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          want you to ask yourself this question: When was the last time you went out in to nature, or anywhere for that matter, simply for the act of going out and enjoying it? Going out with no intention whatsoever of capturing the beauty to save on your screen and sharing with others what you’ve seen? I have to ask myself this question quite often. There’s a fine line between doing what you enjoy for just that; simple enjoyment. Or doing it, even unintentionally, to showcase to the world. I quite enjoy the art of creating. I love producing videos of anything, particularly my travels. I love the art of photography and the memories it preserves. I have to often remind myself, however, that these things aren’t my priority when I go out into the world to gather new experiences. Certainly I have to remind myself that I’m not creating for the approval of others or to gain popularity; I’m doing it out of the simple enjoyment I get from it. This grants me freedom to do essentially whatever I want with it, because as I’ve explained before, comparison kills creativity. There is no doubt in my mind that, even without intention, social media can most often lead to the comparison of our lives as a whole and what we do, or at least what we display. I don’t know why I do what I do most of the time. When I’m out in backcountry alone surrounded by glaciers scraping my bare legs through deep snow, it isn’t necessarily the most enjoyable experience. Getting lost in the 105 degree Fahrenheit heat of the desert can have its frustrations. Spending six weeks essentially alone on the road may seem like a constant dream, but there are certainly moments that aren’t as enjoyable as the photos of life on the road you may have seen. There are times of discomfort in even the most enviable of circumstances, and that’s just it. Perhaps it’s the discomfort that ironically I’ve been pursuing. Why would anyone want to not feel comfort? It seems as though it should be something to desire. I think I’d have to disagree here, to an extent. How can you expect to advance anywhere in life, or grow at all as a person at that, without stepping out of your comfort zone every now and then? A phrase you may have heard from the odd older person to describe something is that it “builds character”, and they’re definitely on to something. You are going to face hardships throughout your entire life, big or small. It’s up to you to endure through these circumstances, and through learning from past difficulties and trials it will have been established how you will handle yourself. A philosophy I try to live by currently is to see the bright side of negative circumstances, as hard as it may be at times. I’m aware that, as it may seem that only bad could come from some situations, that this could be translated as only good depending on how you look at it. Every mistake we make in life, every difficulty we face from the world; everything can have a positive impact depending on how you take it. Everything can be a learning opportunity. This is why we as humans make mistakes; so we never make the same mistake twice, and perhaps even in the process teach others what we’ve learned along the way and grow in it together. However, this poses the question: Why did it take until I was secluded from the world as I knew it to find so much personal growth? Perhaps I needed to see a world that I was unfamiliar with, to realize what it was that I was missing. Everything I took for granted was revealed to me, in time. It took for me to be separated from everything I had, every luxury that I deemed a necessity, every materialistic idol in my life, to realize that none of it mattered.
I had more when I had less.

I

Excerpt from Chapter 21,
The Modern American Dream