Thursday, November 19, 2015


Today is the first day of the second half of my life. Like the day I was born, I own zero keys and only the clothes I carry on my back.

Today I depart on a one-way ticket for Buenos Aires, Argentina where I will spend a month studying Spanish and exploring the city. After that I expect to fly down to Tierra del Fuego and begin slowly making my way north. I expect to be traveling for at least a couple years and have no definitive plans to return to America (though I'm sure I will at some point).

I accidentally deleted the photo of everything in my backpack that I was going to put here, but here's my carry-on size, 46-litre backpack, the Osprey Porter:

What is it like in life to have zero external obligations, zero commitments, zero dependents? In one way there's a level of freedom that feels amazing because I've thrown off the shackles of jobs and bills. In many ways it feels to me like an achievement, and I feel good about that. But there's also a high level of the unknown, which is always slightly unsettling. I think slightly unsettling is good to have in our lives, though. It keeps everything fresh and exciting.

I used to pretty much know how every day was going to play out -- wake up, get ready, bike to work, eat lunch with the same crew at one of a handful of different places, anticipate going home, go home, hang out or go out, sleep, repeat 5 times until hallelujah the weekend.

Of course I still have internal obligations -- be a better listener, eat healthier to combat hypertension, find love -- and those tug at us just as strongly as the external. So perhaps it's not that the burden has lessened so much, but there are fewer pieces so it's easier to navigate and make sure I stay true to my north star.

And so I take a big leap towards what feels to me like the most KIRK I can be -- traveling, learning, understanding, helping, discovering.

I'll continue to share my thoughts along the way. This blog is not to be confused with a travel blog (i.e. one where the goal is to provide a modest income in order to fund perpetual travel). It is and always has been merely a record of my thoughts and experiences that is foremost for my own benefit. We've all been told that journaling is healthy, right? Secondarily I hope some people enjoy reading about what I've been up to, perhaps even becoming inspired to take a similar leap. Life is too short to know how every day is going to turn out.

Travel is fatal to prejudicebigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." 
                  ― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It.
I'm looking to achieve much of what Twain describes in the above quote and I know that it cannot be gained by "vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime". I want to kill my personal prejudice and bigotry and broaden my mind. The recent terrorist attacks remind me that progress comes from the bottom up and we are all responsible for building bridges between cultures.

If you have any friends who live in different parts of the world, please make the connection if you think we would enjoy meeting each other. Gracias.


samh said...

Bon voyage, Kirk!

Jamee said...

Hi Kirk- are you passing through Santiago? I'm at the airport ALL day. -Jamee

Jamee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen Forliti said...

Cheers in finding many little corners on your journey Kirk!