Born in Babylon, Searching for Zion

 

I worked my arse off for 5 months on a Banana farm in tropical north Queensland, Australia and then moved on to become one of the many people that drags their sorry self out of bed in the morning into a gloomy office in Melbourne for a few months. This was all to save enough money to go live the dream for a while, now, before I embarked on my travels I was one of the billions of people that work all year long for a nice week holiday, so the fact that I have just grafted 7 months and had 5 off was… well… Amazing, and better then the life I lived before, but it can’t last forever.

And it wasn’t long before reality hit me square in the face, I am back in a city and currently going through withdrawals of being free, the worries of falling back into a system which uses economics to create slaves. Forever searching for answers, forever looking for ways to live how I want to live, not how the system wants me to live. But how is it so hard? Why are there so many laws and regulations in place which make it so hard to live a self sustained life. I am fully aware that living a self sustained life comes with it’s difficulties and steps back centuries but for freedom I would gladly try and cross that bridge.

When you see self sustained communities around the world (and I have been to a fair few now) they have a very basic life, life isn’t about technology, it’s not about boosting self esteem through social media, it’s not about what you look like, how big your dick is or how many cars you have. Life is about survival, its about love, family, food and water. To me, that is what life is about. I have been working hard to make my life as non materialistic as possible, it’s a rather hard task when you live in a city and have family all over the world to contact (shall we go back to emails?!).

When I was working on the Banana farm in Tully which has a population of around 2,500 people life was bliss. There was no bullshit, the town was small and had just what It needed, no more no less. The people within the town either had their own store, worked on the Mill, or Bananas, no more no less. Surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, gorges, creeks and beaches there was so much wild life to enjoy. This is what life is about, nature, friends and family. I had nothing to spend my money on there was literally two pubs and one supermarket and through out those months I became more connected to people and nature than I ever have done in my life. I had broken routines which I had been doing my whole life. For the first time in years I had no wifi, no television. I lived in a tin shed with a bed, the kitchen / toilet facilities were over 100 metres away and I had to walk in to town to wash my clothes! I became detached from the conventional way of living, it was very simple and non materialistic, spending the majority of my time talking with friends, watching the sun set over mountains every day, listening to music, swimming down creeks and star gazing, and I liked it!

I have read enough blogs and watched enough videos on rogue travellers who literally travel with very little expenses. Hitch hiking country to country, working on ships to get across the pond and for accomodation, dumpster diving and busking to earn meals. I have spoken to these people first hand and shared experiences with them. I have spent nights under the stars and hitched around to get a glimpse in to that life. Now, I have to admit, as luxurious as it sounds travelling around and living like that, it is not an easy way to do it. You need a lot of courage and will power, your every day consists of what I spoke of previously, survival but survival in a world where cash is king. That being said, it’s breaking routine, going that extra mile for yourself, not for that CEO you work for. It’s about putting the time you would invest into someone else, into yourself.

You can travel in many different ways and that’s the beauty about it, there is no right or wrong way, it’s what suits you. Using the system to save enough money to travel and feel free is working for me right now . But, It won’t last forever with the restrictions of visas around the world. It’s something I have to think about right now. At 21 years old most people are either at university studying a subject of their choice which they may or may not pursuit a career in, or they’re already in a career, and I’m over here researching into communities, looking into countries I can legally live in, and be a part of a community that works together.

I am interested in business, but most business men want an empire, they want their business to be the next Google or Apple. Not me, I want my business to sustain me, I want my business to allow me to work for me, something which allows me to move around the world freely but still have an income. Until the day comes where I can push the button on my own business and sustain myself then I have to be content with living in Babylon, and if I’m living in Babylon, I’m going to use it to my advantage to educate myself.

For many, the dream is a big house, a lovely family, a nice car and a beautiful holiday home somewhere. However, to attain these things you either need a lucky break or graft your arse off your whole life working unsociable hours, spending days at work and nights up late, becoming a fiend to the coffee machine, pushing your family out of the picture so you can crack the next salary bracket. I knew a chap who had worked from a teenage boy all the way until his seventies, he sold his business and retired a very rich man and just as he was about to start relaxing and enjoying life he got ill and can no longer do the things he dreamed of. That opened my eyes up, shall I wait until I retire to enjoy life? or should I enjoy it now, while I have it? What do I actually want out of life? I certainly know it’s not that.

