NO FORWARDING ADDRESS: a memoir of travel; a story of discovery, yo; a tale of three cities–leaving the shore to find the other side

“Just be somewhere doing something, yo”, I explain to digital.Bilfty2.1 as I dip the paddle into the river, “you need to have an action and a place–that makes a life.”

“So”, he replies as he moves his paddle through the brackish water, “like, why are we in this canoe–why do I need to wait to eat my ham sandwich?”

“Rewards are meant for afterwards–wait until we place this marker for the race and then we’ll have a nice lunch.  Put in the work, first–expect the pay-off later.  Don’t reverse the order or you will end up with debt that you can’t pay–don’t buy now and assume you can fund your adventures in the future.  Start by saving and building something tangible–from that, create something that matters.  You want to start with work; you want to finish with a smile.”

“Speaking of finishing, I’ld like to finish this mission”, he replies as he reaches into his bag and grabs a sandwich, “we’ve been paddling for three hours–I don’t think this event is going to be much fun for the competitors.”

“When it comes to trail running mixed with exciting canoe action–fun is not the concern.  We want it to matter, who wins–for this, we need to make it a challenge.  If it comes too easy, you’re probably going downhill–and not going to appreciate it.  If you don’t have something invested in the outcome, you will probably not be concerned how it goes–where you focus, thrives; where you work, succeeds.”

“I am working my arm muscle canoeing and you are working your jaw muscle talking–why don’t you help out and we can be done sooner.”

“When it comes to finishing work, I am the master!”, I explain as I move my paddle slowly through the water, “but, you don’t want to paddle too fast–we need to really consider where is the finish line.  You can’t have an arbitrary point signify something important–the course is best when it is difficult and satisfying.  What would be the point of putting in the work to stop half-way? You would always feel empty–if you don’t get to the finish line, you don’t finish.”

“That doesn’t make sense–but, I know what you are talking about.”

“This seems good, here”, I reply as I push my paddle into the bottom of the river, “we’ll place this small marker into the water with a small anchor into the riverbed.  Put the second one over there and when people cross the finish line–the ducks will start quaking.”

“I don’t know why they pay us for this?”, he replies as he pulls the small duck figurine from his backpack, “it seems like a waste of energy to have an event that doesn’t accomplish anything, yo.”

“You don’t always need to have a purpose to your action–just see how other people do.  Consider yourself in respect to others–from there, how are you doing?  Don’t necessarily need to be the best–try not to be the worst.  Most people end up somewhere in the middle doing something vaguely interesting–that’s life.”

“Ok”, Bilfty2.1 replies as he sets the duck into the water and the anchor drops into the mud, “that is the finish line.”

“Looks good”, I reply as I lean back in the canoe, “the event doesn’t seem too bad, actually–15 kilometers running and 3 hours of canoeing.”

“Then, you go by a couple ducks to win.”

“Ultimately, if you don’t have two ducks about it, is it even worth it?”