After the school year, I wanted to experiment. I wanted to see more proof that everything would be alright if I just leapt. I bought an old hatchback Subaru, packed it up with all my belongings and hit the road. I had a few guideposts…that was all. I knew I had some friends I wanted to go see, and I knew that I wanted to land in a place where I could do some quality snowboarding for the winter. I had about five or six thousand dollars to keep me treading water. The first place I stopped was Philadelphia where I met a girl that infused me with the energy of connection throughout the rest of my trip. I went to South Carolina, I went to New Orleans, Austin, Santa Fe and then up across the border into Colorado. Fantastic experiences were had in each of these places with friends, and on my own. I can remember vividly one particular night in Georgia spent beside a lake. I put up my tent and built myself a fire on the beach. That was all…but it was s0 peaceful. No one else was around. I wrote and listened to the sounds of the animals most of the night. I had some nice herb which helped guide me toward a profound place of thankfulness. I hadn’t experienced a lot of times like that, and it was very beautiful to be beside that fire on that beach.
I spent about a month in Denver living with friends of friends that were willing to host me. I remember being younger and wanting to do everything for myself – never wanting to have to ask for help. But then I realized one day that I liked helping other people, and therefore why shouldn’t I give others that experience to help me too. I knew I wasn’t a leech, so it was ok…I started allowing myself to be helped. It might seem small, but I think this is a very important shift of mind frame for super independent people to make. After all, it is impossible to do it all on your own.
I landed a job working at a ski shop at Snowmass in Aspen. I shared a simple worker’s apartment across the street from Buttermilk where the x-games are hosted. The mountains, extraordinary nature – were surrounding me. There were some trails and a small stream that ran behind where I was living. There was a spot beside the water with a bench that I often meditated. I picture that snowy scene and feel so lucky. Without a whole lot of effort at all, I seemed to have been able to place myself exactly where I wanted to.
Living in Aspen was a dream – nothing less. I snowboarded almost every day. Normally we would get a 3 hour ski break around lunch time. I hiked up cliffs and experienced countless beautiful nooks and crannies that the mountains had to offer. So many secluded spots in the woods with just the snow and the trees and myself. Looking down and all around – not believing what I saw, but having to accept that it was in fact what was in front of my face. So happy. Strapped to a device that I had learned to expertly navigate at top speeds down a mountain. Saying, ok, let’s go, and falling into a thunderous rush of pleasurable action. A flowing dance really. And the powder – oh the powder! The day after a large snowfall shuttles me back to the excitement of childhood. External environments have their limitations…but then they can also be as glorious as that.