When I was in north Vietnam driving through communities it was such a beautiful life lesson, turning up to villages being the only foreign body you feel very vulnerable but it’s not long before those feelings disappear as you are welcomed into the village, people are laughing and smiling with (or at) you. Offering you food, helping you find accomodation and wanting to know your story. These people can barely speak a work of English but that doesn’t stop a conversation from brewing, I am currently reading a book called ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho and the boy in the book talks about the language of the world, no matter where you go in the world there is a universal language that gets spoken, love manifests in all of us and is a key ingredient to this universal language. Any whom, these villagers would be working in the fields tending to their crops, or their farm animals. The men, women and children all helping together as a family to survive, to provide food and shelter. Many people think this is not a life to live, but put this into perspective, the communities work together, eat together and appreciate the real beauty of life together, they have no access to mainstream media bullshit, they have no want or desire for materialism. I have witnessed the happiness, they have everything they need, water, food, family, friends and nature. Of course it brings its own stresses but they certainly live a healthier, and less distorted life.

Meanwhile, we the more “advanced” fellows, us who live in “democracy” get sent away to from our families and friends to be moulded into a system and learn how to be “successful” in life. So we can be a slave to the system and keep the rich, rich. It’s ironic that we don’t get taught about mortgages, free movement, to love ourselves and others around us, not to be prejudice and the core values of life like self sustainability and love. Instead we get taught how to create empires, we are taught how to depend on the system from a young age. We are force fed lies after lies, promised hope and change but yet one billion people still live in extreme poverty (meaning they have no access to safe drinking water). So little people stand for what is right, so many people are happy to sit back and enjoy slaving away with the hope that one day freedom shall be assigned to them. That by working hard enough and earning enough money you can eventually gain freedom. We live in a world where 8 men have more money than over 3.5 billion people, is that a system you want to support? Is that the system you want to work your whole life for? For me, I know it certainly isn’t.

This is my opinion, I am not trying to change the way you live your life, but make yourself aware, if you are going to enjoy the benefits of the system do some research and help put your money in to businesses who support the other half of the world. Having said that, I am grateful for the education I received which is allowing me to pursuit my dream of eventually living in a self sustained community. There is a life beyond a 9-5 and I shall continue to search for it. Zion awaits! 

What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul

 

 

 

 

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Positive Vibrations

Removing negativity from your life can have a huge positive impact on your mood, your energy and will to be productive. It may seem obvious not be around negative energies but are you really doing it?  Last year I tried to remove as much negativity from my life as possible, this wasn’t because I was unhappy, but because I felt that my time could be used towards more positive things.

The first step was a simple step, make my own decisions, do what I want to do as long as my decision doesn’t impact somebody else’s life negatively. For example, when my friends would nag me to come out and consume large quantities of alcohol when I’m not feeling the urge. No thank you, I’m quite happy chilling with some friends at home, cooking, chatting, listening to music and smoking the herbal remedy. This isn’t to say I don’t go out, because I do, but I no longer feel pressurised towards having to be a part of the group every single time, I am happy with me and this can be applied to many different situations. The reception I have received from this is very positive actually, I have attracted friends more like minded and others have been quick to comment that I am very much myself, and will throw ideas my way that they know I will like.

I think the next step happened naturally, as I got more used to making my own decisions I noticed that things started happening on their own. I removed the negative people from my life, I am not saying I went through some sort of mental log of all my friends and deleted them out of my brain. However, I focused my time on those who deserved it, and returned it, those friends who do care regardless of the situation. I am not implying that anyone who was upset or needed support etc had to go, what I am saying is that anyone who oppresses or judges people negatively is more than likely to do the same about you, you don’t need that in your life, if somebody is judging you on a decision you have made about your life then remove them. Seek clarity in people, seek true friends who only have positive things to say about others, somebody who will make you smile rather than upset, laugh rather than angry.

