Day 11

I was on 11 hour bus ride from Lima to Trujillo.  The bus was extremely comfortable compared to Greyhound in the US or even a bus I took in Spain from Bilbao to Santander. Our seats were able to lean back and we had our own entertainment. It was a double-decker bus and each row had three seats. We had ample space to stretch.  We were given lunch and snack time with a service attendant. We had a pillow and blanket on our seat waiting for us as we boarded.  It felt like first class for buses. I have never had first class but I imagine that’s what it would have felt like. The scenery was very contemplative. It was full of desert coastlines and driving through little towns.  For $43 USD it was great deal. It had drawbacks though.  You weren’t allowed to defecate in the bathroom, it was only for urinating.  I didn’t understand the explanation if it was broken or if that was normal. The roads were bumpy for more than half the ride paired with the stop and go traffic. The trip took 11 hours.  I wasn’t used to being on a bus for that long.  I will think twice next time I take a bus anywhere.

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Franco telling us a story about women wearing tapadas on balconies.

To bring it back to Lima.  On my last day I took a free walking tour of downtown Lima.  It was good to meet other travelers.  The only other contact I had was my host Jiu Jitsu gym and the hostel workers.  The night before I decided to be more sociable and meet people. By nature I spend a lot of time by myself when I’m at home but I don’t mind because I have a house full of my family.  I’m naturally an introverted person who doesn’t like small talk. I had to force myself to go out and go on the tour.  So I met a few German girls, an Argentine couple, and Franco, our tour guide.  I felt better to talk to people.  I enjoyed how I could speak with everyone and ask questions in Spanish/ Castellano.  If my German was conversational I would be even more happy with myself, but I spoke English with them. The Germans, Mona, Katy, Lea, and Gesa, were going to Cuzco later in the month. The Argentine couple were from a city north of Buenos Aires, I don’t remember the name. They were on a three month car trip ending in Ecuador.

Franco telling us about Taulichusco, the first “alcade” of Lima.

I recommend looking into any free walking tour if you’re ever in a big city.  I took one in Barcelona and Madrid.  They are always a good way to meet other travelers and hear the history of the city.  I have heard about the Spanish Colonization of South America but hearing some of the details and atrocities that took place. It’s very sad.  It’s one thing to hear the story in Spain and another in Peru.  It gives the city you are visiting a personal touch. You may have observations/questions that are not covered in the guide’s normal spiel.  I had a question about the facades of the cathedral having three different styles.

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Lima had earthquakes so they reconstructed the buildings they were in different styles. 

Please see this blog post about introverts https://youngadventuress.com/2015/01/travel-introvert.html

It’s hot in Huanchaco but it’s a beautiful beach though. More to come.

Just outside my hostel is the Playa of Huanchaco. 

The Grey Area

What I learned from my Navy experience.

7 years and 7 months. Done.  It has been a long road. Honestly like many I had a sense of bitterness and disdain towards the Navy.  I can make a laundry list of the things I disliked and experienced, but it’s over.  What I choose to do is…let go and move forward. It’s easy to focus on all the bad things but flip the coin and you can see all the positives that come from an experience like serving in the military.

1.  A good friend of mine said to me, ” I’m not going to miss the work, the places I visited, nor the training, what I’m going to miss the most is the people.”  He said that to me a year from my contract ending and it stayed with me. The people I’ve met in my travels and duty stations while enlisted will be some the greatest friends I will ever meet.  I would not have met those people if I had not enlisted.  For that I am forever grateful for that opportunity.

2. My career path started, like many  Sailors in post 9/11, as a recruit at Recruit Training Center Great Lakes, IL. I went across the street to A school, Hospital Corps School Great Lakes, IL.  I continued my training to Field Medical Training Battalion in Camp Pendleton, CA.  My first duty station was Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton.  I trained and tried out for special operations as a Dive Medical Technician.  Dive School didn’t work out as planned and I was sent to Naval Hospital Guam.  3 years on an isolated island in the Pacific changed me.  I choose to be stationed in possibly the best place to get deployed, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center 29 Palms, CA.  I didn’t get deployed but what I got in exchange was priceless. I’ve experienced many once in a lifetime experiences. I can only be thankful for that opportunity that was given to me.

