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Unforeseen Chain Of Events | Pt. 8

There Is No Such Thing As Coincidence

The journey had begun, and we enjoyed our road trip from the very first moment. Heading for the west-coast area, we had the opportunity to stop at friends of Jens – except for a few occasions where we spent the night somewhere else. Since he had already crossed this part of Canada on his bicycle, he seemed to know a couple of guys in every town along the road.

He could connect to people that well because of his passion for skateboarding. All his friends who welcomed us to their places treated us with love and hospitality. It seems like skateboarders still maintain a codex of brotherhood among their kind in Canada.

Canada Road Trip Photography Skateboarding
Jens is ripping the rail.

More Troubleshooting

Jens was either found on his skateboard or under our vehicle fixing some issue in all these different towns like Salmo or Rossland. Even though he put a lot of effort into preparing the camper for the long ride, many new problems popped up quickly. First, we had issues with our batteries because of a regulator which we had to be replaced.

Then Jens noticed that the differential of the rear truck was “sweating,” which means that oil was leaking from it. It took Jens two days to repair that issue. On our next part over some steep mountain pass, the fuel pump showed some insufficiencies, which ended with another stop at Lordco, a shop chain for car replacement parts. Lordco delivered a brand new fuel pump for less than 50 Canadian dollars. That was surprisingly pretty affordable.

When we arrived in Osoyoos close to the US border, our ’78 Ford 250 finally worked as it should, apart from some squeaking noises from the bearings in the right front wheel. Nothing to worry thou. Jens would fix that along the way to Oregon. So it was time to cross the border to get over to the US.

Canada Road Trip Photography
Jens under the Ford

The Border Fail

Two days ago, we tried to enter the States. I tried because we did not manage to get over it. As two Germans in a weird-looking camper with Canadian car plates, we expected to be on a special watch list. Of course, they picked our car for close inspection, and they found something they did not like. They detected Jens’ weed grinder with tiny bits of green plant parts in it.

I guess we had been too naïve to think that even though cannabis is more or less legal on both sides of the border, it might not be a problem to have a device like this on board. It is a problem, and they made a big issue. Since Jens claimed the grinder as his possession, he is no longer welcome in the US.

After almost 4 hours in this cold ass waiting room, we were sent back to Canada. Before that, customs took Jens’s fingerprints, and he had been interviewed. The Canadians searched our camper for another two hours – just in case the Americans missed something. That was not the most delightful time of our trip so far. Without being too disappointed, we accepted this radical change in our plans. Since Jens had already traveled the west coast of the US, he was more eager to see Mexico and Central America in general.

So we decided that Jens would remain in Canada for another month while I drive the camper through the US on my own. When I arrive at the southern border of the US, he will take a direct flight to Tijuana, where we should meet up again.

Canada Road Trip Photography
On the road, the border in British Columbia.

Positive Attitude

We met another young German fellow on the same evening of our rejection. I guess he was a bit irritated that we did not show any signs of disappointment. We considered this unforeseen chain of events a challenge and not a misfortune from the first moment. It is a process, and only, in the end, we might be able to judge whether this rejection was good or bad. No question – It is a drastic intervention in our plans, but you got to go with the flow whatever comes along. Being flexible is very important, and maintaining a positive attitude is crucial.

Leap Of Faith

This trip on my own through the US is a particular challenge since I am more of a computer geek without too much ambition for physical troubleshooting. For Jens, this is also a leap of faith. He put so much time and effort into our mobile home, which he needs to remain in my hands for over a month. We don’t know what this all is good for, but we will certainly figure it out.

For the last two days, Jens repacked the wheel bearings so they won’t make any weird noises anymore. He did the best of his abilities to hand me over a vehicle that would manage to do the job to take me to Mexico without any trouble. Today we will split off, and hopefully, my next travel blog entry will be sent from US soil.

Starting the Road Trip | Pt. 7

Between Elkwater and Medicine Hat

It took much longer than we expected—the first estimations aimed for ten days after my arrival. We spent more than one and a half months finishing our preparations, and we might have learned something about patience. For the last couple of weeks, we were rotating between Medicine Hat and the monastery of junk, aka the workshop in Elkwater.

