners’ and must seek repentance for simply being born.

When we are all constantly inundated with such disempowering rhetoric, it is easy to feel out of place in a world which incessantly relies on a relationship to the external – an addiction that so often deprives us of the sheer internal joy of being alive within the present moment of our immediate surrounding universe.


Perhaps to use the word ‘world’ is erroneous. This word represents the floating mass that is planet earth – the organic spaceship that is floating around a spherical fire in a solar system that’s a part of a galaxy moving 2.1 million kilometres per hour as it catapults itself through an infinite universe. To be out of place in this world is to be alien – which we are not. If biology and evolution tell us anything, it tells that us that humans grew out of the world as fruit grows outward from a tree. This planet is our tree of life; our bodies are maintained by its air, food, water, materials and temperature. These were the things that forged us. These are the things which make this rock home for each and every one of us. We are exactly where we need to be.

earth-1990298_1280.jpg

But despite this intrinsic and inseparable connection we have to our universe and planet, we often feel ‘out of place’ – as if we are strangers here and don’t quite belong in our own home; as if the ‘here and now’ is not good enough. And as this phenomenon continues to pervade, I – like many others – have come to realise the falseness of this feeling that many cultures seek to condition their citizens with.


“Wherever you go, there you are”  Jon Kabat- Zinn


As mentioned, such a feeling begins from an early age when we are dangled a carrot in front of us and told to chase, chase, chase. As soon as we able to understand words and orders, we are made to feel marginal and peripheral by the hegemonic cultural discourse. We are taught that life lies somewhere ‘out there’ – an oasis of contentment and happiness in the future that only cultural and social institutions can lead us to if we follow their rules.

So, what do we do? Naturally, being susceptible and impressionable to our elders’ philosophy, we accept we are incomplete human-beings and pursue their game. We go through institutional education jumping through hoop after hoop until we graduate; we then join the world of business where the hoops of exams and grades are replaced with promotions and pay rises; a little later we get sucked into chasing material goods and saving for retirement. While you could argue such processes are seemingly unavoidable in our current systemic and industrial society, it is ridiculous that we are never educated to feel like we have or are enough in the present moment – something that we can all agree is an essential part to human happiness and inner contentment.

banner-958944_1280

And so inevitably – as nurture triumphs over nature – we suffer, stress and strain.

Getting lost deeper and deeper into the ideological wonderland of culture, we try desperately to ‘keep up’ with everybody else also engaged in this game. We run in packs chasing down hoop after hoop, consequently having our pockets perpetually picked of the preciousness of the present moment – the only place we can or will ever be.  The grass is always greener on the other side” thus becomes a mantra of many of our lives as media, social media, advertising, business and the general cultural discourse suggest there is always something better than where you are now. Bought the iPhone 7? Well now you need to work harder to buy the new iPhone 8. Just met that quota at work? Well now you need to chase the next one to get that promotion. 


“No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” Alan Watts


Of course, it is obvious that we need to make plans for the future if we are to survive, but the current set-up is so bewitching, so intoxicating and so all consuming, that many of us become completely lost within this shady forest of deception. This brings about the wolves of overthinking, social anxiety, depression and insecurity that continue to hound many minds throughout the modern world as people hunt to obtain that which cannot be caught. Many of us get lost in this addiction to the external so much that we spend our one life doing things we don’t want to do under the illusion we will eventually arrive where we belong: the oasis of happiness in the mythical future.

stress-2883648_1280

But as the saying goes: ‘tomorrow never comes’ and this is why I – and so many others out there – are currently waking up from this trance and remembering that which we forgot since we are children. That we are not out of place in this world. That each and every one of us is a product and realisation of the entire universe – a manifestation of consciousness standing here proudly atop this beautiful green and blue rock that we call home. This is where we belong, and the present moment is all that is and that will ever be.

Yes, it really is. When you mourn the past, that is done in the present; when you worry about the future, that is done in the present. The external is a falsity: something which only exists in the clumsy chambers of the human mind.

