Hello folks, fellow bloggers & new readers!
When I originally started what morphed into Hans World Travels 8 years ago, it was in response to my friends and family telling me they enjoyed living vicariously through the stories of my travels. They encouraged me to write a book of my life, and this was before Facebook became as pervasive as it is today.
I had criss-crossed the United States numerous times, lived in countless places across the Western States, even “lived in my van down by the [ocean]” with my chocolate lab, Boreal, in Bodega Bay, California while working a project in San Fransisco. Ecuador and Peru were as much of a “home” as any other before them, as I traveled and kayaked around South America for 3 months. I even married an Argentine woman some years later as I started a successful arborist business in Portland, Oregon; spending six weeks experiencing her country and standing in front of the Casa Rosada in beautiful Buenos Aries.
Life was always good as far as adventurous activities were concerned. The places I lived, amazing. The friends gained, relationships for a lifetime. And work was always something I enjoyed, that I could continually learn from, and most importantly, whatever would allow me to continue living new adventures and creating the experiences necessary to fuel the “tangential” stories I am known for telling.
I did not do as much writing as I should have once I started Hans World Travels in 2007/2008, even though writing was a needed emotional outlet for me. The topics went into more dark realms, an expression of my endemic depression and getting caught up in concerns larger than myself, notably politics.
~~~I had yet to recognize, accept and then finally, actively reject any beliefs that depression held the power and the right to consume me.~~~
Hitting the road, not letting the “grass grow under my feet” as it was pushing through my toes, was my go-to escape from whatever oppressive mental weights I was feeling. If Tom Petty’s “Time to Move On” started playing in my head randomly, a courtesy notice to both my employer and landlord were soon to follow.
Talking about male depression openly, and many of the societal realities that propagate it, had yet to reach a critical, but much needed threshold to enter acceptance and understanding in our society. It still remains taboo; suicides of US Veterans and LGBT youths, are sadly way too common. I am an unequivocal supporter of the underlying message and strengths found in the popularity of Facebook God’s satire, and more importantly, its positive impacts on real people.
~~~I have been there, and no one should feel ashamed in recognizing something is not quite right inside, then making the most important decision of their life…. consciously deciding to do something, anything and whatever it takes to correct those negative feelings in your mind.~~~
To root out the causes, and enact personal action to reverse what you can or make peace with any skeletons from your past. Some are bigger than self, and those we have to release our grasps upon, lest they take us down like a ship capsized at sea, well beyond our human powers to reverse its ultimate destiny.
No different than Alcoholic Anonymous‘ recognition that alcoholism is a disease of both the mind and of the body, that one can only manage, but never cure, so too is my understanding of depression. Unlike the physical reminders and triggers to alcoholic recidivism, signs of male mental depression are not as clear cut as being around friends who drink or seeing a glass of whiskey on the table.
~~~But, they are easy to recognize and feel their fingers wrapping themselves around you, once you know what to look for and develop a greater intimacy with your own mental well being.~~~
Having addressed my causes of depression proactively, not running as was my motus operandi, and hunkering down for once to do battle with self much as Jason Statham‘s character did in Guy Ritchie‘s exploration of the id, ego and super-ego in the Revolver, my emotional wisdom increased one hundred fold.
I fed off the power of feedback loops, however unlike in the past, I designed for myself positive enablers. I engaged in blunt honesty, aka hyper-criticism of myself and also to that which I witnessed outside myself. The positive endorphins released from a continual accumulation of tiny successes, resulted in my entering a mental state of “Flow.“
Great for me, Flow unfortunately can have unintended negative consequences, as it may “ruffle the feathers” of friends, contacts or colleagues alike that are unaware what Flow is in the first place.
I experienced the negative results of “being in flow” two years ago, when I locked horns with superiors and colleagues who did not have a concept of Flow, nor the positive results it can garner. Whether a year was wasted trying to “prove myself” is up for question, but I am quite certain, my inability to acquire Flow until recently, was subconsciously denied to me from being burned while trying to share it.
Nearly a year later, having actively removed myself from the negative emotional environment, I can feel Flow coming back to me. And, it excites me to know it will propel my actions forward to accomplish whatever goals, no matter whether they are tiny or overwhelming upon initial review.
When I write often or talk about, “Accomplishing the Impossible is Possible“, it is not only the positive enabler I have designed it to be. But more importantly, it is a reminder that there are no experiences in my life that can demonstrate that it is in fact not true.
The past six years I have not entered a single depressive episode, but by no means have I “cured” myself of a return to prolonged depression. To the contrary, I have expertly excised at the first signs of any triggers or sensations presenting themselves that foretold a downward cylce was eminent and what I learned in hindsight from the past.
~~~In this regard, I do not think of myself as super human. Rather what I believe to be a truth, is it is within the capacity of any one to overcome and prevent future episodes of both mild and debilitating depression.~~~
In the coming months, as I pour the concrete foundation and design the architectural blueprints to an impossible ‘castle in the sky“, I plan to slowly separate out the other half of “Hans World Travels” that is currently receiving most of my attention lately. I hope you will bare with me during the transition, as I never said “Accomplishing the Impossible” was easy. I have never been one for an “easy” anything, so you see, I have crafted another positive enabler for achieving my objectives.
~~~With this in mind, I want to explore and write about two subjects in the interim before “Hans World Travels” can return to its original intentions.~~~
The first, to write about the struggles and successes of Becoming an ExPat and moving overseas. The African nation of Namibia is clearly sighted within my cross hairs.
However, unlike most ExPat’s I have encountered, as well as been a bit envious of, over the years, I will do this without any supporting structures or organizations from which to ease my transition. In other words, I am not being sent to represent a government agency, a company’s corporate interests, under the protective wings of an established NGO or through an educational exchange. Oh, and I’m no Trustifarian and lack a nice rack, which let’s just be honest, does open doors. I do have the nice smile however, and it has opened plenty of doors in my life.
This will be full free-form improvising as I go, modeled around one of my trademark responses to anything, “Why not!” It should be interesting, to say the least. 😛
The second, to write about the struggles and successes of Building a Social Enterprise Start-up with initial ambitions of global deployment, which at present is sole sourced and the product of my own actions. But I have no doubts it will snowball positively in short time, and I will be able to pull in financial, human and intellectual resources once their time arrives.
~~~To put what I have in mind in easy perspective, I have no interest in building a unicorn. That has already been done, many times. I am going straight for the herd of wild unicorns I can see as clear as day, and I will tame the entire herd and “make them my bitch” as the saying goes.~~~
It is that simple – ‘Accomplishing the Impossible is Possible.” It is only a matter of defining what your “IMPOSSIBLE” is, and then chipping away at all the hurdles that obscure your objective in achieving The Possible.
Best regards from Hans [me] and the entire “team” at Hans World Travels!