In Search of Values

Trip Start Feb 25, 2010
Trip End Jan 01, 2011

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Sunday, October 24, 2010

      After receiving my Divemaster certification on Koh Tao, I could not have been more ready to depart from the teenager infested island and return to Tonsai to rockclimb. I had spoken of Tonsai for months to passing travelers as if it was some sort of a promised land. I became concerned that I had built it up so drastically in my head that upon my return, I would be disappointed. This, however, was not the case. The return to Tonsai, where my entire adventure began, was an incredible experience in itself. To see the same awe-inspiring views I saw 8 months prior but from such a different place in my life was truly a gift. It allowed me to reflect on everything that happened. All of the crazy adventures, dangerous encounters, invaluable learning experiences, and the affect it has all had on who I am as a person and where I am going with my life. This time in Tonsai, I had planned on climbing every single day to get back in shape after so long without any decent exercise. I allowed myself no rest days. I quickly settled into my home and found my place among the small climbing community present during the low season. It took my body about two weeks of early nights and low energy to adapt to the lifestyle of climbing everyday. Tonsai was even better than I had remembered it. It is the only place in the world where I would be doing yoga in a bar, watching the sunset on the beach, while people are playing volleyball to my right, climbing on my left, and base jumping right above me.
          As my time in Tonsai unfortunately drew to a close, I had the tremendous pleasure of having my father come visit me for a diving trip into Indonesia. When he arrived I brought him to Tonsai so he could get a taste of my paradise before we headed to the tourist infested crazyness of Koh Phi Phi. The diving there was mediocre at best as we had unfortunate timing and the conditions were dismal. I did do some climbing with my Thai friend who I ran into there (the one who taught me how to climb when I first came to Tonsai). We spent just short of a week there and then headed to the airport to grab our flight to Bali.

      Bali has some of the best diving I have ever experienced complete with beautiful healthy reefs and thick clouds of fish. The bio-diversity is unreal. Upon arriving in Bali, I found out my employer from my first visit in Tonsai worked in the North East side of the island as a Dive Instructor. She is also writing a book on local hiking routes which have as much to offer as the diving in the area. After staying there for a week, my father and I headed to Southern Bali, where tourism runs rampant. The south of Bali is beautiful and the diving is as incredible as the north, the area would have an inescapable charm if it wasn't for the Starbucks and KFC at every corner.

     My father and I are going to enjoy the diving Bali has to offer until the 31st, then back to Thailand. On November 2nd, I will be headed to California to visit friends and family for 3 months before moving to Mexico, and then headed to Honduras to progress my professional career to Diving Instructor and work there for several months before traveling into South America.

      Since my father met up with me, my standard of living has improved dramatically. No longer am I staying in cheap bamboo huts or in my hammock. No longer am I scrounging for food. I am so grateful to have my father out here. However, with that being said, it is strange to travel in such luxury. In reality, I prefer the simplicity of living simply. In the end, I don't need air-conditioning and a hot shower with complimentary shampoo. I don't need fancy dinners at nice restaurants. Regardless, do I really even deserve these luxuries? I certainly don't need them and in fact I am often happier without the dependance on air conditioning and hot showers as it forces me to spend all of my time outside of my room. But especially after traveling through countries where poverty is so severe that children are forced into prostitution, while in the same country the bourgeoisie are so rich that they have 8 phones (2 of which are iphones), 2 cars per person and more money in their pockets than I have ever had in my life. That money could be spent in support of the local economy or donated to charities that can make a difference. The time spent earning the money, working in the rat race of consumerism to buy that new car or trendy apple product could have been used volunteering or making a difference. Even if my situation isn't nearly as clear cut, if I am enjoying superfluous luxuries that I could easily live without while a large portion of the world is unable to even achieve basic living conditions, am I any different than the those elite upper class who just tilt their nose in the face of such injustice? I am forced to ask myself, am I really making a difference? Or am I merely just perpetuating a problem that is already severely out of control?

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Ken Farber on

Quest -
With the right questions come the right answers. Your love is your best guide, my friend!

tantine mex on

Querido nephew,
I have been reading you, and I am amazed by your talent as a writer....and also your talent to explore and enjoy life.
Happy to know that you plan to come down to Mexico....hope to see you soon.
Mucho amor y besos

Barb Dohaney on

I have been awaiting your next entry. You have me hooked. It is like a book serires where I am wailting for the next one to be published. Quest this has been so extrordinary to read so I can only imagine the new beginnings this journey is creating in your life. Have a great last chapter in this leg of the journey and on to the next with a litlle family love mixed in during your break at home.
Love you

Jack Frank on

Hi Quest -

The more I see of your writing and photos the more I am impressed with my grandson.

One of the underwater photos that Reggie took of you with your face mask and flippers appears at first glance that an airplane is just above you. At second glance it is a giant Barracuda! Wow! I am going to ask Reggie to send me a high definition copy so that I can have a large print made.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Love - Grandpa

Journey on

Your writing is truly powerful, as everyone says. And your experiences are definitely something to write about! I can't wait to see you soon and talk about all your incredible adventures in person. Love you!

Marga on

You really took some amazing pictures there! I can see that you do enjoy the traveling.

Take the chance to share a working on line system with you. Working hard for 2 years and it would bring you uninterrupted income weekly!I Even you are enjoy the long vocation!! That would be the real vocation!!
Sign up and experience it. ==>

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