I've been considering what it means to be remote and location independent, and how it relates with the connected quality of our modern lives. Today it sounds nearly redundant to express; but we live in an era of connectivity. We are in many ways defined by it. The article you are perusing was written thousands of miles from where you are reading it; in all probability. There is, in fact, a strong possibility that we have never met, our paths have not crossed, and may never will. Yet here you sit connected with me by our common interests. I am based in a very far flung location and yet we communicate via the wonder of modern technology. I for one am grateful for social media; when used in the proper ratio it weaves a web of familiarity between previous strangers. We find a tribe amongst the masses and are the richer for it; all impossible without the medium of our choosing. I may not visit you in Chicago, L.A. or Atlanta but we talk pretty good story right here in cyberspace.
Here in the South Pacific we understand a little bit about the word remote. We are surrounded by more water and miles than one can travel without some real navigating abilities…and a plane...or a boat.
These islands were settled by peoples who left family and land behind, looked bravely, heartily into the blue expanse and launched out into the deep. I can’t help but think about how different the world is today, how much smaller after a fashion and filled with dramatic contrasts to times of the past. You would think that we all, due to the inventions of the industrial and technological ages, would use these very things to help us explore what rarely could be done before, go to places and touch the earth and it’s cultures, tasting, seeing, experiencing for ourselves the raw, unfiltered way life is in such remote locations.
So, this morning I realized we have found fellows of a sort as I read the latest experiences of Warren and Betsy Talbot of marriedwithluggage.com growing fame. Their story is not in itself untold. There has been countless numbers who have trekked as they so aptly described at one point “several kilometers in the pouring rain with very muddy conditions…arriving at…destination completely soaked, muddy up to our calves, and desperately hungry”. Other explorers have passed through the valleys over the steep mountains and beyond. What makes them, a least in my book, an extraordinary couple is what they didn’t do. They did not take the easy way of the ordinary. They didn’t miss their moment and let opportunity pass them by for another drier, sunnier day. They did not let adversity and pain and effort deter them even though I’m sure their bodies were screaming. But most of all they did not take the path of least resistance, looking for the easily obtained trinket and missing the quiet awe that too few, too seldom feel. Having overcame, having just done more than what moments before their heart only knew was possible, their mind and body protesting against as unfeasible. In the end they truly lived, but not just because they saw another beautiful journey’s end. No, rather because they chose to live fully. To go to the place less traveled, live the life unscripted and best of all, do it together.
Next time you are thinking of the word remote and it begins to conjure up negative feelings of isolation; remember remote also describes the paths to hidden, less examined corners of this great earth. Read of the expeditions of the likes of The Talbots, Raam Dev and Simon Fairbairn & Erin McNeaney (for an interview with Simon & Erin go here) Let their stories and experiences teach and be your guide to the trek less traveled. If you are willing, you might just find yourself somewhere, someday on a ridge hugging the cliffs of your own journey. Go on your way sliding, stumbling, even laughing and crying all the while making your way to your own remote city covered in vines and growth; left behind, nearly unmolested for your discovery and delight.
To read Married With Luggage’s latest head over here, just be prepared to have passport, backpack and tickets at the ready!
Gena (Ha Nui Loa)
Find me on twitter: @hanuiloa or on FaceBook: Ha Nui Loa
Visit my blog: @ www.hanuiloa.com
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