3.  I learned a lot about myself in the Navy.  Life isn’t just black and white. I received my DD-214, an official form of military discharge,  yesterday.  It showed all my duty stations, awards, job and my last rank.  It shows what kind of Sailor I was on paper. On black and white. It doesn’t show the struggle, the friends I’ve made, the things I learned, how I changed as a person, the failed policies, love lost, favoritism, politics, trauma, friendship, death and overall life in the Navy. The grey area. The words in between the lines.

Don’t let your bitterness fester. Let go.

Time to travel. Life is short.

 

 

Going Dark From Facebook.

Going dark=silence in communications

Facebook= a social media website where we can see the decline and progress of humanity.

I decided to take a break from Facebook. I am currently on day 4.  I was in the field(military training in a tactical environment) for almost two weeks.  I had this thought where what if I just stopped scrolling the infinite feed. I think it was being in the middle of the desert and seeing the bright stars shine without the light pollution of civilization.

What kind of person would I be? Do I need to post something or see what everyone else is doing/thinking, sharing? No, I don’t.  I doing experiment of 30 days.

What can I accomplish without that noise? I’m interested to find out.

I read two books while I was in the field.

The Sun Also Rises- Hemingway

I didn’t like it though I did enjoy it but I didn’t like the ending.  I thought the book was about Spain, which it was.  I just couldn’t relate to the characters. The description of the Spanish cities was my favorite passages especially about San Sebastion.  The takeaway from reading Hemingway was talking to my Chaplain about literature. He recommended many other authors and books.

The Road- McCarthy

He let me borrow The Road. I enjoyed the read but I watched the movie already so it spoiled the book.  I still was glad that I read it.

More to come.

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Car Troubles

Weekly blog.

 

My check engine light came on. I texted a few people that I knew more about cars than me.  I’m very thankful that my friend answered back fairly quickly.  I spent most of Saturday working on my truck.  My friend looked at my truck and heard that it was not firing on all cylinders.  We drive to auto zone and I buy new spark plugs. He taught me how to change my spark plugs.  That didn’t fix the problem. Next we went to change the ignition wires.  We go to the near by junk yard, which was an interesting experience, to look for my ignition wire. Seeing a graveyard of disheveled cars without tires and engines created an interesting image against the desert background.  After an hour we did not find the part I was looking for.  We go back to auto zone and they had my ignition wires in stock. We changed my wires and that still didn’t fix my problem.  I needed to continue  doing errands on my Saturday so I put it on pause until today, Sunday.

Sunday. We tried about everything simple that we could do with my truck.  I’m calling in the towel and I will take it to a shop tomorrow. When you lose your vehicle to malfunction, it is very stressful.  I’m thinking about getting another vehicle if this proves more expensive than perceived.

My take aways from this weekend.  I am thankful that I have a few friends that have knowledge on car repair.  I’m very thankful those friends are willing to help me.  I wish I could pay it back to them.

That is all for the week. 

Resolutions/Goals

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Many people make resolutions but not many people keep them.  I am one of those people that will keep them.  Thats the only way to become a better person.  I am not trying to be a someone else.  I want to be a better version of myself.  Which means all the things that I am good at I want to be better.  All the things that I feel are my short comings I wish to make those stronger.

