A Man, A Van, A Very Loose Plan

River Surf before SUP

River Surf before SUP

16 years ago, I found myself at a crossroads.  On one hand, I had the support of my family, a good job as a manufacturer’s rep in a growing industry and a neatly laid out life in a city I knew with a vast network of people and connections I could use to climb towards material ideals and some semblance of financial security.  On the other hand, I had an adventure.  As a voracious reader of writers and poets like Twain, Fitzgerald, Kerouac, Snyder, Hemingway, London, Miller, Salinger, Bukowski, Fante, Rimbaud, Baudelaire and Mallarme…I was obsessed with the beauty and rhythm of language and the worlds I would be craftily taken into…of renegades, mystics, barflies, gamblers, expats, mavericks, adventurers and hedonists.

For me, almost paradoxically, the road of what was predictable and known was something that made me anxious.  The same stability, familiarity and security that people seek and wrap themselves into the guise of safety blankets and nets seemed to me an illusion that I was not going to buy into.  If the same life and world that made exiles of my family multiple times in the same generation and forced them to leave all property, materials, businesses, family and goods behind…I looked forward to something new.  I looked to roads not travelled by anyone I knew.  The jungles of Central America called and the river’s sweet steady rumble called to my soul to come, to learn and to set myself free.

Now, I find myself on the wing of another massive leap and adventure.  Knocking on the veritable hill at the tail end of my 37th year of life, I am staring at an opportunity that I see as pivotal as the one I made when I was 21 years old in Miami, Florida.  I am not at that age of young adult irresponsibility any more.  I have a 9 year old daughter and my choices have consequences that effect more than just myself.  I have a seasonal business that although it continues to grow has yet to provide any significant payouts.  All my worth and identity are wrapped in this endeavor that fulfills me more than any career or job I have ever had.  I have a network I have built and a job guiding in the winter where I know it can provide for myself and my daughter.  But, like the jungle’s call so many years ago…the warm Hawaiian waters and the surging waterways of destiny call to me.

From December till the end of April, I will be relocating to the Hawaiian island of Maui.  I still pinch myself when I say it.  Once again, I have donated 3/4 of my belongings, left my furniture, flat screen and all semblances of modern comforts for the water and the road.  I will be living, learning and journeying around the island in my newly acquired VW 1987 Westy Bus.  My daughter will be attending Maui Prep Academy and sharing time between being with me and a house that her mom and her mom’s fiancé have rented for the winter half of the school year.  I have no job, funding or security.  I have prospects in the form of loose contacts and referrals from people I know from the SUP industry in Colorado.  I have a desire to learn, to train and to grow from this experience and see how I can parlay what I learn in skills and intangibile’s into possibilities and opportunities that can correlate lucratively into the business that I continue to try to define and expand.

I have heard it said that the success you attract mirrors the type of person you are.  And, as I continue to build my business, I try to think of the type of man I have to be to be able to achieve the visions of success I have for myself.  The same questions inevitably, I ask of myself as a father.   My whole life I have leaped and grown my wings on the way down.  I have thrown caution to the wind and challenged myself constantly to learn new skills, to adapt, to risk and to evolve.  Comfort is the fodder for less intrepid souls and minds!  The type of father I want to be, is the type of owner I want to be.  I want to be fearless.  I want to be conscious, aware and ready.

So once again, I share my sheltered and nurtured thoughts and dreams and nestle them into the bosom of the conscious universe and see what sprouts and marvelous adventures await…

RRD Westy

RRD Westy

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