Then it was on to things, things which had a negative impact on my day to day. The big three, social media, television and materialistic spending, all of which are linked. Through social media and television we are so deep into the want and desire to spend, spend, spend. Television got removed from the equation, not entirely, but most indefinitely for several reasons, I opened my eyes up and realised every single advert on tv has no relevance what so ever, it’s consumerism at it’s finest just loading your brain full of useless junk you “need”. Thinking about how much time I had wasted watching episodes of shit, how much money I had spent on the products advertised, how materialistic my life had become because television told me I needed a new pair of shoes, that I needed this brand new phone and most of all I needed the new angus beef from burger king. I’d had enough of it, all this circulation in my brain for no reason, for what? to watch someone sing and dance around a stage like an idiot. There isn’t enough time on this beautiful planet to sit around watching fake reality shows. If I am to watch something I’ll choose an informative video or a documentary, something thats positive. Of course a film gets chucked on when I need to rest but now my tv time is so minimal, when I do watch a film it is thoroughly enjoyed.

For a very long time I used to wake up unlock my phone and click that little blue F button, within minutes I was engrossed in other peoples lives, stuff quite frankly I couldn’t give a shit about, stuff I would rather not see. So, why do it day in day out? Why is that little blue F the first thing I did when waking up and the last thing I did before going to sleep? Tired of being kept up at night with unknown answers regarding people I don’t even speak to. You may not think it but all of this negative information builds up, all of the adverts you see on tv, the violence you see over the news, the animosity on facebook builds up inside you. If the first thing you see when you wake up is negative it will have a huge impact on the rest of your day, likewise if it’s the last thing you see before sleeping. So many people are open to read irrelevant information all day but can’t get their head into an informative book or blog. Cut down your social media time, don’t make it a routine, only use it when you get some down time. I stand by this, I used to use social media a lot and have cut down dramatically, and investing my time into something more productive and informative has made me a lot happier.

I don’t think I really need to say much about materialistic spending, go on youtube, watch The Minimalists and take note. You will surprise yourself with how simple life is with less stuff. Removing lots of unwanted junk can clear your mind and help making a decision easier, when I lived in England I had a huge wardrobe full of clothes and struggled picking what to wear. Now, I have what I need, no more, no less. If you love shopping, well eat your heart out, there are too many second hand shops to take advantage of and they have some hidden gems for cheap! Don’t impulse buy, walk away and think about it, ask yourself simple questions before making a purchase.

Do I REALLY need it?

Can I get one second hand?

For years I have felt very strongly about helping towards a more sustainable earth, about what I can do as an individual to help the human race. To see this amazing world live with equity, peace and free movement, not as divided races but as one race, the human race. These thoughts were eating up inside me for some time so I knew it was time to take action, I had to practice what I preach. Going vegetarian was the first step and a journey which I thoroughly enjoyed as I transformed from a meat eating gym junkie to quite the opposite. It’s now 2017 and I have just gone vegan, the step has actually been fairly easy, very educational and I am feeling positive. I am now putting more money back into the people by shopping locally and trying to avoid big franchises who use tax  loopholes to take from the system.

I’ve been more patient with people and open to other ideas, I’ve helped people willingly without ask, treated others how I wish to be treated and let karma deal with anything unjust. My life seems more guided now then it ever has, and for that I thank Reggae music. From a young age I have always been very interested with Rastafari culture and the more knowledge I gain about the history and culture the more guidance I receive. Me opening up to myself and taking the steps towards what I feel has a positive impact on the earth, also has an enormous positive impact on my brain. So follow your heart and the happiness will come

My good friend Mike on the ukulele spreading joy

Lord I gotta keep on movin’

So I’ve just finished a four month trip around several countries and am eager to tell ya a story! It’s hard to pick a few magical moments that happened because I have a jar full of fairy dust to share, however, I shall provide you with a little anecdote on each trip.

