Bumps and holes in the road

Some days ya win.

Others-not as much.

(side note-for some reason the pictures are upside down for some readers. Unfortunately, I can’t fix this issue until I return to the US. Also, spell check on the phone editor doesn’t really work – hello typos! ūüôā ¬†)

We arrived in the ridiculously eclectic town of Valpariaso, Chile thinking it would be a great place to relax and have a quiet evening. The sun was shinning, the street our hostel on looked peaceful and quiet. Just another day in a sleepy corner of this amazing city.

Not quite.

Well, maybe normal there is a bit different than expected .

20 minutes later, our car had been broken into and everything I brought with me was gone. So much for a quiet evening.

Since then my possessions have been limited to the clothes I am wearing, a phone, wallet and my passport.

“Do not lay up for yourself treasures on earth…where theives break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I live fairly simply and¬†thought this was an area I had ‘figured out’, but the past few days have shown just how much confidence I put in stuff. It is a very easy to say one does not put trust in ‘stuff’ – clothing, money, toothbrush, etc. But this week, the concept of living simply has become much more of a reality, which makes me wonder how much of my security is related to my¬†‘stuff’.

In some ways it is a discouraging situation- when I return to the US I will need to buy things which I have taken for granted: a belt, razor, socks, sweatshirt, etc. Not to mention lots of ‘optional’ things including all my camping and outdoor gear.

But, while not having these items has been inconvenient, I really haven’t missed or needed the vast majority of the gear I brought with me. It really makes me wonder how much I actually ‘need’. The past week has not been any less enjoyable than it would have been with these luxuries.

Valpariaso, Chile
Valpariaso, Chile

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Vina del Mar, Chile
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Beach dogs in Vina del Mar
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Deep thoughts in Valpariaso

However, I did gain some interesting experiences through this – how many people can say half their clothes were bought at a Chilean thrift shop?

Really, it has been a freeing experience. I haven’t worried about getting robbed (nothing to lose…), I haven’t been burdened by a heavy pack and certainly haven’t worried which shirt I will wear (hope ya like the blue t-shirt).

To be honest, my stay in Valpariaso has been very enjoyable. The town is incredible and I met some great people. Our hostel manager Rob, was so helpful and through this he shared his story, which I would never had heard otherwise. Clare and Cloe were so understanding and we had shared an amazing Italian meal with them in true Chilean fashion Рbegining at 10:30.

These moments and relationships would never have developed if I had all my stuff. This makes me wonder how often ‘stuff’ gets in the way of the beauty life.

On this trip we have given rides to various hitchhikers, friends, and semi-strangers; sometimes for up to 700km at a time. The moments shared during these rides and journeys have resulted in friendships and incredible moments. I have pursued conversations deeper than ‘hi-how are you?’, which has brought so much more life to this trip than if I had just walked by.

I wonder how much different ‘normal’ life would be if I put this much effort into knowing the people around me. Too often the my agendas, plans, general ‘life’ and pursuit of stuff get in the way and I miss so¬†much of what actually matters

Maybe less is more.

-Scott

 

 

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One Comment

  1. M.
    March 16, 2016
    Reply

    Great perspective, of a not so great situation. I’m sure it will be one of your life markers.

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