Every Day is a Journey

One Huckberry explorer reflects on the personal costs of adventure travel and spending Christmas in a foreign land
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Dec 24, 2014 | By Chris Brinlee Jr.

“Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

quote Hunt S. Thompson to myself daily. Those six particular words are a reminder of how I got here. Here being the airport in New Delhi; I just missed my connecting flight to Kathmandu. However, by the time you read this, I’ll be back in the Himalayas in Nepal — spending Christmas alone. Or with the presence of Mother Nature, depending on my perspective at the time.

Perspective is a powerful thing. One person’s particular outlook can either make or break them. In one hand, I’m spending Christmas alone. Away from my family. Friends. Even Daniel Bruce Lee, who is now back in Los Angeles after having traveled with me for the past four months. In the other hand, I am experiencing the holidays in a totally new way. It may not be the most comfortable way, but discomfort is absolutely critical for personal growth; that’s a concept that I’ve fully embraced during my travels.

I nearly died in Iceland. Barely got down from a 20,305’ peak in Nepal.
But Daniel had my back every step of the way

Discomfort during adventure travel can take many forms. Whether it’s physical discomfort while enduring the bitter elements and balancing on the line between life and death, or the emotional discomfort of being perpetually unsettled -- both are equally important to our development as humans.

Most of the discomfort that I have experienced while traveling thus far has been of the physical sort. I nearly died in Iceland. Barely got down from a 20,305’ peak in Nepal. But Daniel had my back every step of the way. Many people have told me that traveling alone is better than with the company of others -- but they haven’t experienced the dynamic that Daniel and I have had.

As I continue this journey on my own, I’ve already begun to experience a new realm of discomfort, but this time it’s of the emotional sort. Even while still in the company of friends in Thailand, I fought reclusiveness -- undoubtedly my subconscious preparing me to continue by myself. It’s not that I’m afraid of being alone -- in fact, I look forward to this new experience. But rather, it’s uncertainty of what’s to come that is filling my mind. I have no idea of where I’ll be in the next few weeks. Months. Or even years. For the first time in my life, I don’t have a plan. 

People often ask me, “When are you returning home?” The truth is I don’t feel like one particular place is my home anymore. Matsuo Basho said, “Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” Perhaps it’s time that I start reciting a new quote. [H]

Chris is an intrepid explorer who quit a fancy job in Los Angeles to pursue his dreams of adventure around the globe. You can follow his ongoing journey via Instagram.

Images by Chris Brinlee Jr. and Crystal Tan