South America Sin Vergüenza

      It's been a long 2 years since my epic odyssey through Southeast Asia with my cousin-brother Raphael.  After returning home from Bali in 2016 my internal monologues spilled from my brain and onto the page to create Damien's Secrets.  In 2017 I made the bold move from security and comfort at home in Laguna Beach to live in San Francisco.  Since my move I'd lived on a couch with 1 cushion in a shared living room in a 525 square foot apartment Raphael and I split with 2 other (bizarre) starving artists, a rock hard flower futon in an overpriced room in the outer mission controlled by master tenant "all about me"--the living embodiment of self-absorbed millennial entitlement and self-righteous greed, and lastly in a suhweet studio & loft neighboring Dolores Park that was way above my paygrade.  I'd worked a motley medley of jobs: as a manufacturing operations associate for a company building road safety flares, front desk reception at Equinox in the posh and pretentious SF marina, assistant manager at an international youth hostel, bartender at a lux Japanese wagyu beef and beer bar, and as a barista at Four Barrel Coffee.  I love San Francisco and I felt I'd finally found my groove living in this Dolores Loft and brewing some of that sweet, sweet nectar of the gods at Four Barrel.  Still,  something tugged at the fringes of my consciousness.

      Since returning home from Asia in 2016 I'd been on a strange journey filled with tangled dreams.  What do people do?  What is life and how do you play?  I don't have the answers to these questions and I'm not sure I ever will.  There was one thing I knew to be true for me though.  Those 2 long years on the hamster wheel were filled with dizzying daydreams for my next trip.  The enlightening bliss and transformative experience abroad in Asia permeated my thoughts daily.  The magnetizing experience of travel, some may say wanderlust, was slowly reeling me in again.  It was time to send it.

      Shortly before my 25th brthday this past September Raphael and I bought one way tickets to Cartagena, Colombia.  It was time to liberate ourselves from the repetition of our overworked routine oscillating between too much work with our two jobs or too much sleep to reboot our brains and bodies.  It was time to break the (hamster) wheel.

      Life stretched out before me like an open road, urging me onward, beckoning me to live some of these wild daydreams.  Hitting the road would be liberating, yet daunting as I'd be treading into the realm of the uncertain.  As the sage surrealist René Magritte, no stranger to the strange, once said, "wherever man's destiny leads him he is protected by an element of beauty."  My destiny had led me to this moment.  The world had conspired--through my previous time abroad studying in Amsterdam and backpacking in Asia, living in SF with Raphael, and sending some beautiful South American souls I'd met on my path--to ship me off on my destiny. 

I can already feel the suspense hanging in the air.

Full send to South America.  Sin vergüenza.