San Blas Island, Panama

San Blas Island… most people would look a seeing tropical Caribbean paradise. And although it was beautiful, warm, and incredibly picturesque the reality it communities where largely underdeveloped. Take this as good or bad, I don’t know – but I do distinctly remember on our transit to Necoli (where we departed off in 20 ft tin boats), the villagers along the ‘hwy’ would run out to stop traffic, create makeshift blockades and force bus drivers to drive them off the road. They had to survive.

The main highlights of the trip were:

  • A tropical storm at sunset on the mainland.
  • Sleeping in hammocks
  • Playing with the local kids – with genuine happiness
  • Playing beach volleyball on an island the size of a soccer field.
  • Snorkeling with stingrays and conch shell bigger than I’d ever known
  • All you can eat fresh seafood feast!

The moment you realize all the joy and happiness in the world can come from children and community with practically nothing is when it becomes apparent the western world is stuck in a trap, and daily we suck society back into this trap or indoctrinate new cultures into this trap. Live longer – you’ll be happier, live smarter – you’ll be happier, live more – you’ll be happier. How about live, just live… then you’ll be happy.

I also wrote down at this point a few realizations I had about me, I had finally gotten into a pure state of flow with travel and noticed these things about myself.

  • I enjoy meditations – being in a state of meditative
  • I love beach volleyball
  • I don’t like drinking – I don’t enjoy getting plastered
  • I like reading
  • I like conversations that touch our deeper existence

Moreso – here is a quote from my journal “Not all things said have been done and not all things done have been said” – Mitchell

I’m still trying to interpret what I was trying to tell myself here – but for now, it seems the message was meant for me today. To not compare what has or will happen, to realize things can be redone, spoken twice and still make an equal impact.

The ride out from the San Blas Islands, from the coastline back to Panama City was no joke. 8 hours, 17 people in a highlander, on a rollercoaster highway. It put my gut to the test and everyone’s sanity in the transport. But we survive, looking back we easily survived.

The main lessons learnt from these islands are:

  1. People need to work on bringing the experience and energy of travel back home and staying authentic to that presence.
  2. Be happy with nothing – “stay understood” you need nothing to be, just your breathe.

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