A good friend Dustin invited me to join him on a trek through New Zealand, from the minute we set sail I could tell this journey was going to add some memories to the bank. It wasn’t long before Dustin, Marika, Maureen and I were captivated by the beauty of 90 mile beach. We marched jaws dropped, eyes glared as the sun glistened off the Tasman sea. Making it to the bluff was the plan on that day and one that got achieved, we had hiked over 40 kilometers and was out of water upon arrival so leaving the ladies to set up the tent me and dusty foraged water from a stream we spotted further back. The stream was rather disappointing after a long day of sun beaten walking, I was hoping for it to be much larger and colder, possibly even holding a beer for my arrival but instead we laughed as we gulped sandy water from a barely moving stream of life. It was most fortunate that dusty still had his hat on so we opted for natures tea, a combo of water provided by mother nature herself filtered through a stinky, sweaty hat (got a lot of love for that hat).
The tide was low and we were hungry, lucky for us the sea had kindly provided with an abundance of fresh muscles and just before dark we managed to attain the resources for a well deserved campfire. We huddled around singing Bob Marley and Biggie sharing experiences, opinions and outlooks on life while feasting on rice, garlic and the well needed fresh muscles. We laughed, joked and found ourselves mesmerized by the star lit sky. The southern hemisphere is simply breathtaking at times, and it’s the nights like this where you truly connect with nature, the people around you, and yourself.

My eyes had been on Vietnam for a while and when it was time to move on I flew straight to Ho Chi Minh City and made my way around the country. Cat Ba Island immediately springs to mind. We caught the ferry over and I had just learnt how to sit on my bike like a local so as the sun came out I did what anyone would do given the situation, kick back and relax. The coastal road from the port to our hostel was utterly phenomenal, the sun was setting as the scenes changed from winded sea view roads to traditional farms just as any screensaver would do. Our bikes were tested to the limit as we made it in land on what can only be described as a rocky, gravel, death trap, the sun beamed through the cracks of the limestone caves as we worked our way to Cat Hai.

We swiftly checked in and went straight out for food, the pair of us hadn’t eaten hardly anything all day and were now hangry. Enjoying a lovely plate of water spinach, garlic, chilli and rice, accompanied by a spring roll or two when to our surprise some friends Alice & Paul whom we had previously met turned the corner! Discussing Cat Ba plans over a drink they were quick to tell us of this boat trip they had booked and how they were the only ones on it so far, it didn’t take long before our minds were made and we was joining the Irish duo on an adventure. The first day the crew from asiaoutdoors took us to Lan Han Bay to become Spiderman for the day, the first sight was unreal, huge limestone caves burst out of the ocean creating lagoons with white sandy beaches, the boat got as close to bay as it could and the rest was up to us, the first challenge, making our way over barnacle infested rocks to ensure we didn’t get wet as the salt water from our shorts will damage the gear. Stepping on to the bay and seeing what I had signed up for was a good laugh, there’s nothing quite like the thrill you feel from something you’ve never done before, the fear of the unknown, the overcoming of yet another thing to be achieved. Rock climbing is extremely satisfying, challenging and fucking fun with stunning views at the top, I will certainly be doing more climbing in the future!

Before dark we made our way back to the boat for a feast the crew had cooked up. Lots of tofu, vegetables and spring rolls accompanied with a mug of rice wine.As did the conversations, the drinks started flowing and before we knew it we were top deck lying under the light of the super moon listening to Pink Floyd sharing experiences between the crew, us and a super cool father and daughter that were also on the trip. The bay was silent, we were surrounded by limestone caves as far as the eye could see, the stars danced in the back drop of the awe inspiring super moon as we lay relaxing on our backs floating around the bay full of bio-luminescent plankton.

Not that I needed much encouragement but my friend kindly offered two beers to get my kit off and jump in off the top deck, so as my eyes opened the next morning to the stunning views I thought it’d only be fair to give everyone something else to look at!
A lovely dip in the cool sea certainly got me moving fast and I’m glad it did as breakfast had just been served. Today consisted of kayaking, sunbathing and food, to me any day that is filled with food is a good day. We spent half of the day kayaking around the floating villages and through the picturesque views of the bay, entering into realms of paradise as we found hidden lagoons and untouched beaches. To top it all of, as if life could get any better, on the way back to the port we witnessed the most silencing sunset I have ever placed my eyes on, everyone stopped as they focused on the beauty of what nature was providing us with. The blood orange rays pierced through the caves creating streaks of light, a small fishing boat made it’s way out and helped master a traditional Vietnamese scene.

