Terror has struck. I knew it would happen sometime, turned out to be now. I’ve been so excited about the idea of my trip, I don’t spend much time thinking about the reality of it. But now I’m on the edge.
This week I took three days to literally lock myself in my room and work. I have a list the size of a painting of things to do before I go on the Adventure. I thought I would just lock out all distractions and work for a few days.
The problem with locking out all distractions is… you lock out all distractions.
You need those distractions to keep yourself sane. Most people need to be distracted (Netflix, Facebook, video games) so that they don’t think about how they’re not living their passion. But what if you’ve decided, eff that noise, I’m going to go out and wrestle my dream down? Do you get a free pass?
If you’re wrestling your dream you’re doing the scariest thing: standing out, taking risk, trying the path that no one else has tried. You’re in the unknown, and suddenly you’re the only one responsible for how well you do. Then the questions start to come.
The first night it was worries about finances. Can I pay for all my gear, manage my monthly bills, and afford health care while I travel? What if I lose a client? What if I can’t put in the hours online while I hike?
This was a pretty big anxiety pill. But it was only the beginning.
What Are You Doing?
The second day I got to a long-overdue item: contact consulates. A clever reader once suggested (thank you!) that I ask for letters of safe passage from each country. These letters are 0% likely to actually guarantee safety. But if I’m dealing with local authorities, an official seal and signature can be useful.
So Mexico… Belize… Guatemala… one by one I looked up each country. In addition to consulates I checked their visa requirements, how long I can be there, etc. The State department has lots of this info. And right next to it is the safety warning.
This is some truly horrible stuff folks. Have a look for yourself. None of this is new information to me, but reading it all in black and white—five weeks till showtime—has an effect.
I’m not going to lie. Here are some of the thoughts I had:
- I don’t want to go.
- The trip I planned isn’t possible.
- I can’t afford this.
- Do I even still feel passion about this? Is it really my dream?
I was so overwhelmed with doubts I had to lie down. I asked myself if I’ve ever been this panicked about something before. At first I thought the answer was no.
I remembered two times I felt this way. The first was the premiere night of the Stone Circle Study. I sat in a freezing, wet tent and knew I had seven weeks ahead of me, plus two people to look out for. The second time was at Teaching Drum school. It was so much harder than I thought it would be. Every day I wanted to back out and go home.
This running-away-terror, this inner rebellion, is something I know. I faced it those two times and persisted. The question is: was it worth it?
I thought about that.
Both of those times turned out to be pivotal moments. Moments that are more than memories, they inform who I am. There would be no Rogue Priest, no Drew Jacob—not as I know him—if I had gone home.
So, I decided, I’ll go forward.
Today I spent an hour in meditation. When I finished my meditation, I was at peace with my self-construed fate. At the end I heard this statement:
Your only duty is to live your personal legend.
All I know is I want to be the guy who met the gods. I can quit my walk at any time. But I have to at least start it.
Join the Adventure—Support the Walk!
If you enjoy reading Rogue Priest, believe in my journey, or just love seeing a spirited adventurer on the road, please consider making a donation to the cause. Your gift will help fund professional-quality equipment for the Great Adventure. It’ll keep me safe and help every step of the way.