Five years ago I was driving down a suburban road north of Chicago when I heard a song on the radio that made my soul tingle, my hair raise all over my body and caused my heart to smile. It was late winter/early spring and the snow was thawing fast with the anticipation of warmer days. I was back from my educational trip to Arizona ready to work, work, work, when I heard the magic. I said to myself, “I need to know the name of this song.” It sounds like Eddie Vedder’s voice, but what is the name of the song? After hearing it a few more times in the car over the next several days, it was announced, ‘Hard Sun’ by Eddie Vedder from the “Into The Wild” soundtrack. I needed and wanted more, more of this amazing sound and what the story was that produced the feeling in my body every time I heard it.
I always loved the romance of travel. Flipping through books and magazines, seeing pictures and placing myself in that context, hearing songs that take me away to a new places in my mind, knowing these places exists based on knowledge and experience, yet creating a new world of my own once I physically travel anywhere. The romance is endless. A new transformational romance occurred in me when I rented “Into The Wild.” Eddie Vedder set the stage with his remake of ‘Hard Sun’ for the movie, but the story of Chris McCandless shook me out of my status quo slumber.
Personally, I’m all about balance and harmony, cooperation and collaboration, not looking to favorably on competition and I avoid conflict like the plague. I was working in an industry that was so competitive that I felt it was starting to poison my soul. Watching “Into The Wild” caused me to see inside myself what I have always felt but never brought to the surface, true freedom without the constraints of the society that are collective conscious has built. Has there ever been an event, moment, quote, book, movie that brought to life what you have always felt but it never occurred to you on a conscious level until you read, saw, or experienced that event? “Into The Wild” was my a-ha moment.
Now that I was shaken awake from my ignorant slumber, something had to change in my life. I didn’t want to continue the career I was in, I wanted to travel, meet new people, volunteer as I wandered along, learn new cultures, eat new foods, drink wonderful wines that gave me a tickling bite in the back of my throat. I no longer wanted to compete for business, be a materialistic junkie or live to just make more and more money. I wanted to explore the world and meet everybody! Remember, this is Spring of 2008 when I first became awake and aware.
I trekked on working in real estate wiping the crustiness from my eyes of my thirty four plus year cultural and status quo nap, but still not fully aware of the truth…the coming crash of my industry and what true freedom really means. The financial crisis was already occurring but I was oblivious to it because I was told to ignore doom and gloom, be positive and keep moving forward…so I did, for a short time. Move forward, walk away, move forward, walk away. This was the song and dance that started to slowly grow in my mind. I watched the vote on T.V. for the bailouts not knowing whether it was a good thing or a bad thing. Bailouts won over and I thought, ok, time to go back to work.
I kept advertising, working and trying to stay positive, but I was slowly losing the battle. I received some horrible news in September that crushed my dreams of growing in real estate and knew something had to change. The only problem was, how? How, where, what do I do? Leave? I wanted to. I wanted to engage in my own version of “Into The Wild.” At the same time, in the back of my mind, I wanted to know what happened to my career and industry. A paradox was about to occur and a transformational consciousness of extreme magnitude was getting ready to come to light.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking about this because it is something every individual needs to do their own research on. In late October 2008 I was sent a link to a documentary film that sent me on a three and half year journey of research and wisdom. This movie, without question, transformed me completely on every level. Chris McCandless’ story woke me, but the documentary movie Zeitgeist Addendum woke me completely and made me understand what true freedom is. After watching this film, I wanted nothing to do with real estate anymore. I wanted to break free of the false world we are all raised and indoctrinated into and experience what I described earlier of travel, volunteerism and being with people. This was the start of the paradox for me of a world without money yet we still need money to function. I’ll stop here regarding this topic.
Fast forward to present day. After three plus years of research and a very strong understanding coupled with wisdom beyond my years, I am ready to start traveling again. I am back in the career in which I got my degree and very excited to become a freelance travel writer. The money paradox is deep in my mind but I understand it is needed until humanity realizes we don’t need it to live. When I speak of freedom, it is without money, politics, endless ridiculous laws that enslave people. After all in a monetary system there is no such thing as true freedom. We are only as free as our purchasing power allows.
“We are only as free as our purchasing power allows.” Powerful statement but it is truth. I’ve learned to balance this in my head. I can still live a quality life (less is more) where meeting people, traveling, aiding in others personal growth and development can occur without millions of dollars and a bunch of materialistic nonsense. I feel more at ease making money in an industry that makes my soul feel alive and until the day humanity realizes we can operate without money in a world of sustainability backed by advanced science and technology, I will embrace and accept the paradox I constantly live in.
The story of Chris McCandless set the stage for me to understand what it means to travel, live free and experience everything this amazing life has to offer. The documentary film Zeitgeist Addendum and everything I researched afterwards for three plus years shattered all previous notions of how the world works and opened my eyes, heart and soul to the falseness of our socio-economic system. I’m completely alive now, but still not truly free until we stop using 17th century economics in 21st century advanced technology where the world can live in dynamic equilibrium with all species and the planet. A world where everyone will be able to travel freely without the constraints of old, outdated and mundane systems, institutions and establishments that keep everyone from living their dreams.
“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson