A few years back in October, I decided to go on an 8 day trip to some places I wanted to visit (Las Vegas, L.A., Venice Beach, Palm Springs, Sedona, and Grand Canyon) Usually, when I’m going on a trip or retreat, the first question I always get asked by people is, who is going with you? When my answer is alone, more often then not, they look at me a bit weirdly. It seems to make people very uncomfortable to do things on their own. This was the case for me as well a while ago, but as I started on the spiritual path, I realized that being alone isn’t something negative. Of course, I’m not saying you must seclude yourself from the world, I’m just saying that if you want to do something in life, it’s okay to do it alone, and not always make excuses that there is nobody to go with, or push things off until you find someone.
Also, are you ever really alone? Unless you place your gaze right under your feet, there are people everywhere, and if you are open to it, most are seeking some kind of connection.
And if that is still not for you, then there are all sorts of these group traveling sites nowadays as well.
Here are a few examples of those connections on my trip:
The first instance was intentional because I signed up for a morning group hike at Runyon Canyon, which takes you to overlook LA, and see the Hollywood sign on the hills. It was just a group of 4 of us, which consisted of the leader, a standup comedian, who also does tours, and 2 fellows from the Netherlands. It was a beautiful morning adventure, and was nice to be shown around by someone familiar with the trail and some people to chat with.
The second instance was on my way to Venice Beach. I took a local bus from my hotel and met this nice lady who sat beside me for a brief moment, and we talked about an array of topics, such as where the best health food store was, her senior discount of 75 cents to ride the bus, and that her family was coming to visit. She also warned me that staying out in Venice at night could get a bit sketchy, and that it would be a good idea to head back before nightfall.
Another moment was on the Sedona leg of the trip. Before I made it to my hotel, I spotted this art show, and at first I drove by it, but something told me to turn around and check it out. It was nice that I did, because I met Alex, a wood artist that I really connected with and even ended up working with to create all of my Be Human wood pieces.
The second instance in Sedona, was when I was searching for these energy vortexes that I heard about. Here, I met this man that made it his mission to uplift others by playing an instrument on top of one of the red rocks near one of energy centres. When he came down, he started giving out hearts carved out of the red rock to anyone that wanted one. Why I mentioned to anyone that wanted one because I actually seen someone refuse. Anyhow, he helped me get to the top of the rock where he sat on because he said the view was like no other. We also chatted briefly as we walked back to the cars on how he had a calling to move here from Texas, then he left home to go make some more hearts for the next lucky bunch.
Another one of these was in the Grand Canyon when I decided to do the trek down to the water. Most people go about half way because you need to start quite early in the day to make the full trek, as it gets dark and cold real fast. You need a headlight and warm clothes, or you could easily die out there, either from freezing or falling off the steep cliffs, which isn’t so rare. There are even staff standing on the trail at certain points and asking each person to which point they are heading to? Since I started a bit late, I told them of course that I’m going to the midpoint, but when I got there, the athlete inside of me said, “You didn’t come all this way and not reach the river, challenge accepted”. So, I started booking it downwards, not really thinking about the up part at the time, which is a whole other beast.
After 6.5 hours of practically non stop hustling, I got a clapping reception by these two ladies, who I met along the path and who I kept swapping positions with, as they rested and I rested for a few minutes here and there. They made it first to the top, but were taking photos, and when I finally hobbled to the top, they were really excited for me, especially when I told them how far I went, and even took a picture of me when I made it up.
What I am trying to show you here, is that people love connection, and if you are open to it, you can find it anywhere. Sometimes this connection is brief and happens randomly, sometimes it can be initiated by you and last for years. Just because you speak with someone daily, or they are in your presence often, doesn’t mean that it’s any greater then hanging out with a squirrel, or meeting a man chanting unity on top of a rock.
If you are open to all possibilities, all possibilities are open to you.
Below are some photos and a time lapse video of some of the Grand Canyon trail.