TIME ALONE // THE COLOMBIAN ESCAPE
"Lets find some beauty in the silence before we go, some beauty in the silence before we leave, cause nothing makes me nothing nervous, nothing makes me nervous like you, so lets find some beauty in the silence before we go...this time alone this time alone now."
"The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind."
I was tired.
As I dragged my fat bags up a bunch of windy stair cases to finally settle in a hippy coloured hostel room in a Colombian downtown, I felt such a sense of relief. It was a dreary day. I didn't know anyone, but I finally felt reposed.
I am not at all claiming a Bieber status, but this random short season of my life in Brazil was crazily action packed. It was saturated with thousands of selfies with randoms that were somehow drawn to my music and presence. I honestly didn't foresee such intensity and adoration for my craft.
Having lots of people say nice things about you, want to be with you, encore you, write about you, and give you media attention is definitely affirming.
Australians don't give Australians so much affirmation love and vibes. Lets be real. Its a critical culture. This can definitely discourage young creatives. On the other hand, an overdose of affirmation can also mess with your head. Having so much attention and focus at times made me very self-centric.
On a day to day basis, people were looking at me and asking me questions.
Its also then stressful at times, because you can’t just chillout.
I was also just tired. Constantly being around people who wanted my, and constantly being on someone else's schedule made me very drained.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Brazil. I can’t wait to go back there later this year. Yet, it got to a stage where I was ready to be alone. I longed to be away in a place where people didn't recognise me. Not even my host family. Just me, and my journal, and my time, and my God.
I am about as extrovert as it comes. Temperament tests assert that I am 97% sanguine, meaning that I’m hyper outgoing. I’m also an ENFJ. Check out my personality type!
“ENFJs are people-focused individuals. They live in the world of people possibilities. More so than any other type, they have excellent people skills. They understand and care about people, and have a special talent for bringing out the best in others. ENFJ's main interest in life is giving love, support, and a good time to other people. They are focused on understanding, supporting, and encouraging others. They make things happen for people, and get their best personal satisfaction from this.” http://www.personalitypage.com/ENFJ.html
In other words, I’m really outgoing. I can be seen as the life to the party. The crazy one. However, the craving for downtime was clear as day.
Even Jesus needed time alone. Time with His Father. My Hero, who forever changed the world, needed to tap-out. Amidst performing miraculous, He often retreated the crowds. A time of refreshing is needed - to rejuvenate, regenerate, to re-lax and be re-affirmed in who you are by re-claiming and re-joicing in the Fathers blessing.
So, after being surrounded with crazy Brazilians on my little tour, I found myself in Bogota Colombia. It was a city that I had never heard of before. My flight home to the USA was going via this city, so I thought to myself “yeah, a new place!”. I’d planned 3 months prior to this time to spend 6 days checking the place out. Hispanic countries are always filled with energy. Every spanish country I’ve visited has been so culturally rich.
I found so many rad people, everywhere. Finally, I really felt like I was totally normal again. There wasn't any kind of social hierarchy. I was a traveller, a nomad, seeking to learn from a new culture.
The city of Bogota itself is kinda bleak in vibe. Its kinda dark. But, I found birds everywhere and got so fascinated about these mangled pigeons.
I actually took so many photos and videos of them. I even filmed a new music video for my new single Dry Bones! The idea being, that although the world is dark, hope can always be found. These pigeons were EVERYWHERE. Hope is also EVERYWHERE. We just need to refocus our vision. I paid local personalities who had distinct vibes to be in this film with the pigeons. They rolled with it, and this new film will be a screaming success (I hope!).
My friend Lappo gave me an itinerary for my short time. He told me I had to get out to the coast. Following his guidance, I flew to Cartagena. The city is intertwined with these fascinating walls and castles that were built by the early Spanish Conquistadors. The old city blew my mind. I met this black canadian guy and we explored this timeless municipality on bikes.
I found myself being surrounded by so many aussies that loved cocaine. Like, they were everywhere! I’d be going to a corner shop at night to get my water, and there’d be three aussie blokes telling me “its cheap here.” Little colombian dudes would return with their supply, and the australian brethren continued on their psychedelic pathway.. I had so many invitations to get on the “rack”. I kindly replied that it wasn't my scene. I talked to a bunch of my new friends, and it seemed like cocaine was their way of escape. It brought their social experience to a new level.
A friend from Sydney just recently informed me that cocaine releases twice as much dopamine in the body more than having sex does. Crazy. One begins to realise why millions of young and old globally are so drawn to cocaine.
My new associates were literally risking their lives for this electric buzz (colombian police/health hazard). Their desire for the magic powder was so strong. Thus, I felt for these fresh buddies of mine. The cocaine pursuit just seems so empty life-fracturing, to me.
I distracted myself from the raving aussie crowd by taking more photos and meeting more locals.
I was able to hear some salsa music. It was actually earth-shattering. Rhythmically and texturally, it was brilliant. It was so nice to experience real colombian culture.
My little road trip out to Santa Marta was long. 6 hours on a jerky bus to this little coastal town. My favourite place in Colombia was a tiny fishing village called Denunga. So peaceful, so serene. It definitely delivered the goods.
I finished up in Medellin. After resting a little under a week, I was then ready and able to play a show at the Christian University there. An american friend had seen my instagram posts and connected me up with his friends in Medellin. It was so special. My new Colombian family (the Acostas) treated me like a son.
Colombians are so rad.