Nothing extraordinary happened until two young trigger-happy “preppers” showed up with a truck full of guns. That was some unexpected entertainment for me since I didn’t have such an excellent opportunity to witness the unnecessary waste of money with loud booms and smoke since I left the army. Jens just kept being very focused on his work while I could manage some unfinished business I had to complete. Most of those things needed internet access.

It took exactly the time needed, and we still feel like living in the flow. Everything worked out fine, and we did the best we could to accomplish all points on our list. In the beginning, it was unreal to leave Medicine Hat; even though I felt a bit melancholic when we had to say goodbye to all our housemates and neighbors who supported us so kindly, I was still happy to leave.

Canada Road Trip Photography
Pincher Creek gas station photography

Next Stop Lethbridge

Finally, we went with a small stopover in Lethbridge, where we got some Indian spices and met an old flatmate from Medicine Hat who recently moved to this town. That was when we met Curtis again – a very talented musician just like Cam, the owner of the house we stayed in for the last weeks. They are great individuals who inspired us very much.

Canada Road Trip Photography
Skateshop somewhere along the road through Alberta

Overnight in Pincher Creek

While we proceeded westbound, Jens suddenly felt like doing some skateboarding at a skatepark in Pincher Creek he had visited before. At the same time, he crossed this part of Canada on his bicycle about one year ago. So we went there, and while I was eager to prepare our first Indian masala with tofu, he was doing his little tricks on a mini-ramp.

The meal was about to be ready when an old Native American came along. His name was Birten, and he was a member of the Blackfoot tribe. When he arrived and greeted us, I knew exactly that he would be our guest of honor for this evening. From the very first feeling, I could anticipate what his background story was. He got in trouble with law enforcement for drunkenness, and he had fights with other individuals who ended up in a whole pile of criminal charges.

Jens and I were listening to the whole sad story, and we offered him a plate of my curry masala. We tried to convince Birten that it is never too late to change his self-destructive path even though he described himself as an alcoholic, which is always a tricky situation since this kind of addiction is one of the worst and most common issues in the western world.

Canada Road Trip Photography
Just a glimpse into a typical hockey arena in Pincher Creek, Alberta

The Spirit Of Alcohol

I talked pretty openly about the spiritual background I could see. From my perspective, alcohol is like an entity – a spirit in this sense. In Germany, we even refer to it as “Spirituosen” when we talk about alcohol in general, and it has the Latin word “spiritus” in its root or radical. So, in my opinion, he is possessed.

There should be a remedy in his ancient Native American tradition to treat that kind of illness. I recommended that he have a sweat lodge ceremony to free himself. That could be a good start to a process that might take the rest of his life.

Ultimately, we didn’t know whether the universe instigated this encounter in a way that we had been chosen to give our humble part to direct Birten in the right direction or whether he just mirrored our unconscious addictions. Anyhow this meeting is still stuck in my mind and makes me wonder. I felt so much sympathy for his persona because I could feel the honest and kind soul he is.

Later on, other locals gathered in our little circle, and we had some pleasant conversations. It was a great start to our journey. We continued the next day. The landscape shifted from flatland to the typical view of mountaintops when you are approaching the Rockies. We proceeded westbound, and for the next two days, we were able to set up camp at friends of Jens. For example, we slept one night at a fellow called Brad Smiley in Creston. His personality matched his name. A nice guy we spent the evening with.

Canada Road Trip Photography
Alberta and British Columbia Travel photography

Challenges and the Spiritual Tech-Support

The next day we had terrific weather again, and we could take a swim in Kootenay Lake. However, the whole ride was not without challenges. The road is long and windy. Also, our vehicle gave Jens some good quests to solve. On one occasion, the engine refused to start, and the next day a part called “regulator” died a tragic death.

At least one of our batteries mourned its loss by crying toxic acid. Jens immediately switches into a problem-solving mode whenever something happens, making him super-focused, like a predator who likes to hunt the malfunction as if it were wounded prey.