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  1. Live in Barcelona, España in 2017.  This has been a goal of mine for a long time.  It will take a lot of planning and action for this to become a reality.  There’s really nothing thats going to stop me.  It will take money, visa approval, school acceptance, a grasp of the spanish language, which I am at a basic level now.Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 20.32.03
  2. Finish the Camino de Santiago. I left the Camino in Santander, Spain.  I will continue this summer from Santander to Santiago de Compostela.  My goal is to finish during my 30 days work holiday. My maximum amount of time is 25 days.  5 days for travel.  It will take money, logistics, more Spanish language practice, training, and a guide book.  Summer 2016.
  3. Blog every week.  I want to be a better writer. I want to be a travel writer/ journalist.  So I have to practice and experience life.  Starting now. 52 posts.
  4. Visit New York. This goal is fairly easy. It’s about $1,300 trip that number can probably go lower.  It’s figuring out what to do.293332_10150426212890325_1231698224_n
  5. Ragnar Relay. SoCal and Norcal. I need a team, training schedule, logistics. Easy. I’ve done this before but being the captain takes a lot of extra work that most people don’t want to do.  It’s the most fun I have ever had when I was running a race.
  6.  Work on portfolio.  I decided I’m going back to art school to finish my degree. I’ve done it before I can do it again.12043146_10153548463900325_7655327725303296813_n
  7. Jiu Jitsu. I just made purple belt and I have to keep going.  There may be a time I may need to defend myself and my family I will need to keep training just in case.
  8. Keel Boat certification. ASA 106. Money, time, scheduling.  I love sailing and want to learn more.479747_10151341944775325_1020947952_n
  9. Scuba Diver Certifications. I want to learn more about diving.
  10. Last but not least. Courage. I need to put myself out there.  There’s feeling that you get when you’re so nervous you feel it in your stomach. It may be asking a girl out, doing something adventurous or just being out of your comfort zone. I haven’t had that feeling in a while.

The importance of a journal.

I’ve been keeping a journal,sketchbook, diary since I was 16.  There’s a stigma in American Society that classifies having a journal or diary is queer or feminine.  I used to be self conscious about it. Now I don’t care anymore because I’m a better person for having kept one.

Imagine if you are a scientist and you conduct experiments.  You would have to write down your hypothesis, controls and conclusions for each experiments.  If you didn’t you would have the probability of repeating the same mistakes over and over without knowing how to fix them.  My analogy is that your are a scientist and your experiment is your life.  Yes, you will make mistakes but if you document them and review what went wrong you are likely to succeed next time.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Recently I’ve been playing the game of Chess. It’s a fun game of strategy, tactics and decision making.  There is a plateau with skill level. Top level players have knowledge of notation in the game. The study the intricacies of the game by notation.  They progress through note taking. Much like a scientist and his experiments.  There’s a reason for strategizing your different plans. Strategize your life not one move at a time but several moves ahead.

Law 29- Plan all the way to the end.

I have been training Brazilian Jiu jitsu for several years.  What helped me throughout out the years was note taking the small essential details of a specific submission or sweep.  I’m also a visual learner so I would sketch out a position with instructions to help me retain it to memory.  Move sets and algorithms are a new idea in the jiu jitsu community.  I will continue to play around with that idea. Here is what I’ve come up so far.

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App. Mind Maple

I went to art school in Oakland, Ca.  One of my professors, Barron Storey, a famous illustrator for his incredible journals and monumental personality.  His journals inspired me and showed me that your sketchbook doesn’t have to be just drawings.  It can be writings, drawings, paintings or combinations of all. Your sketchbook/ Journal is an expression of your thoughts, emotions, concerns, work, relationships, and anything else that you wish to document. Your journal is a medium that has limitless potential. Make it your own.

Many times in my life my journal has been a private place where I jot my thoughts on paper. A meditative place  I used when dealing with a break up, stress from work, or anxiety from life.  I believed it helped me overcome some of my life’s major obstacles. That’s why I have been doing it for so long.

The journal is private place where you can be yourself without judgement of the outside world. You are your own experiment in your hypothesis for life.  Use it for strategy to plan your next chess move against your hypothetical life  opponent. You can write inspirational quotes that inspire you.  If you wish to understand complex ideas I found it best for me to draw it out and visualize the problem. Keeping a journal for over ten years was the constant  anchor that kept me stable. If you going through some rough patches in life, try writing it down. It has definitely helped me.