And so, as society and technology continue to sweep us away from the here and now, I urge us all to reclaim our own consciousness from this deception and come back to our senses. It is time for us to relax and realise life is not as serious as culture makes it out to be. It is time for us to realise that we are an intrinsic part of the universe – and we can never be out of place even if we tried. It is time to come home; to where we are and always have been.

mother-1039765_1280

Only then will we all collectively learn that the ‘game’ of society is exactly that – a game that can be played, but is ultimately not something to be taken too seriously. Only then we will become aware that things beyond our control are pointless to worry about – that the greatest power one can hold is to be completely absorbed in the present moment of their immediate environment. As our consciousness expands, we will be able to see through the deceit of many marketing campaigns, arbitrary cultural values, unnecessary overtime, trivial and frivolous worries, and anything that is generally insulting to the soul of the individual human-being.


So, let us wake up and discover the power of the present. The power of saying “I have enough”. The power of appreciating that which is priceless – the burning sunset, the crisp winter air, the breeze dancing through the spring grass, the smile on the face of a friend, the quietness as you fall asleep next to a loved one, the firework display of the stars shimmering in the night sky.

Discover the power of contentment; the power of knowing you are where you are.

The power of here and now.

hiker

Closed Curtains, Closed Mind – The Dangers of Sedentary Living

rainy day.png

A fish out of water; a classic car rusting in a garage; a bird in a cage.

Some things in this world just simply aren’t meant to exist in certain environments. Disregarding the qualities that makes them such wonders of life, art and magnificence, it makes our heart ache when we witness such beings go to waste during their precious and powerful moments here in the universe. Contained wonder; contained raw power – a true travesty of existence that leaves most compassionate people with a sense of melancholy when witnessing such unnatural sights as a fish flapping helplessly on sand, or a bird hesitating to spread its wings because of the metal bars three inches in front of its beak. These things do not belong in said environments, we tell ourselves – in is not natural, and it is not just. But in looking at these things and concluding such thoughts, sometimes we need to look in the mirror, look back upon the reflection and ask: what about humans? What about ourselves?

Of all the creatures on planet earth, we are by far the most complex and intellectually powerful. With the tool-set to explore, interact, construct and create, me and you have the dexterity and intelligence to build skyscrapers and climb to the top of mountains; we have the utter depth of language to connect with people from all around the world and go on journeys, start adventures, live dreams, share knowledge and discuss complex ideas. No other being can even get remotely close to the level of communication me and you have right now in the writing, reading and understanding of these words and sentences. In human history our kind has culminated such physical, linguistic and intellectual excellence to sail around the world, write novels, build satellites, fly into space, climb the tallest mountains, run the longest races and break the unbreakable records.

But as majestic and advanced as we are, we are not invincible and – just like the aforementioned creatures – we are also vulnerable and at risk when we are to enter unnatural environments; ironically one which is self-created in the form of a sedentary lifestyle that permeates our daily routine living. Such a way of living comes from an overexposure to technology and a society that places us in one place and often tires us out, leaving many of us not to explore, build, exercise, learn and interact with the world – but to instead live a life of stillness – one where we remain indoors and incessantly consume media as we degenerate our health and complex minds. In doing so we become the salmon out of water, the Chevrolet rusting in the garage, the eagle in the cage. We become the very thing that so often leaves us with a sense of melancholy and sadness – our abilities to explore, build, run and discover contained by a lifestyle choice of closed living.

The effects are deadly. Health campaigners against sedentary living warn that such lifestyles can be linked to as many deaths a year as smoking, with the risk of falling victim to fatal heart diseases rising by 64% when one maintains a static, sedentary lifestyle. Amongst this, research papers conducted on the public also attribute health problems such as depression, diabetes and even dementia. The problem goes beyond such physical health problems though – it rocks our foundations of mental and spiritual well-being. How can we as people aspire to become learned and knowledgeable about the world when our windows to it become sensationalist tabloid-newspapers and trashy, unimaginative television? How can we learn to talk to people and develop our empathy when we physically interact less and less each day? Whereas a lack of exercise will degenerate our bodies, an over-consumption of media and lack of real world empirical experience will degenerate our minds.

Sure, the technological aspects of the information era present to us many advancements in the world. Computers and their capabilities act as the veins of society; TV news brings us far-off events to the comfort of our homes; our phones make it easier to connect than ever before. But to leave this world completely unregulated, place too much emphasis on it and let this static consumption totally replace our natural environment is unnatural and damaging. In a world where technology is becoming increasingly ubiquitous, we need to seek to experience people, events, and places not through profit-driven media, but through travel, exercise and exploration. We should learn not through word of mouth and gossip, but by empirical experiences and real tangible things. These are the things that help us evolve mentally, physically and spiritually – not a static and still sedentary lifestyle that is counterproductive to the evolutionary process that has made us all such advanced beings in the first place.

