So, this web site is not yet ready to go, but it’s time to start blogging. I feel some hesitancy to begin revealing the intimacies of my journey, and often have doubts about how public I desire my life to be. Many times last year in Brasil, I contemplated just disappearing there… leading a very simple, beautiful existence… relatively incognito, and certainly not blogging.
But how to share about this path I’m on, which I’m calling the Visionary Troubadour path, without being quite transparent and vulnerable? After all, these are key aspects of thriving on the VT path.
So, how to begin?
So, I’m sitting here in an apartment in Cordoba, Argentina, contemplating where to go next. Brasil? It’s summer time here in the Southern Hemisphere, and Brasil in the summer is amazing… and being a single guy in Brasil in the summer, well, all the more exciting, because the women are so beautiful inside and out. If I go to Brasil now, it might not be so wise. OK, I’m just going to share the reality of my situation. Here goes…
I’ve got maybe $700 to my name at the moment, and have virtually no income as I’ve stopped working and have stopped projects that were bringing me in residual cash. In my ebook, I reveal how I just let things fall last year, when faced with a financial crisis. Instead of getting all heroic and rising in the face of an ‘impossible’ crisis, something I’m great at, I took the advice of a mentor of mine… and just let things go. That was about 15 months ago… I put the remainder of my possessions in storage and flew to Europe with just $200.
The past year I’ve been grieving a lot. Grieving the loss of my “American Dream,” the loss of my big “American” identity, and the loss of many other things… it was then that I decided to stop holding up so many things in my life, including relationships. I stopped “being the hero,” and I started trusting things and people and myself to go the way of their desires. And over the last 15 months I’ve been seeing just how wound up I’ve been in my very American culture–the culture that lives in me, in my body. Trying to have everything together, so I don’t need anyone. To need someone is quite taboo in American culture. We’re supposed to be self-sufficient and independent.
Well, this Visionary Troubadour path in part is an experiment in not being so self-reliant. It’s an experiment in living with huge trust in humanity… and what I’ve experienced has been so amazing. So, I’ve got $700 to my name, plus a new Mac Air laptop that I was gifted by a dear friend. Amazing how I’m experiencing the magic of gifting and receiving on this path! It was almost two years ago now that I gifted a brand new Mac to a different friend of mine, who deeply inspired me by the work he was doing. He needed a laptop, I bought him one. This world of gifting and receiving is one that you can’t really plan for. It’s not about saving up money so I can do everything myself. It’s about trusting.
So, anyway, if I take my new $2,000 laptop on the road to Brasil along with my 4-yr-old Mac Air that is falling apart, and they get stolen (a real possibility) before I have a new stream of income coming in… then I’m really up the creek. Or, am I? This an edge of the VT path… so what if they get stolen? I TRUST!
Do I really need a lap top anyway??? I mean there are WiFi cafes all over the globe now, plus there are people with computers, who will let me use theirs when I need it. So… do I really need one? It’s got my songs on iTunes, all my photos, files, etc. But of course these days, it’s so easy to store it all online anyway. And I’ve lived without the use of my prized seemingly indispensable iPhone for 14 months anyway. Haven’t missed it. Hard to believe, but true. The only good that iPhone did me was when I sold it for cash in the Andes mountains after losing my credit card and running out of cash.
So, how do I on this VT path decide where to go next? I’m of a mind to wait to go to Brasil until I have a new stream of income coming in. I’ve been working on this Visionary Troubadour stuff for about 9 months (here and there), and there are ways that I may be able to receive cash that are related to my ebook, web site, etc. The independent American in me says that would be smart. Don’t spend all your money getting to Brasil, show up with almost no cash and then maybe even lose your laptops if they get stolen.
But, really, I’m fine in Brasil if I’m living with people who care about me. Money is not as necessary as it once seemed. Showing up willing to serve people, to be a contribution, to share my gifts and my time… this is living in a gift economy, and it’s likely how humans lived for thousands of years.
Contrary to popular conception, there is no evidence that societies relied primarily on barter before using money for trade. Instead, non-monetary societies operated largely along the principles of gift economics. When barter did in fact occur, it was usually between either complete strangers or would-be enemies.
One of the ways a Visionary Troubadour thrives while exploring the world, is because she can live in a virtual gift economy, where things are not traded or sold, but gifted. This is discussed in my ebook and elsewhere, but one can invoke a gift economy, one need not move somewhere to be a part of it. Although, places like Brasil, especially I hear the North of Brasil, are much more interconnected, much more communal in their lifestyle, much warmer and more generous than the American culture I come from.
I imagine to many Americans and Westerners, trusting that I’ll “be taken care of” in Basil sounds crazy, or sounds like maybe I’m taking advantage of the generosity of the people. This is what I would have thought even a few years ago. But this is one of the life altering shifts for me on this path–my trust in people has expanded incredibly. As has my trust in my ability to connect with people beyond my big American ego–person to person.
So, do I go to Brasil? I know I am welcome if I go… I am welcome by the people, and by specific friends. But I’ve not been explicitly invited. And I definitely feel quite differently… being invited and welcome verses just being welcome. This is one of the skill sets I’ve been developing on this path… is a keen awareness to when, where and how much I feel welcome. And there are invitations–and then there are INVITATIONS!
My friend Tom invited me to Brasil last year with an AMAZING invitation to stay for 3 months with him in his beautiful home. It was my first time to Brasil and he made it an incredible experience for me. I’ve been trying to go only where invited over the past year on this path. It’s just night and day different–going where I want to go, and making my own plan vs. receiving warm and clear invitations from people who welcome me just as I am. Feeling into it… not thinking with my culturally-programmed-and-reactive mind.
So, I’ve been reconnecting with people I met in Brasil last year. Maybe I’ll be invited, but I’ve been imagining a different scenario too… another way a VT can go places and be welcomed big time, even if she hasn’t been invited.
Every day is a challenge… to open up, feel, trust… rather than going into my head to figure everything out.
But today I feel it is time to move on from this apartment where I’m staying. And I intend to go stay at a hostel. There are benefits to paying for a place to stay, just as there are benefits to living with people while traveling. And I’m ready to go experience some craziness in a hostel full of international travelers eager to taste Cordoba.
Yes, that speaks to my desire. I feel my desire. Onwards…
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