After three months of hiking and driving around remote countries I was more than ready to get back to a city and enjoy some creature comforts. First stop; Kuala Lumpur, Reggae Mansion, to throw down my shit and have a nice rest, of course that never happens… Within five minutes I was in the pub playing pool with a dude from Libya drinking a well deserved and missed Stella Artois jamming out to the finest music in the world… Reggae.
The next four days I roamed around the city checking out what Kuala Lumpur has to offer and I was pleasantly surprised, the architectural design of the city is incredible. The mosques are intricately designed, KL Towers and the Petronas Twin towers are shining beacons of light creating a wonderful skyline at night where you can spend many hours on rooftop bars with friends dancing, drinking and looking over the city.
It was time to move on so I jumped on a bus to Singapore, which I was over the moon with to be honest, the bus cost me somewhat around $15 AUD and took me direct to Singapore central relaxing in a reclined seat with a power point. It was a little bizarre at times crossing through borders via a bus, I had never done this before and thought several times that I’d get through to the other side so see my bus leaving, but the driver was very good and waited for me every time (yes, I was the last one back every time I didn’t have a pen on me and could only fill out the forms after finding someone with the time to lend me theirs).
First impressions of Singapore was ‘wow this place is clean!’, there is literally no litter, no cigarette butts or chewing gum anywhere! The city design is very cool, lots of gardens to walk through, lots of view points looking over the funky design of the city, although the hostel I stayed in was expensive for a very small 6 person dorm it was in a great location based in china town, being a 20 minute walk from Marina bay sands and right next door to a traditional Malaysian vegan restaurant, I was very happy.
I have to be honest I switched back to the ol’ museum pose, hands locked behind my back standing with correct posture as I waltzed around admiring the beauty of the modern city. Singapore made me feel like a flash packer for a brief few days, although I knew my bank account had seen better days just the fact that I was in Singapore walking around the Marina bay sands hotel somewhat brought me back to reality, it was definitely time to move on.