You and I were meant for so much more than a still lifestyle. So let’s put the fish back in the water, fire up the rusty old Chevrolet one more time and release the eagle from the static cage. Take flight. Walk, run or cycle once a day; integrate travelling movement and learning into lifestyles. On the journey of evolution let our lives count for positive, adventurous and progressive strides, not static and still ones. Because as far as you and I go, we are only here once – so let’s use this time to utilise the tools that make us the most advanced species here on earth. Get up from the chair, open the curtains, open our minds, explore, dream, learn, move and discover.

How To Vaccinate Yourself Against Small-Mindedness

Do you ever find yourself getting angry about trivial things? Or thinking the entire universe was undeniably created for the use of humans? Or that your current culture is the only way humans have ever lived? Or that your ethnicity, gender or social class is paramount over all others? If you answer yes to these things then it may well be that you have contracted the most common condition to infiltrate the psyche of all homo-sapiens – small mindedness.

It is estimated that more than three in every five people unknowingly suffer from the condition which spreads rapidly when those affected congregate together. Unaware that they suffer from the condition, the sufferers will continue on a downward spiral into the psyche of their minds as they unknowingly construct a psychological cage. The condition is easily contracted and often exacerbated by exposure to common causes such as trashy television, bias media coverage, institutional religions and a lack of education and interaction with the wider world.

Small-mindedness is one of the biggest challenges humanity faces on the path to become a logical, rational and sane species. Scientists are working around the clock to try to cure this insidious and troublesome condition, but until then here are some common ways you can vaccinate yourself from this cancer of the mind.


Astronomy

stars.jpg

Just look on any clear night and you can empirically see it with your very own eyes: a universal painting and firework display of thousands and thousands of burning balls of gas from million of light years away in an infinite universe. You do not have to be an astronomer or have a degree in astrophysics to appreciate such a spectacle – just look up and marvel. As you begin to appreciate how utterly tiny and insignificant we are as a species in the grand scheme of the universe, you will naturally begin to acquire a sense of calmness and humility – two of the best vaccines around against the egotistical condition of small-mindedness.

Travel

hiker.jpg

Although people born in rich countries will often have considerably more opportunities to travel due to their economy, it can be noted that travel can even consist of a simple journey to a different region, province, state or county of our own country. As you begin to move around places, you will see how human-beings are capable of living and interacting in an array of diverse ways, habits and cultures. As you soak in the experience of this, the horizons of your mind will naturally broaden as you see that the culture you were born into isn’t the only way people experience this thing called life.

The Scientific Method

scientist-2141259_960_720

Scientific study is currently the best tool humanity has in the quest to understand the world around us. Relying on vigorous testing, empirical evidence, and peer reviews, the scientific method is a ruthless judge that relies on a theory being faultlessly proven again and again for it to be scientifically accepted. What’s more is that no ego is involved – should a much supported theory be proven wrong, the scientific world happily changes its stance in the light of new empirical evidence. The basic principle is to question and test everything – including what you are reading here. And once more, you don’t need a degree to be scientist – if you want to test your view on something, try it out for yourself! Conduct research, investigate, gather evidence and improve your own knowledge. This vaccine is readily available to all.

Literature

library.jpg

Any decent library should behold a collection of literary texts from all around the world, beholding centuries and centuries of different ideas, dreams and experiences. Libraries can act as portals to the many facets of the human-mind and imagination. As you begin to read up on scientific principles, sift through historical facts, study different philosophies, entertain yourself with literature from different centuries, and absorb an almost infinite stream of knowledge and ideas from throughout the entire history of humanity, naturally your brain will become substantially better at entertaining different perspectives and applying ideas. Again, another great vaccine to guard your mind with.

A Healthy Relationship with Media

old-newspaper-350376_960_720.jpg

Without a doubt one of the most common causes of small-mindedness is an incessant dependency on the media to construct a view of the world for you. The media is a business like any other, meaning that its key principle is to make profit for its shareholders and uphold the pyramid of organisation and ownership it supports itself with. Often this means that publications, stations and channels have a strong bias and will look to skew the window to the world so that your view of the world is beneficial to them and advertisers, rather than it being a logical and rational one. To stop this from happening, develop a healthy relationship with the media where you get your news coverage from many different publications – complement this by your doing own individual research. Don’t forget to look for non-mainstream news coverage too and question everything you read. Naturally, this will combat any threat of contracting small-mindedness from your television, radio or newspaper.