I sit calmly since I am of no actual “physical” use in this kind of situation, except for some minor assistance like turning on the ignition on command. I have an inner conversation with the universe in which I kindly ask for help and support. Sometimes I pray some mantras, and it always works out fine in the end. Even Jens sometimes can’t say what had the more significant impact on the process since sometimes the malfunction disappears because Jens opened the hood and touched a few cables. I guess it is the mix between the physical and the spiritual aspects.

Spiritual And Physical Framework | Pt. 5

Our Travel Manifest

The cage of the camper, or as I now call it, “the framework,” has been done, and we are back in Medicine Hat! This brings us closer to the point of leaving the town. There are still some things to arrange in the physical realm so we can feel completely prepared to head off. We expect to remain in this city for four more days of preparation.

We’ve also achieved a significant breakthrough in the mental realm since we spent many evenings of verbal sharing to narrow down a particular concept with what principles we like to approach this journey and what quality of experiences we want to encounter in this process. Even though I was aware that Jens has equal notions on how life and reality work and what he is striving for, I still felt the necessity to discuss and finally agree on a form of wording, which we call “Our Travel Manifest.” So I am currently working on this manifest, which will be ready before we finally start our trip.

Working On Our Travel Manifest

This manifest will serve a double purpose. On the one hand, it is like a blueprint or a contract with the universe or God or our higher self (call it whatever you like), in which we articulate the framework of experiences that we want to invite into our reality. So you see, there is a physical and spiritual framework we are currently working on. I don’t want to call the physical one “cage” anymore.

On the other hand, we like to give an excellent example of what such a declaration can look like for others aware of the importance of such a conscious act of creation and those who like to receive some inspiration on how to deal with their situation and challenges.

Generally speaking, the art of making a mindful contract with life is to have all essential issues clearly defined. However, you still have to leave enough space for interpretation so that life can provide your chosen reality in a way that seems to “bend” probabilities and chances disguised as “coincidences,” but still without making it look like manifesting a full-grown miracle. Everyone has to find a balance between those polarities.

No Symbols But Qualities

From my own experience, I know it works much better when you determine specific qualities instead of symbols. I like to give a simple example: Many young people wish for a character when focusing on their work situation. For example, they want to become a “medical doctor” or a “fighter pilot” or a “superstar,” whatever. The symbols behind being that kind of persona are associated with certain qualities like a reputation in society and the idea of having a lot of money. I would rather say:

“Skip the symbols and concentrate on the qualities we associate with it!”

In this specific case, I would determine my contract with life (or God or whatever you prefer to call the majestic intelligence which works behind the visible realm) concerning the job I do like this:

I am grateful that the job, which I am enacting, is the work I really like doing, which is easy for me to perform in a superior quality from everywhere in the world, which allows me to enable all my creativity in a perfectly harmonious way with my entire environment. This very work I am doing doesn’t feel like work at all, because it is so much fun and fulfillment even though it provides for all my expenses in life with all the resources and monetary means I desire and it even gives me more energy on top so I can easily pass it on to the people that deserve so from my point of view. The work I do serves for the greater good of the collective consciousness and is highly appreciated by as many people as possible.

How about that? That sounds very good to me, and my heart jumps with joy.

This is just an example of how I would define my work situation. I am not using a symbol, like “traveling hippie new-age author, photographer, and filmmaker,” but I rather stick to the qualities. If I used these symbols, I would be stuck in a particular box, and therefore, I could easily miss the perfect job for me, which could be some world-famous “5-star chef de la cuisine” – since I also like cooking.

The Free Will

One more important hint I like to give here is to make you aware of the implications of adding other people to your contract. Other people, as well as you and me, enjoy or struggle with the greatest gift that God ever gave us: free will! You cannot override another person’s free will – well, you can, but that leads to the dark side of the force, my friend.

It’s a tricky thing indeed – take a love and relationship contract. Make sure the other person is absolutely in coherence with your intentions before putting their name into the contract. Of course, people should generally sit together and negotiate a common agenda in life, whether they are lovers or have a joint enterprise. It could make the realization much easier. In Jens’ and my case, we started to sit together as friends and travel mates with equal rights and agreed on a shared contract concerning our mutual live situation. The point is, we negotiated this agenda together, but you cannot sign a contract for some other person without their consent and permission. If you try to do it anyway, be warned because that usually leads to suffering.

These are just the primary considerations I mentioned for you to understand the more profound implications of our “Travel Manifest” I’m working on.

Love Is The Best Fuel

The last trick I like to mention is gratefulness, as I used in the example of my working manifest. Genuine gratefulness is a powerful form of energy because it is an expression of love – in this case – towards the oneness of all that is. Because love is the most potent force in the universe, it is the fuel that accelerates our movement towards our dreams.

So well – I guess I mentioned all the cornerstones of our “Travel Manifest.” I still need to write it down, but I will publish it here as soon as we are ready. Stay tuned!

Preparing A New Foundation | Pt. 4

How To Co-Create Reality

Our Creation in Elk Water

We are still at the workshop in the vast nothingness of farmland 65 km outside of Medicine Hat—a place called Elk Water. Time and space work differently out here. We already spent four days here on a short trip back to the city to buy some more stuff, but I can’t say for sure. I missed my birthday – do I have to say more?

This place is like a monastery or a spiritual retreat center. We have no telephone connection, no internet, no tap water, and no restroom. Metaphorically speaking, you have to take a shovel into the field to find inner peace.

There is no external influence or anything in the environment that distracts our minds. For me, there is nothing more to do than writing or helping Jens. Cutting metal pieces is like meditation in a way. This work is very beneficial to me to calm my mind from all the fuss I had the last three weeks and the impact of the transition into this new paradigm.

Medicine Hat Canada Road Trip Photography Alberta Mayamagik Christian Koehlert
Elk Water workshop in Alberta, Canada.

Making plans and outline an agenda

Tomorrow, we will be back in Medicine Hat to buy some food and parts, which we have to attach to the camper. On this occasion, I will upload this entry. After that, we will return to the monastery for three more days to finish all the steelwork.

Well, I should add a few words regarding Jens. He is focused on his mission to make our mobile home as perfect as possible. He is working like possessed. While doing so, he looks like an archetype of a creator alpha male. He is so damn masculine that I can only consider myself a metrosexual office hipster with dirt paranoia. I hope some of this energy rubs off on me sometimes.

Medicine Hat Canada Road Trip Photography Alberta Mayamagik Christian Koehlert
Jens is buying stuff in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Yoga and Meditation

We could already develop some excellent routines that have helped me adapt to this new lifestyle. In the morning, we do Yoga and meditation. In the evening, we improve our hobo-kitchen skills, and we have long sharing sessions where we express our thought, plans, and feelings. We agreed on a significant change in our program: We won’t go all the way up to Alaska anymore and instead take some more time in the west of Canada. When Indian summer starts in Oregon, we like to be there. So that will be at the beginning of September.

That is all for the moment! I will report back when we finish all the steelwork, which will take another three days in the middle of nowhere. According to our estimations, we could hit the road in one week.

Ingredients For A Successful Co-Creation | Pt. 2

How To Manifest Stuff?

So here is the story of how we manifested stuff. Since I got here, we have been strolling through big home depots and other big halls full of tools and equipment. We only need about 20 items to have all the essentials to start our journey. I did not expect the preparation to be that intense. Of course, we are looking for the best prices and going to the big shopping centers is the fastest way to get the things we need in a short amount of time, but on Sunday we proceeded with another approach.

Since not all shops are open on Sundays here in Canada, we had some time left to roam the suburbs. Because we were not ready to head off, we stayed with friends in a lovely middle-class neighborhood of Medicine Hat. The guys living in this house are amazing people with a high spiritual awareness who kindly support our endeavor. Most of them emerged from the skateboard culture and seemed to be very talented in music. There are always great tunes in the air played on guitars or the piano.

Practical implementation

Let’s get back to the new approach to gathering our stuff in this suburban neighborhood. Every household owner has a small junkyard in the back of their property. Most people fill this space with old classic cars left there to be disintegrated by rust. For Jens, who studied engineering and generally has an affinity toward old vehicles, this hike through the backyards is like a hunt for rare animals in a remote jungle.

On this trip, we had some great encounters with people, strange cars, and the local wildlife, which seemed to get used to the proximity to human beings. Jens could even pet one deer, and I could get close to some gorgeous „Bambys.“

Medicine Hat Canada Road Trip Photography Alberta Mayamagik Christian Koehlert
Photos shot around Medicine Hat in Alberta, Canada.

