Passenger Life (Layover)

You walk, you fly, you run, you sail, you travel; in life, we are all just passengers. Where to stop, when to continue, how to enjoy the stay: the intensity of the ride is exclusive to each individual. Amidst such maze of paths and possibilities, the final destination becomes a distant contemplation for those focused on the journey; and the precise certainty of such imminent arrival maintains our wondering heads above our moving feet.

Traveling requires planning; life takes planning.

The contact in Chile did not go through. The documentation was supposed to start during the week prior to my departure to Easter Island; yet, because of the rainy weather, the plan went down the drain (one of the reasons behind the unplanned trip to La Serena). After returning from the Northern Chilean coast, I was stationed in Santiago for another four days, solely waiting on the organization for further scheduling details. The period coincided with national vacations; thus, most of the children who participated in the organization’s activities, as well as staff members, were off during that week.

An extension of my stay in Santiago was requested, which I immediately concurred. The proposed plan was to interview staff members during the remainder of the respective week, fly to Easter Island for five days, return to Santiago for another five days and finish the documentation. One day prior to my departure I still had not filmed anything, nor locked down a filming schedule. Moreover, after changing my ticket three other times, the cumulative fees felt like a rather unnecessary expense.  Family members were also flying to Easter Island just so they could accompany me home. Once news was broken, disappointment clearly undernoted their reactions. Perhaps a bit selfish on their behalf, there were truth in such unexpected response: some plans are destined to remain unaltered.

Traveling requires decisions; life takes decisions.

I could have taken different decisions in order to assure the documentation in Santiago. Another lesson learned: we have control over the ride – more than we like to believe we have. Surely there are uncontrollable forces guiding our paths, but we must remain realistic in moments of failure. We must acknowledge our mistakes from a rather constructive perspective; otherwise, the contemplation might solely do us harm. Mistake after mistake, the ride must be constantly on the rise.

I am in Easter Island. It was scheduled from the beginning I would end this journey here, and so I preferred. The destination did not happen by chance. Before I even decided I would start the project, I had a dream in which I was sailing through the seven seas, until a current brought me to an unknown island. The location, besides presenting beautiful scenery, provided a peaceful sensation. After exploring the perimeters of the island, I met one person who would not reveal the name of such desirable place. I kept on insisting and yet, he would not give in; in the back of my mind I just knew I had to be there. While the man was distracted, one of his friends cut his wrists wide open and with his blood wrote “Moai” on the wall; he then winked and walked away.

My dreams are very vivid, and the sensations and imagery are usually remembered for a long time. As soon as I woke up the next morning, I decided to research the word “Moai,” which eventually revealed Easter Island. The word might have been in my subconscious but back then the fact that the word even existed did come as a surprise. The whole dream might read like madness to some; yet, the ride does provide hints as to which path to choose. Bottom line: there are not right and wrong choices – we choose, we chose. How can we know the alternative path would have been more enjoyable than the chosen one?

I could be returning to Santiago and filming the documentary; I chose not to. We waste too much time on the possibilities, causing distress along the ride. For those focused on the journey, each and every decision brings life lessons – further providing enjoyment. We travel, we choose. And the more we choose, the more control we have as life passengers.

To be continued.