The list can go on and on, but these are common vaccines that act as a good introduction to guarding your mind from warped ideologies, lies, dogma, corruption and egotistical tendencies. The world is a dangerous place and the threat of small-mindedness lingers all around us, ready to infect our mind at any given opportunity. With a bit of effort, a bit of study, a bit of experience and a loss of ego, one can forever remain a rational and sane human-being, immune from this condition which sadly continues to affect billions world-wide. Stay safe and get protected now by using these easily-accessible vaccines!

Life Is An Opportunity: Go All The Way

nght-sky-1209124_960_720.jpg

Naked and screaming you arrived: a living, breathing organism made of flesh, skin and bones on a rock spinning a thousand miles per hour as it levitates around a giant ball of fire in an infinite universe of exploding stars, black holes and interstellar nebulae. You arrived in your physical form with a body to explore with, a head to think with and time to play with – time that is, to undertake the brief, bittersweet journey that we call life. Planet earth is the stage for that journey – a playground of immense beauty where there are endless possibilities and where one thing can’t be denied – that from the day we are born til the day that we all die: life here is an opportunity.

It is an opportunity for us to come to terms with the mind-blowing scenario of life on this floating rock and decide how we are going to make the most of it. To decide how many of our dreams we are going to follow; to decide how many places we are going to visit; to decide how any professions we are going to undertake; to decide how many people we are going to share our journey with. Life is an opportunity – a chance to make our lives extraordinary and daring; a chance for all of us to push the lever of life down hard, chase the horizon and explore our wildest dreams. Life is an opportunity.

mountain-299002_960_720.jpg

Yet when one looks at the world and society, how many people can honestly say they are pushing the lever down hard? Who are doing all that they can to make the most of their existence in the universe? Who are either chasing or living their dreams? We are all different, and one person’s version of a life well-lived is different to another’s, but so commonly as individuals we are disempowered and discouraged to neglect our dreams and passions (no matter how ridiculous they are) in order to be moulded and shaped by the cultures in which we are raised to live a life that is just ‘okay’ and ‘safe’. We forget that life is an opportunity and do things not because it’s true to our own nature, but in order to keep up with culture; to do something because everybody else ‘does that’ and because other people expect it of us. 

That is why every now and again, one of us has to come forward from the herd and remind people that they are all individuals. And that they are free. Free to chase their dreams and dance the ridiculous dance of life in an infinite universe. Free to abandon ideology and a culture that is oppressive to the true nature of the individual self. That they are free to realise once more that life is an opportunity for the artist to create beautiful works of art; for the athlete to set new records; for the scientist to make new discoveries; for the builder to create new structures; for the explorer to explore new places. It is a moment in time where the individual has the brief period of a few decades to make the most of their ticket in the playground of planet earth. And not to let any external force, any culture or any ideology hinder his or herself in any way.

peru-2287008_960_720.jpg

When Martin Luther King stood up to fight for the freedom of black Americans, he knew that he would put himself in grave danger – but he also knew life was an opportunity; when Mark Zuckerburg dropped out of one of the world’s top universities to create the world’s largest social network, he faced failure and ridicule – but he also knew life was an opportunity; when Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hilary first ascended Mount Everest they knew the immense dangers involved – but they also knew life was an opportunity. They knew that such an existence is precious and finite – and thus a chance to go all the way; to stand up for humanity and push the boundaries of exploration, passion and adventure.

And so, just like them, it is down to each and every one of us to decide at what length we want to explore our passions and dreams – no matter how big or small they may be deemed. It is down to us to look in the mirror, gaze into the eye of self and say: what am I doing right now to live my life the best I can? What am I doing this week that keeps me on track to taking full advantage of this extraordinary reality I am a part of? Ultimately, what am I doing to go all the way in this magical and beautiful world? Because, as far as we know, there is only one life. So push the lever down hard; make the most of it. Explore. Dream. Discover. Create.

This is your opportunity.

