BC 2 BC (British Columbia to Baja California)

BC To BC 

British Columbia to Baja California. 

Before computers, before cameras , before common era, humans had an urge to explore and document their travels in order to share what they’ve learned.  I don’t think it’s lost, I think it’s jaded, I think we’re conditioned and manipulated to fear the unknown and focus on the material possessions that we’ve come to hold as more valuable than the experiences we accumulate.  We’ve let fear and creature comforts dictate our existence.  Not in a reasonable way, but in an unreasonable way, in an extreme way.  Before we get to far let me be clear, fear is good, fear is great, as I’ve said before, and will say again, fear should be a guide to keep you safe and ensure you chart the right course.  Without fear we as a species would be eliminated by any hungrier predator.   BUT... WE, as a society mustn’t allow the media to dictate to us what THEY believe WE should fear.  If there is something that intrigues you but intimidates you, that’s great, that’s amazing, that’s fantastic.  As my boyhood idol, and hometown hero Muhammad Ali once said “if your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough”  you SHOULD be afraid to fail.  If you don’t fear failure then that only means you have nothing to lose.  You need to fear loss, not loss of comfort but loss of drive, loss of creativity, loss of motivation.  What is life without risk!?  There’s no fun, there’s no gamble.  Maybe it’s because I grew up in Kentucky and the thrill of the bet held it’s weight in gold.  As a state we weren’t great with change, BUT... we sure as hell knew how to wager on a horse race (and right now I’m wagering on life).  Risk is key, if there’s nothing to lose, if the bet is too safe, there will be no pay out.  Put it all on the line and it will pay off big.  The more extreme, the greater the reward.  That goes for EVERYTHING in life.  This existence is more like a chess match, a calculated risk.  Sure there’s the chance of the unknown, let me correct myself again, there’s a guarantee of the unknown, uncertainty is ALWAYS a certainty...  BUT, on average, if you do your research and plan accordingly you can navigate most any situation you encounter along the way.  It’s when you get thrown a curveball that you must improvise and adapt to the unpredictable nature of this reality we live in.  “Be Careful” (in Mexico) -They Said.  Be careful, everywhere, always, that’s a given.  DON’T LET SOCIETY DICATE WHAT YOU SHOULD FEAR.  LET YOUR INSTINCTS GUIDE YOU, & NEVER LOSE FAITH IN HUMANITY!  If you put your best foot forward, the universe will rise to your efforts and meet you with gratitude.

OBVIOUSLY, “Be Careful” That is a given that need be left unsaid.  Sure it’s a friendly reminder to never let your guard down, BUT what I think is FAR more important is to “Break Complacency”  AND

“Be Curious”...  sure curiosity may have killed the cat, BUT cats have nine lives.  Now, we may walk on two feet BUT if you know how to land on them we aren’t much different.

Be Curious, Be Confident, Be Conscious & the world will Be Cognizant.

I wanted this to be a poetic piece but at this point I had become so frustrated with random people telling me to “be careful in Mexico” that I ended up branching off into a wild politically fueled rant. You’ve been wanrned.

