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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!