Monday, September 6, 2010

100th Post - Some Thoughts

Nine months. 100 posts. Roughly one post every two-and-a-half days. Wow! When I did my first one back on January 12th of this year, I didn't know what to expect or how long it would last. I can't believe what a trip it's been!

As some know, I set out about one year ago to learn everything I could about myself and the world. What started about a year and a half ago with the two worst days of my life has ended up being a life-changing experience beyond what I thought even possible. First off let me say that, if I could give it all back to change the outcome of those days I would. Since I accept that I can't, all I can do is move forward and make sure to live each day like it's my last.

For most that are reading my blog (all three of you), the most visible thing has been all the traveling that I've done this past year. Let's review for fun... Since October of last year, I've been to:

-Hawaii (at my favorite hotel in the whole world - The Royal Hawaiian!)
-Philadelphia (three times)
-Mexico (for Day of the Dead in Merida where I lived for a time in the mid 90s)
-Japan (three times)
-Spain (pretty much the whole country)
-The Canary Islands (okay, part of Spain but oh-so-cool!)

Yes. It's a lot of flight time and miles. My estimate is that I've been on 53 flights in the last 11 months! In fact, I've been to five continents (and Hawaii) this year and have completely flown around the globe since June (Osaka -> Istanbul -> Barcelona -> Lisbon -> Philadelphia -> San Diego -> San Francisco -> Osaka). Can you guess how many miles in a year? I was surprised. Yeah for tickets with miles!

A little over a year ago, a friend at the time challenged me to live for one year without an address. What's actually happened is that I've ended up living in four places (you should see my address list):

-San Diego
-Barcelona (!!!)
-Osaka (!!!)

So, what have I taken away from all of this? First off, my friends and family are amazing. Thank you to everyone that's opened up your heart and/or home to me this past year-and-a-half. You are what makes life worth living. Everything else is a bonus.

Next, experiences are far better things to have than stuff. Last year, I got rid of probably 80% of what I owned and it was amazing. (I still do have some things in San Diego.) In the first seven months of this year, apart from food and travel expenses, I bought three T-shirts and a new pair of running shoes. I'm amazed at what I used to spend to buy and maintain things. In this area the most important thing I've learned is that you'll have so much more money and freedom (time) if you can stop buying "stuff". Work to live and spend the money on experiences that last a lifetime.

Last, probably the thing that's most changed who I am and how I see the world is that I've learned that I need to let go of the past (I can't change it), not worry about the future (I can only influence it), and live/enjoy "now" - in this exact moment (it's really all we have). It's deceivingly simple but truly life changing. (For a very sappy and overly spiritual version you can read this. My advice: wade through the fluffy crap and stick to the big picture.)

And no, even though I know I will need to return to "normal" life one day, I'm not done this journey yet. "Normal" life won't ever look like it did before, I'll never stop growing and learning, and I still want to see the rest of the world. Wanna' meet me somewhere?

Let me close my 100th post by saying, once again, that I know that I'm very lucky to get the chance to have the experiences of the past year. The people I've met, the things I've done and seen, and the places I've gone have hopefully made me a better person. My friend Jim told me that I've made lemonade from lemons. I like to think that's true.

Thank you so much to everyone. Muchas gracias a todos. どうもありがとうございます。


  1. Thanks for taking us along on the journey. And for Bento's my wife's version...what she makes the kids for lunch everyday:

  2. And a cherry on top! Love you lots Dar! Thank you sharing your journey. I really look forward to your posts. See you soon xoxo

  3. ¡Animo!
    How about Costa Rica? We'll be there on Wednesday. Meet you at the volcano on the 9th.....
    Dawn and Manuel

  4. Brilliantly written-thanks for sharing

  5. Larry sent me the link a few months ago and I have very much enjoyed your posts. Though I must admit I have been envious at times:) Thanks for sharing your journey, and I hope you have found within yourself what your were looking for. That is all we can expect from life.
    Cathy Knoll

  6. I look at you now and how far you've come, not only in miles but in your outlook on life and your daily thought process. I consider myself lucky to have a friend that has returned a favor I once did for him a thousand fold. I remind myself everyday of what you have accomplished and identify with it in a way that only you understand. I am proud of you, and glad that such tragic times beget some wonderful relationships. Be safe. :) See you soon. DM

  7. Thank you everyone for your support and thanks for taking the time to read what I write. I appreciate it very much.

    Dave: I loved the bento photo. Very cool!

    cyberhag: Thanks for the very sage advice you gave me at lunch in December. It seems like it was yesterday.

    Dawn and Manuel: You guys are what I strive to become. I have so much respect for you. Dawn, give my mexi-brother a hug for me.

    rory t: What can I say? You made me and I hope I make you proud.

    Cathy: I'm not sure I'll ever find what I'm looking for as I don't think that one thing exists. What I do know is that I'm grateful for the chance I have to try. :-)

    DM: Thank you for the kind words. You've done so much for me that I couldn't even begin to repay. I'll be happiest if you keep up the "now".

    Besos all!


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