Why You Should Consider Travelling After University

1045115_10204124146224268_7890143805453692762_n.jpg

Okay, you finish university this summer and you’re still unsure about what to do with your life. You pick up the rule-book of our capitalist society and flick to the chapter after university. ‘Chapter Five: Post-Degree Life’“You must now apply for a job in a business and field that you can see yourself working in for the rest of your career, nine hours a day, five days a week, year after year.” You read on with trepidation: “you must do this so that you can get a deposit on a house, get a brand new car, a new wardrobe, get those items advertised to you on the TV, and you must get all of this before your peers do”.

All those possessions you could have – the security; the comfort; the routine. If everyone chases these things instantly then surely you have to as well? Surely it’s the only way, right? Well, twenty-one years into my life and in my last year of university, I can safely say that I don’t own a lot of the aforementioned stuff, but the experiences I do have are something infinitely more valuable to my life. Yes, in the past I have threw out the car money so I could stay in Africa one summer working as a journalist and hanging out with a bunch of rastafarians; I threw out the deposit money so I could fly to Australia/Thailand and parachute, sail, cage-dive and party my way around the coast with a bunch of strangers; I threw out the wardrobe money so I could cycle my way through European countries, seeing the sights, raising money for charity and sampling the beers along the way.

The best thing about these possessions is that – unlike the stuff in the capitalist rulebook that I’m meant to obtain – these are things that aren’t mass-manufactured and can’t be lost with bankruptcy, divorce or some gambling addiction. They are locked up within myself, where they can never be compromised. So you have to ask yourself: which possessions are more valuable to you as a person currently in your life? Experiences or ‘stuff’?

In case you can’t work out with side I’m leaning to, it’s most definitely the experience side for me. We live on a crazy, convoluted, messed-up planet and only tread its vibrant soil but once; why would you want to spend it all in one routine, one job, one culture, one house, chasing all the items your neighbours have? Why would you not take this moment in time where the right combination of technology, political stability and infrastructure has allowed us to travel to multiple far-off places for the first time? Stories are created. Strangers become friends. Insights are gained. Experiences become possessions.

Perhaps this phenomenon can be further highlighted by looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – a model that defined the common order people chase their human needs. Although just a theory on a theory, it’s a good way to reflect some possible ideas.

Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs.png

As you can see, ‘security of body, of employment, of resources, of the family, of the health, of property‘ are some of the basic needs near the bottom of the pyramid that can be possessed in conjunction with work, mortgages, savings and material goods. But what about the self-actualisation and esteem qualities of ‘morality, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts, respect of others, confidence, self-esteem, spontaneity‘ and those near the top of the pyramid? Will you grow those from material goods? Will you develop those immediately getting stuck doing something you have no interest in for forty-five years?

It is obviously dependant on you, your own personal interests, your relationships and what you seek to get out of, contribute and achieve from working in your particular field; however it’s more than likely for a lot of people – still unsure of what career (if any) will fulfil them – that those things can currently grow from the amazing opportunity of travel where you can gain perspective, learn first-hand about the world and experience other cultures, ideas and peoples – rather than sit at at the same desk every day in a job you’re not interested just to mindlessly chase the word ‘successful’. Just remember that the term ‘successful’, used in the context of the working world, is one constructed by a capitalist ideology – the parameters of which are measured by money and market share: things that were again constructed by other people that aren’t you. Don’t be instantly pressured into something you don’t want to do by such a debatable, problematic and relative term.

So go and travel. Go and travel if you still don’t know what to do with your life. Especially if you haven’t been before. Ignore your tutors who want you to constantly chase ‘success’; ignore mum and dad who want to see you ‘grow up’; ignore the TV that tells you to work to buy the latest car. Respond. Respond against a system that can hinder you. Go and catch a plane to an exotic country; go and hike through the expansive wilderness; go experience other cultures; go and party to the early morning on a beach with a bunch of strangers; go and spend your days gazing out at sea and your nights looking up at the stars.

If you don’t have the money then work for a bit, or combine the two and work while you’re away – working visas and teaching schemes are common in many countries and are a part of such experiences. Don’t worry about falling behind – you can still have all those other items and fulfil those other important needs later on in life; just take the lack of responsibility, proliferation of good health and the complete freedom and liberation that this age brings to head off with a flimsy backpack and see our bewildering world. There’s a good chance you will discover what you want to do with your life whilst out there travelling. And if you end up in a mundane job working for the human necessities of family, security and home, at least you took your chance to possess enriching experiences on top of those when you had the chance.

