(Photo by Trey Ratcliff)
I’ve noticed that I’ve become a bit dazed in life. Most days I’m stuck in a numb reverie, like I’m just going through the motions, just for the hell of it. I wasn’t created to become a drone, but that’s the effect of what the past untraveled six months has had on me. I understand that the majority of people go through similar spells from time to time in their own lives, and I also know that some people follow alike path, forever – with no thought of living an unconventional life. But it’s just not in my blood to sit still and be governed. I’m an anti-lemming, out to help forge a new path, and that path has come to be known as ‘the route less traveled.’ The whole ordeal that I’ve had to deal with the past half-year has put quite a damper on my spirit and my drive – but unlike most dumbfounded individuals, I know and understand my dreams and my goals, and I’ve realized how to achieve them. It’s not something everyone can say, but I know my direction. So from this point forward, I will be taking steps to right my path and focusing on getting back out there – out into the world, where I can feel freedom once again. My first step today was purchasing some of the items that I would need as if I was leaving for a trip next week. For the sizable trip that I have planned, there’s plenty to plan and to organize before I setting off. And it’s about damn time for me to get my head back in the game. (Alright, alright. I think that’s quite enough of my cliche phrasings)
(Photo by Trey Ratcliff)
I sat down with the lawyers yesterday and was questioned for nearly three hours, which took care of most of the uncertainty. I have to say that in the end it was necessary - and although it was a bit stressful, I did just fine. However, I’ve been informed that the judgement is still up-in-the-air, because of two avenues that the insurance company feels they can exploit and twist to fall in their favor. No matter how honest and cooperative you are, you can still be left out to die. As I’ve said before, it’s a sad world that an innocent victim must go through hell and back – pay for assurance and even then, still be stolen from. If that ends up happening in this case, I will pursue it as far as I can! And if I’m denied for what’s rightfully mine, I believe the same crime of theft had happened to me once again. Because that’s exactly what they’re trying to do. It’s quite ridiculous when you pay a price for a promise, yet there are plenty of secret little loopholes that let others act on selfishness and with bad faith, to simply fulfill their own greedy intentions. I hope and plead that truth and good comes out of this situation – I’m praying for all of those who have been and are involved that they will see what’s right and act accordingly.
Well, tomorrow is the day of the final step (or so I hope) in my current circumstances caused by a robbery in Puerto Rico. After dealing with awful treatment of ‘bad faith’ from my insurance company for almost six months, I must complete an in-person Evaluation Under Oath (EUO). I’ve been as cooperative as possible through the entire process, constantly submitting whatever it is that they ask for, however I’ve been treated badly, as if I’m to be the ‘bad guy.’ I don’t understand it – I don’t believe insurances should be allowed to treat poor victims however they wish. I understand that in some cases, some claims are falsified and they have to invest that type of thing. But when there are fellow-victims, police reports, photos, proof of loss and more, there’s no reason to put an innocent victim ‘through the ringer.’
Lately, I often awake from my nightly dreams with disappointment. This morning I awoke from walking along a beach in the South Pacific, a light breeze whisked away the worry of my tormented heart. And a few nights ago, I had another dream that I was off somewhere else in the world. I was sharing a few drinks in an uncovered courtyard somewhere along the Mediterranean, watching the sun retreat ever so slowly; it dropped below the horizon, leaving an array of vibrant color, like a painter mixing every last brilliant color together, like it was his final and greatest piece of all. I faintly remember other adventures strewn throughout, but today it finally hit home as my eyes blinked open and I rubbed away the sleep that had formed. At this very moment, my dreams are better than my reality. But for most people, this is how it normally is – all of the time, I suppose. For me, as a traveler, it’s very often that my dreams simply compliment my reality.
A few of my more avid readers have pointed out that I’ve skimped on the personal edge of my writing lately. And to be honest, they are 100% correct. It’s not out of disinterest or loss of focus and direction, but more of personal dispute and lack of travel experiences. I invite you to read further to learn what I mean by that, as I open up and bare my tough circumstances to you.
The past four to five months have been quite the roller coaster experience, full of more downs than ups. I’ve been unable to travel often because I was robbed in Puerto Rico in September. My rental car window was smashed in and everything was taken from me ...everything. After that happened I was forced (with no other options) to return to a family member in Minnesota. It was a very rough experience, as they had lost all value in family and were very abusive to live with. Due to misunderstandings and overreactions by the more bipolar member of the house, I was left to relocate in late December. So I set off back to my hometown of Columbus, Ohio to stay with a few friends. I remained in Minnesota since September to try and recover, as I wait for my insurance to repay my losses from the robbery.
Another year has passed like a flash of light, or so it seems. I visited eight countries, had loads of new experiences and made some really fantastic friends along the way. On the other side of things, I was robbed a few times on the road and have lost some important people in my life this past year. But all in all, I will always remember 2012 as the year that I discovered my path in life and began following my passions.
One of my more favorite moments of 2012 was my experience of touring the Ring of Kerry in Ireland. It’s a glorious and raw place, full of beauty and character. I will never forget the wonderful and hospitable people that I was able to learn and grow from those few nights in that country hostel and pub, along the cliffside.
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