I Rolled into Mexico for the first time alone, with no place to stay and now where to go, I wandered aimlessly and challenged convention.  With no internet to reference for navigation & no connections for accommodations I did the only thing I knew to do.  I rode.  I got lost, I got frustrated, I got confused, and I got upset, the one thing I never got was defeated.  I never doubted myself or questioned my decisions.  I took my time and embraced the moment.  I immersed myself as deep into the culture as I could.  I followed my heart and kept the coast at my side.  I defied the normal “safe route” and never Doubted my instincts.  The media tells you to fear Mexico & Mexicans like you parents tell you to fear snakes & spiders.  If nobody ever told us to, as children would we would be playing with them like GI Joes & Barbie dolls. Obviously there are some snakes and spiders you want to avoid but the vast majority are harmless.  The same goes for humans...  EVERYWHERE!  There’s no more of a threat from snakes and spiders than there is from a playground, and to be honest, on average playgrounds cause far more injuries than any snake or spider.  The same goes for Mexico, there are good people, there are bad people, if you only watch Fox News you only hear about one of those groups.  American media has turned the word “Mexican” into a slur.  It’s no different than German, Canadian, or Egyptian.  It’s a nationality, it’s an identity, and it’s a culturally identifying term that is worn with pride and tradition by millions.  Close minded people say it with disgust and distain as if they’re saying rapist or criminal.  Far too often these words find themselves in the same sentence.  There are plenty of American born and raised rapists & criminals, that doesn’t mean we ALL ARE.  Frankly very few are, but when the only time you ever hear the term Mexican is in the same sentence as those other terms you begin to believe the lies.  When you allow the media to think for you, you lose your sense of independence.  We have freedom of speech, we have freedom of thought, don’t be a sheep, don’t let others think for you.  Most of the time the ones speaking in this manor, using this rhetoric and pairing this dialogue, are the same ones who can’t think for themselves so they find it easier to accept what they hear and mindlessly repeat it until they believe it. I guarantee you most of those individuals who honestly truly believe this and reinforce this ideology are the same ones who have never set foot outside of their hometowns and can’t speak from experience.  These (and obviously not all of them but a vast majority of them) are the same simple minded uneducated sheep who are force fed Fox News until their foie gras McDonald eating Walmart shopping pawns eat right out of his hand. These are the same people who also honestly believe that Donald Trump is a “working class man for the people”. If Donald Trump is anything, he’s a con artist, a racist, & a bully born into wrath with a silver spoon.  He himself is so brainwashed that he has convinced himself of something he has no proof of.  This man is the furthest thing from working class that has ever set foot in Washington.  He’s not a politician he’s a distraction, a puppet of division and corporate agenda pandering.  You know who are some of the most loyal, caring, kind, hardworking, & family oriented individuals in North America!?  Let me give you a hint I’m not referring to the “Conservative Christian” “Blue Collar” Americans we pander to and sensationalize as ideal upstanding citizens.  I’m redwing to Mexican Americans, a deep and rich history of music arts culture and tradition.  Hardworking individuals who would do any and everything to provide for their families even if that means putting it all on the line in order to do so.  They’re not “stealing” your jobs, if they’re doing the jobs you didn’t apply for.  They’re not freeloading off the system if they’re not in it.  And while we’re on the subject of shedding light on contradictions, the individuals who believe that Mexicans are the exact opposite of what I just described are the same individuals who believe a woman’s right to choose is wrong, these are the same individuals who despite preventing them from having to option to choose, refuse to help provide adequate living conditions and environmental enrichment for the child they forced into this existence without a choice.  They claim to base their beliefs on the Bible (a book of which states nothing on the subject) and use “religion” as a scapegoat for their justification.  If those same people want these rape victims to carry a human to birth, then why aren’t they adopting them why aren’t they in favor of social services to help these people.  Would you want to be forced into a life long reminder of a traumatic event you wished you could forget?  Stop hiding behind this cowardly shield of religious justification to reassure yourself your beliefs are superior in a situation that you don’t understand.  I know I’ve branched way off topic here but I just got going and figured I’d shed some of my personal insights on some societal issues that I’ve struggled with over the past few years.  Maybe I’ve Fallen too deep down the rabbit hole of the Facebook-comments-section-of-local news-coverage-of-nationally-polarizing-subjects. Specifically issues that are very polarizing but also very relevant and important.  The thing I find so important about these issues is, they are used as a platform to separate and divide us into extreme schools of thought.  Radical schools of thought.  The most dangerous thing in this world is a blind and uneducated sense of conviction against something you don’t understand.  It’s much easier to burry your head in the sand and repeat one liner catch phrases like a parrot mimicking a pull string doll but it’s much more difficult to engage your brain into attempting to understand a disposition you’re unfamiliar with.  Changing your mind is hard, fundamentally accepting a new belief that you can’t relate to is difficult, I get that but have you ever once stopped to consider that THAT is why we’re here.  We’re all human we all come from a woman’s womb and we all die alone, we bleed the same blood and put our pants on the same way.  Let’s for a moment consider taking a step back once in a while to attempt to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.  Maybe someone less fortunate, imagine what it would be like if you had to deal with a situation you’ve never understood, imagine if that was your reality and there was a group of people who have never been where you are trying to tell YOU what THEY believe YOU should do.  Imagine how defeating, discouraging, & powerless you would feel.  Those individuals are just as trapped in that reality as you are in yours the only difference is you have a choice and they don’t.  This isn’t fucking mystery science theater 3,000, you’re not the peanut gallery to someone’s else life.  Live your own life, stay concerned with yourself, and learn to listen.  Don’t be afraid to change your stance for fear of looking stupid.  You know what looks really stupid, is continuing to claim that your team is winning when the scoreboard clearly shows otherwise.  Pay attention to what is happening and be aware of what’s relevant, not necessarily what’s relevant to you but what’s relevant to the demographic that you disagree with/don’t understand, that’s the only way we can continue to move forward was a people.  Don’t forget we’re all on the same team, black, white, Asian, or Hispanic.  We all just want to be happy and healthy for our friends and our family.  At the end of the day we all close our eyes and lay our heads whether your a Democrat, a republican, a liberal, or a conservative, we need to focus on the health and wellbeing of us as a people and not feed the corporations and news media outlets that are trying to divide us.  Put your phone down, go outside and have a real genuine human interaction with someone you’ve been told is “bad” only because they’re different from you.  We’re all different, that’s what makes us unique, that’s what makes us beautiful, we’ve come from different places and have different perspectives that’s what we have to teach & that’s what we need to learn from.  

Drew Echelberger