I flew to Bali that night arriving at the Eco Living hostel in Kuta around 2 am after sharing a cab with a Swiss airline hostess who I had met in line waiting to get our passport stamped, funnily enough she had far too much alcohol on her and asked if I would take some through customs for her, of course I agreed, It isn’t in my nature to turn down a beautiful Swiss airline hostess and she obviously picked her victim very well!
Initially I hadn’t even planned on going to Bali, and to be completely honest when I left Australia I had only decided on New Zealand so the fact that I managed to hop around as many countries as I did was great! But, there wasn’t much plan, which is no change really as I have given up with travel planning as it all goes to shit anyway, but I didn’t know a thing about Bali, I didn’t know any of the language and turning up at 2 am isn’t exactly the greatest time to arrive unknown to a place.
The next day I got chatting to some locals and managed to work out a rough idea of what I wanted to do… which turned out to be absolutely fuck all. I was coming to the end of a 4 month trip and as excited as I was to be in such a beautiful, new country, my life story was now rehearsed, I was tired of meeting new people, run down from moving hostel every few days and to up to my eyeballs with the hassle of bargaining to not get ripped off. The plan was set.
I had just done thousands of kilometers around Vietnam and made it very clear to myself not to get back on a bike, well… a day later I had hired a bike for two weeks and was on my way to Uluwatu. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, there is a path for you and mine had just been laid out for me. Driving around Uluwatu it became evident that there was no hostels, this place had style, it was nothing like I had EVER stayed in since I left to travel. Beautiful little villas and apartments with private swimming pools, intense gardens full of life and colour for a cheap rate. I pulled into a place called Gobleg Inn and immediately felt at home, I shall post a picture below of just how relaxing and beautiful this place is. I met a Brazilian lady called Maristella who I shared a lot of common interests with, immediately we started chatting about Reggae and business which are two subjects close to my heart, to add to our awesomeness a South African dude rolled in called Mike and the trouble started! As I was saying, everything happens for a reason, just when I was up to my eyeballs with stress I met the most interesting, relaxing, cool human beings.
After spending a few days in Uluwatu beach hunting, sunbathing, and eating as much nasi campur as possible it was time to move on! The three of us packed up and headed for Canngu.
I spent just over a week in Canngu and absolutely loved it, it was exactly what I needed! It was December and rain season which meant a few hours of precipitation every day around lunch time, but this didn’t bother me in the slightest, I had been travelling in rain season for months and quite enjoyed the fact that it’s a lot quieter, cheaper and to take a break from the Australian sun was nice.
Indonesian food is simply incredible, the quantity of food you receive for the price is somewhat unbelievable, I would more often than not pay extra as I simply do not understand how they can plate up a dish for that cheap. It’s not even like the foods bad either, it’s bloody lovely! And very healthy! Of a day time we’d be jamming out on the beach singing along with Mike and his Ukulele, there is also a really cool bar called “Hidden beach bar” on Berawa beach about 150 metres past Finns, look for a big swing painted Rasta colours here you will find a man named Ari, he is an absolute geeza and loves his reggae, we took it in turns sharing our music and educating one another about our homeland.
At night you was spoilt with places to go from Dieus where you can get a free tattoo with your tacos to a raunchy Wild West bar filled with poles and a sex swing, or you can hang out at Pretty Poison drink beer, listen to rock n roll and watch some skaters shred the shit out the bowl.
One of my friends from home messaged me asking If I’d like to go to a water park in Kuta, I didn’t even realise Ash was in Bali, I guess it was kind of obvious as he had been uploading pictures on Instagram for the past month but I thought he was back in Australia, turns out he’s flying back the day after the water park. Anyway, back to Kuta, and what a few days it was! Ash and I have been in the same country as one another but never managed to cross paths so It was very nice to meet up with him and exactly what I needed. The water park was great fun, one slide you stand on a platform as a door seals around you, the floor then drops from underneath sending you down at an alarming rate. I will never forget one mans reaction, he was with his son and quite clearly wasn’t looking forward to this slide, as the door closed his smile turned upside down, the floor dropped and the loudest scream left this mans body. It was hilarious, we followed directly after and chuckled to him as our bodies plunged out of the water.
I had applied for my second year visa for Australia at the end of September but had experienced some issues, as far as I’m aware everything was now ok with my application but still had not heard back. I was discussing this with Ash and friends in the evening before we went out and made the most of all you can drink for $10, which may I add turned out to be a night that got danced away! We rocked up to this bar and was the only ones in there, as you do, we requested the DJ to play some bangers and danced our little socks off. Few hours went by and more people started to join in, the drinks were flowing and shapes were getting cut, there was bumping and grinding, slut dropping and roboting! Before we knew it we had created the party, our moves had paid off and the whole place was electrifying!
The next day I woke up to an email from Australian Immigration granting me my visa, I simply could not believe it, I got my friend to check just to make sure I wasn’t still pissed. Ash and friends were flying back to Darwin and I had been hoping that my visa got granted before Christmas as I didn’t really fancy spending it on my own in Bali and WHAM! So I booked my flight back to Melbourne for that evening.

I wasn’t sad that my trip was over because as one door closes another opens, I can’t put into words how amazing this year has been, achieving things I had dreamed of for years and to find true happiness from within. The hairs on my body are standing as I write this just thinking back on the my travels because I simply can not express myself on paper. I would love to share more about each trip but don’t think I have the capability to sit still long enough! So many wonderful sights, beautiful human beings and good food everywhere! I have worked only 7 months this year leaving me a hefty 5 months to explore and have the time of my life, even in the 7 months I worked I’ve had many different jobs and was always moving around. You do not have to live a 9 – 5, you do not need a mortgage, keep life interesting, step out of your comfort zone, get lost in nature and find yourself!