Dreaming with consequence.

The wind rushing through my hair as I ease the throttle of my 100cc scooter. Making my way through a village, young children in my wake with paper planes and half eaten fruit in their hands. I peer over the rim of my heavily shaded $1 sunglasses at the landscape as it unfurls beneath me. Rolling hills, meandering streams and the sweet smell of a storm brewing gently above me. I glance down at my watch as it jitters and jolts on my wrist, the bike going over rough terrain. I am late. My vision returns to the road and I quickly veer right to miss a cart full of eggs. Disaster averted. A smile spreads across my face as the small wooden buildings either side of me trail off in the distance. Now replaced by flat green fields and a smoother dirt road. I peer over my shoulder at the dust cloud, browns and yellows whisping in the air, made by my tyres, a torrent of chaos in such a calm surrounding. I can feel every bump in the road through my hands, I can feel the cool afternoon air skipping between the hairs on my arm, I can hear the engine behind me whirring like a haras of horses.

I am alive and I am free.

"Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today"

And yes, I am dreaming.

I decided that night, lying restlessly in bed, that I had to do something. Anything. Just not continue on my current course.

This orthodox lifestyle of sleep, work, eat, was beginning to strain my patience; like chinese water torture, like the dull monotonous beeping at a check out counter, like the slow steady tone of a van reversing.

My colleagues all talk over their Subway footlongs about having a stable career, making ends meet and putting something away for that rain soaked afternoon. All the while, I placidly stare off into the ambiguous distance.

Maybe I am wired in a different way. Maybe the skeins of copper in my brain are twisted and muddled like a bowl of al dente spagetti. But when I hear talk of stability and mortgages, alarm bells start ringing all around me. Fight or flight. I normally choose flight and retire to a corner of the room to reminisce….

The danger of having once travelled a long period of time is that on your return to normal life, your whole existence strives in the pursuit of travelling another long period of time. You begin to think about it during the day, you begin to eat like it in the evening and finally you begin to dream about it whilst your body slumbers and your mind dons it’s rain jacket and decides to travel through memories now past.

It’s all got a bit much. And so I have decided to take a break from my employment and travel.

Tomorrow I book my flights. To where, you ask. Well this particular adventure is going to take me to Central America. It has come as a shock to a few people around me and an inevitable leap to the people that know me best.

I shall be employing some of my preachings and shall now strive to search out area specific ways in which I can serve up my; fresh, hot, steamy, time, in the service of others.

As any good traveller I have been gorging on my travel guide to Central America, which I recommend as a bible to any a traveller. And something I never noticed before, when I was a sceptic and a charlatan, is the volunteering sections in the guides. They are scarce but do offer details to places where you can do some charitable work. I cannot comment on their accuracy and longevity since the time of publishing, but it could make for a great lead whilst your out there.

And so as the butterflies take residency in my stomach, I bid you farewell and in the mighty wise words of Led Zepplin:

Ramble on.

-U.Mirza

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