Just remember that after the rule-book is read, the adverts consumed, the paycheck cashed, the garage occupied and the wardrobe full – travel, like education, is one of the few things you buy that makes you richer.

Why Travel Is The Purest Form Of Rebellion

hiking-691846_960_720


Rebellion
: an angst-ridden word that brings about images of uprisings, stoic defiances and Bastille-esque overthrows.

In fact defined as  “the action or process of resisting authority, control, or convention”, said action or process can be realised in workers’ strikes, protests, political movements or even in fashion and subculture – groups such as Punks, Hipsters or Bikers going against societal expectations in the way they act and the way they style themselves. But when one looks at these things holistically, we can so often witness a way everything spirals around and each one is ultimately fallible to the system. Worker’s strikes can only last for a set period of time before their livelihood collapses; protests can spiral out of control with protesters getting arrested by authority and their voice ignored; subculture styles are capitalised on by advertising and marketing companies reciprocating the trends back to them in order to profit off their rebellion. Through the resistance of it all, so often it ends with ‘the man’ getting his way. However, there is another act of rebellion that has the capability to evade such capture and compromise – a ‘movement’ and lifestyle that resists conventions, control and authority to a much larger degree than any of the aforementioned examples.

Travel. Backpacking. Wandering. The act or process of venturing to new places, new people, new horizons and new worlds. Packing your few possessions into a flimsy backpack and leaving your home, system and conventions behind; setting your eyes to the horizon and relentlessly aspiring to wander to the next place and the next experience. In the act of adventure travel, one becomes distanced from the overarching prism of society where the mechanisms of control and convention may dictate the way for a period of time, but never for the duration. When one uses all their money to voyage to a new place and not on things that tie them to a single society, how can specific conventions, control and authority be a part of that person’s life? When one systematically moves from society to society throughout the years, how can one individual society’s rules and views be implemented onto that person in any effective way?

The answer is that they can’t. Societies and political structures rely on people’s lives being static and still in one place, and if one becomes nomadic in nature and lives a life of physical movement, then the mechanisms of an individual society lose their influence drastically. To travel is to rebel. No monthly mortgage payments; no permanent job and pension scheme; no expenditure being used on consuming advertised or marketed products; no singular exposure to bias, samey media conveying everything one way. A single society’s foundations of control, authority and convention lose their zest when a person exists on a global scale. Yes, travellers adhere to laws and conventions when they are in a specific country, but when that stay is never set or fixed, any long-term hold over that traveller becomes marginal – all they need is a few hundred dollars and then all of it is left behind again.

French philosopher Albert Camus said that “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion” and perhaps travellers/backpackers are the ultimate embodiment of this. A life of movement and adventure is not compatible with the system – after all if everyone were to live a nomadic existence then the conventions, control and authority of single societies would be completely disrupted. The system would buckle, be forced to change to be reborn. And as far as rebellion goes, it can so often consist of violence, intent to destroy and something that eludes a sense of danger – however in travel we see a form of rebellion that is arguably entirely ‘pure’ and harmless.  

Most travellers’ (the good ones) aims and ambitions are to explore, to enrich, to learn, to anew and to experience; many work jobs locals don’t want to do on working holiday visas in countries and many teach languages and spend money they gained from first world countries in third world countries – a direct transfer of money from the rich to the poor empirically bridging the international poverty gap. To associate this kind of rebellion with anything as negative as violence or a clashing of two sides is just not correct; if anything it resembles more of a peaceful protest. A pure rebellion. An act where the world and its people become enriched, thoughtful,  less materialistic, less judgemental and close-minded.

So angry with the system or disillusioned with the lack of options your society gives you? Sick of working a soul-less job for a faceless corporation whose only aim is to line the pockets of their bureaucrat bosses and investors? Don’t destroy, don’t protest, don’t get angry, don’t strike. Travel. Move, explore and experience other societies; engage in other ways of thinking and new philosophies; tread new grounds and gain new perspectives in a true peaceful protest. Reply. Respond. Rebel. Perhaps in a world of chaos, scandals and corruption, it’s the last escape from the corrupted system that free-spirited souls truly have.