The Price Free Spirits Pay
Traveling the world has various costs. We all know this now. There are passport and visa costs, plane tickets, and baggage fees. Then comes accommodation, food, and transportation. And what about souvenirs? How ‘bout that $200 guided hiking tour that you just have to go on? Maybe a few extra bucks set aside just in case of emergency. Traveling, like everything good in life, has many a price to be paid.
So say you were to forget about all those costs. Hitchhike, eat cheap, pack only what you need, and let the wind take you where it will. It may appear to the eyes of the world that the way you go is “cheaper,” but they don’t know about the price free sprits pay.
In these final days of what I call my Life Journey or my Spiritual Revolution, I am beginning to learn about this price. It started with Susi and Sylvia, 2 beautiful German women that could be defined as, for lack of a better word, “hippies.” I would call them free spirits. They came to stay in our community with a caravan of about 20 other German travelers, most of which dispersed after some short time to pursue new adventures. But as the weeks passed, Susi and Sylvia, along with a few other beautiful souls, continued to be around. It was in this time that we were lucky enough to get to know these 2 women, and learn from them the true meaning of love, sisterhood, and friendship.
The time was soon arriving when Sylvia would need to return back to Germany, and Susi would go on in her travels, following the roads of South America to arrive in Mexico to celebrate 2012. The days went passing and I knew it would be hard to even watch the 2 of them part ways. But the time passed as it does, and the moment had arrived for Sylvia to ramble on. I watched the painful look in each of their eyes as the sisters hugged one more time and Sylvia got in the taxi to leave. In that moment I was overtaken by emotion and began to cry uncontrollably. No, it wasn’t only because I was sad for them. It was because I then realized that in just a few short weeks, the sadness I saw in their eyes would soon be in mine, and looking back at me in the eyes of my sister Karina Rodriguez.
You see, for some reason or another that only the Universe knows, in all of GCY history there had never been 2 fellows placed together. Incidentally for me it happened twice. First was with my other sister, Annie Plotkin, who I too had said my goodbye to months before when I switched homestays and apprenticeships. Price number 1: Paid. It had been painful and sad, but we parted knowing that we would be able to see each other very soon, and that we had 4 more months to visit whenever we wanted to. All was well.
Soon the time will come, though, when it won’t be this way anymore. We will all go for real. Karina and I have experienced the most difficult challenges, from rejection and abandonment, to exhaustion, to homesickness and realization that maybe home isn’t everything we thought it was. We have also experienced together the most powerful feelings of joy, being a true part of a group of the most beautiful souls we’ve ever met, finding an answer to any problem or question we had in the simple things in nature, and creating real spiritual connections through art and music.
Our journey together will soon be ending, and the 2 of us will go on creating our own trails through the jungles of life. We will be saying farewell to the rest of our cohort, who has travelled to hell and back several times with nothing but the hands of each other to hold on to. We will also be leaving Terra Mirim, a small little world which has taught us more than words can ever explain. We will be leaving our cosmic family behind, taking with us only the love they have shown us and the memories we have made.
But this is life, isn’t it? Free spirits walk the earth. We usually don’t like to stay too long in one place or situation, because we know that there is an entire universe out there waiting for us to discover it. As we do this and encounter other free spirits like ours, we will always be faced with farewells to the places we find and the people that find us, going on knowing that the energy of the times we had together will never die. It’s people like us that give the definition to the word “bittersweet.”
In the free life, our bonds of friendship aren’t made over a cubicle wall or lattes at Starbucks. They aren’t made because we chose to study the same subject or because we have the same fashion sense. Our bonds are made by the fateful crossing of 2 or more different paths, by magical moments in time and space where love flows and spirits connect. It will never be easy to leave these experiences behind. But despite these prices we pay, we will continue to be free.
Freedom isn’t free, but is always worth the price.