Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chasing Serenity

We found out today that we will be spending a week in Accra, waiting for our Nigeria visa's to go through. So this will give us plenty of time to get to know Accra up close and personal, and also catch up on what's going on in the rest of the world and in Africa.

Reading the news today, I feel like being in Ghana, a stable country at the moment, is like standing on the only high ground in the part of the world, as flood waters rip apart the countries around us.( Wish the best for my friends dealing with the flooding in Australia)

Tunisia, a north Africa country has just overthrown it's government, tourists are being evacuated. In Niger, two French citizens were kidnapped and executed and two more western tourists were just kidnapped in Timbuktu,Mali their safety unknown to me. Sudan is voting to try and break the country into two parts, which might create some unrest, Nigeria which we pass through soon, has seen lots of bloodshed , since around Christmas, as religious wars continue, between the Muslim north and the oil controlled Christian south. The Ivory coast, which borders Ghana to the west, is closed to us to travel to and Sierra Leone is still unstable, as it stops to catch it's breath from a decade of war.

If you want to get away from the rest of the world, or need a break from a shitty job, where your boss is always riding your ass, and need time to rethink what's important to you, then a long overland trip, is the thing for you. More than a few passengers on my trip, walked away from their jobs,relationships, because they were so unhappy, that they just said to hell with it, and booked a 10 month overland trip through Africa. Yes, you might come across a town ripping itself apart in war or catch Malaria along the way, but that just adds to the adventure. "Those who dare,Win"

Simplicity, has become more and more a part of my life, as I've shed some of the excess fat, that I thought I needed in life. As a professional baseball player, I got caught up in the rich and famous lifestyle, wanting the finer things in life, and thinking life was scored on how many toys you had collected. But after meeting many rich and famous people, I came to the realization that many of them, who have everything, aren't happy in life. There's a quote that goes something like this,"the poor dream of wealth, the rich strive for immortality, but the wise search for serenity."

Serenity is what I try to capture with my camera, because I think serenity is like exercise, it keeps your heart, mind, and soul healthy. You could call me a "serenity chaser', or 'serenity junkie."

Up till a few years ago, I had no idea how fast the world was changing. Now, I can't travel anywhere without seeing first hand how fast it's moving. Sometimes I wish I could be like most people and just stick my head in the sand, and pretend everything is alright, but I can't help but become emotionally attached now.

Every photographer I have met traveling, has a certain soft spot that they keep wanting to document before it is gone. Mine is very simple. I encourage everyone to see the parts of the world soon before they are gone. I'm not trying to be chicken little, and tell you the sky is falling, because it isn't.

I personally like knowing that the world is still untamed. That pirates still operate in the ocean, that man eating animals still exist, that their are places on the planet that yet to have been discovered, small villages yet corrupted by the outside world. That is my Serenity.

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