Conclusions about Co-Creation

From my perspective, our environment to the point we start to discover it is an undefined quantum space. Until the observer decides to bring up the effort to take a closer look, this undefined quantum space is an ocean of possibilities. Having a clear concept of what items you need will bend the probabilities of what you will find.

It seems like Jens had a strong focus because he found a couple of items that could be handy at some point. Nothing fancy, though, but I am sure we could save a lot of money with some more patience. I guess the idea of consciously attracting certain material things that help us will become an issue that we can improve shortly.

How To Create A New Reality | Pt. 1

How To Co-Create Reality

Creating the reality you desire is a profound art. This technique is known as a manifestation, and it consists of three primary ingredients. The first part is the idea. You have to have a concept of what you want. The trick I figured out is that this wish has to come directly from your heart. If it is just a desire that emerged from your mind’s imprint, this technique will never work sustainably.

Most people have no clue what they want! They also tend to be fixed on symbols like: „I want to be a millionaire“ or „I want to drive a Ferrari. “ In my opinion, it is much better to thrive for a certain quality in life than for a symbol. So I instead focus on freedom, diversity of uplifting experiences with like-minded individuals, and a feeling of prosperity in material resources.

Other ingredients for co-creation

The second ingredient is to be patient. Depending on how fancy your goals are, it might take some time until the right circumstances can emerge. The best thing to do is to let go and focus on right here and right now. The last primary skill you need to create the reality you want is the ability to let go of the concepts you have. That, of course, always includes people you love. This ability is the most demanding part, and most seekers fail at this point.

In my current case, this was also an arduous task, but in a way, life forced me to at least temporarily let go of my home with the people I love. It is a natural thing that moments come along where you have to quit your job, separate from a relationship, or even circumstances kick in, which create a situation where everything that defined you as an individual has been ripped apart, no matter how much effort you put into the idea of conserving the status quo. It is the point where your stage is cleansed to be reset.

Implementation in Medicine Hat

So now I went to Medicine Hat in Canada to meet with a friend who had the same general concept of leaving the familiar trails of society behind to live a life in freedom – free of daily routines. His name is Jens, and we have known each other since our time as teenagers in our hometown Magdeburg.

Medicine Hat Canada Road Trip Photography Alberta Mayamagik Christian Koehlert
Photos shot around Medicine Hat in Alberta, Canada.

So now, after I can adapt to the new paradigm, the new environment, and the new time zone, I am ready to embrace the new reality, but before we can start, we have to put some effort into the physical realm. To begin our journey, we need to prepare our camping vehicle. Many things need to be organized and to be built. That will take at least ten days of intense work, but it could even be more. This period was also when Jens and I developed a shared vision of what our journey will bring to us. A coherent focus is essential because we are both cocreators.

Through Alberta and British Columbia

Road Trip Photography

While traveling through Alberta and British Columbia, I could take the first photos of our actual road trip. Jens was driving, and I could focus on my camera. Along this road, we camped with friends of Jens. Most of those guys are skateboarders. So I tried myself in sports photography.

Photos of Osoyoos in British Columbia

Since we had minor issues with the camper, I could also take some shots of Jens doing the necessary makeovers. The last town in Canada was Osoyoos until we crossed the border to the US. It was a great time to take some portrait photos of strangers. These encounters offer an excellent opportunity for the fine art of street photography.

For more photos, go back to the Travel Photo Blog.

Medicine Hat Street Photography | Canada

I took the first photo shots in Medicine Hat, Canada, mainly capturing the new environment. We were living in the suburbs of Medicine Hat with friends of Jens. This location was the headquarters of our road trip. Here we put together our camper vehicle and organized all the little gadgets we would need for our journey.

The preparations took us almost two months. Most of the building jobs have been done in Elk Water—in a small workshop in the middle of nowhere. Since Jens is an engineer and I am more of a computer geek, I had lots of time to take photos. Unfortunately, there was only junk, but you could make it look like an art installation with the correct photo angle.

For more photos, go back to the Travel Photo Blog.