“Did you know that Benjamin Franklin was a comedy writer (wrote the famed Poor Richards Almanac) before he discovered electricity and became one of the founding fathers of the United States of America?”
“Not until now that you said it to me. He was?! Interesting!..”
Two hour laters, I bade my travel friend goodbye, pick my 30 liter backpack and I got off the back of a pick up truck. “Thank you” I said to the driver.
Dusting off an inch thick of dust off my cargo shorts and shirt, I am now standing in front of wooden house- a port just on the edge of the Amazon River Basin. One local sitting on a bench on the side of entrance stood up and headed my way. Long grey hair with a cowboy hat and puffing cigarette, he waived at me to come near him. He was limping, a bit.
“You Tito?” He asked.
“Yes, I am”. I replied. Then I saw that stoic grin in his face.
“I’m Ricardo” There’s a scar an inch long just below his right cheek.
“You really a travel writer photographer?” He quipped .
I said “Yeah, sort of. I wash dishes too, do a bit of carpentry, tend a garden, till the soil, plant maize corn and sometimes do stand up comedy. I could even stitch up wounds over extremities. “ I volunteered.
Ricardo is a Tupian local and will be my foster brother in my months long stay in the Amazonia. I will work part time (2-3 days, 4 hour daily work/week) in his local refreshment canteen. He will help arrange trips for me to some of the lesser known tribes in the Amazon rainforest.
“You came from a very far country-Philippines eh?” he said, the wrinkles in his forehead seemingly squeezing a better answer from me. “Yeah!” I answered. “Why would you leave that place? Why go here?!”
“I’m not leaving my place. I’m just here to really really explore what the world is outside of my comfort zone” I replied.
He has this puzzled look at me but smiled suddenly. “Crazy Gringo you are eh?”
“I am. I am. Maybe.”
Travel, shoot, work part time and live close to people, culture and nature I haven’t seen my entire life. Yes, this is the Ameridian leg of my vagabounding.
Well, that was before I got admitted to college. An alternate verse I so feared of going, I would have tried this right after high school. See Iceland’s Aurora Borealis, climb Kilimanjaro, hike the Appalachian, photograph sunsets in the Sahara. Write a life hack book in the mountains of Tibet, motorcycle across China, all in search for awesomeness this world has to offer and what can I create to offer mine.
That I realized after going through med school shit scared and got lucky. Again, only after. Funny how one discovers alterverses only after you thread one path and learn life skills. When you’re done with one path, you discover that most of the patterns and frameworks you’ve acquired are familiar and replicable in other possible multiverses for you. You only have to be human and cultivate the childlike fascination to creativity, mindfulness and simple living. Hence,
That is my long mantra for living. And it is exactly replicable in all possible multiverses for me. Why would design my way of life to be that way? The simple truth is that I never lost hope that those alterverses will be in my life now or in the near future. Maybe. Just note the breadcrumbs in my life’s works. Looked familiar?
Ah, I am a physician, a travel and landscape photographer, blogger, hiker and serve humanity. All in one verse. Absolutely liveable.
(Note: The story here is fictional, but what I do is not.)