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“And,when you want to truely see the world, all the world conspires in helping you achieve it.”

Posted by Ed Reif» on - - 0 comments»



The AmeriCAN Dream is the hidden infrastructure that informs Yankee life. It’s an invisible narrative and nuanced web of beliefs and assumptions based on rational self interest in your limited circles of influence.  
Cowboy French Fries

That means even travel, can be re framed as gaining a sustainable competitive advantage, a private and personal investment.  I'm not  writing a blog post or a updating a FB status- I am monetizing my  connections and building a personal brand. The price is what I pay.The value is what I get. I paid the price for world travel, but the value is not in dollars. It's experiential.

Everyone's life is either a warning or an example, but nothing is so irritating as a good example.The journey without distance from the head to the heart is the  sacred contract—a set of assignments our soul was meant to complete. Everyone must do it and no one can do it for you. You have to take risks or it is not worth it.


The road less traveled is someone else’s path--If there is a path it is someone else's path and you are not on the (your)  adventure.

Risks come from not  always knowing what I am doing. Yet it hasn't cost me my soul, my power, my psyche. I haven't betrayed anything that was in my heart, despite having  not always  managed surfing the wave(s) of life well. Yet when you have more past then future, everything is more intense and I am looking forward to this decade. That's the new equation: 1+1= infinity/


As a romantic , I have a profound  tendency to see what I  want to see rather than what is really there---but there is no there there when you are in this ocean of culture- A fish is the last one to know it is in water. 

The journey, however is the reward, even though the whole time I am on my way I am not  “there”.

What is deeply personal is universal and our stories don’t exist in a vacuum-They are informed by the larger story-The AmeriCAN one. with strict boundaries that we unconsciously learn to live inside. We are big fish in a small cultural pond. 

Sometimes if your ladder  to "success" is on the wrong wall, each step you takes gets you faster to where you do not want to be. Success without fulfillment equals failure.


 The Importance Of Being Ernest Without Having Ever Read Him

All the lies have been washed away by the truth.

My experience has caught up with my imagination to the point where my own Master Story is always wider and deeper than THAT single AmeriCAN narrative, and over the course of time, I have become passionate for  things The Dream wasn’t speaking to and wasn't giving me —couldn't give me. This might be the lesser known " I don't have a dream" speech.

Consequently, I live a wider and deeper spectrum. I first got that hint  when I started speaking French in my 20's: One language one soul,Two languages two souls etc...Then Japanese, Then Spanish Then Swedish...

In December 2012, I Wrote:


"Everything you can imagine is real"  Picasso

 My universe is made of stories, not atoms: land, air and sea travel and the power of now. If I wanted to be a multinational soul, I couldn't do it in cities where I taught English like New York or Los Angeles, Paris or Tokyo alone-I needed to get consecrated by sailing on the oceans. It's a wonderful thing to get rid of everything and everybody and just go some place where you don't know anyone; where, as Melville said,"God's one and only voice is Silence."


Chief Reif and Crazy Horse
I write my own rules for nautical success: continued enthusiasm despite failure after failure. 

Ship Happens-Success without fulfillment=failure

Living on a ship, might be summed up as monotony tinged with hysteria. It's not real life but an alibi. It is like going out of your mind everyday- in order to come to your senses; and a fool who persists in his folly becomes wise.

 After 11 ships, yes ELEVEN, I no longer want to cast doubt on perfection-America. “It’s not about the money” is the lesser known, I don’t have a dream speech. Wasn’t it Steve Jobs who said “Money is life’s report card. I've seen this kind of "success" as a drug of choice.More than that, success without fulfillment, is failure, yet, this kind of failure is going to get your best material.

As An Art Director and World Cruise Coordinator, the experiences at sea turned my can’t into cans and leveraged my dreams into serendipity a thousand unseen helping hands.

 Money isn't the root of all evil, boredom is the root of all evil, a spiritual anorexia- the despairing refusal to be oneself.

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are, once you let go of the life you have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for you.

Being born in America is like being kidnapped and sold into slavery and the shared hallucination of running on the treadmill of consumption and materialism. It's a mask that eats up the face. It's also like winning the lottery, a currency, and I wanted to spend it well. Yet, we value material, we ignore emotions.

 If I wanted to serve my country, I had to betray it. What was the blue chip idea worth betraying? What was the lie I told myself? The disease of more in a world of plenty where most of the developing world is starving. The lack of simplicity and the yearn for complexity was, and in many ways still is, my blind spot.

The most total opposite of pleasure is not pain but boredom. I was willing to risk pain ( culture shock) to make a boring life interesting and re framing (Home is a feeling not a place) travel as a verb and not a noun. You have to DO it.--- A 1 man National geographic on that everywhere trip. The good, the bad and the ugly American- Why be difficult when you can be impossible--Hell was about to be other people,other cultures, other languages, and the National Anthem of Hell, was Frank Sinatra's "I did it my way".

 I had to make the switch from tourist to traveler, and adapt, otherwise this journey would be Karaoke traveling, a cheap imitation of the best yet to come. Without risk, faith is an impossibility. My "leap of faith" to give up all things material was curiosity..The cure for my ennui and boredom was "Any place but here" and "I want to be surprised everyday".

There's nothing ethical about the work ethic on ships. I got paid in cash, visited nice places, had a hotel room and six all you can eat meals a day! If the passengers were behaving badly, there was always a new group every 7 or 14 days to keep my interest. Now that I didn't need Power Point to explain my job, how much was I worth now that I was no longer in the w2 world of 9 to 5. I was a time millionaire. It was going to be about resourcefulness and not resources.

 Let the Orinoco Flow

There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. It is a known fact that when it's rainy or snowy, you have to merely think of an island paradise, and you are transported to that" Happy Place". A day-dream is as rich and real as anything on Earth. Picasso was right. All you can dream about can become real. I have shoveled snow and now I am shoveling sunshine. i always wanted to be in warm places in winter, and now All I want for Christmas is a sun tan.

Sail Away... from the North to the South, Ebudæ into Khartoum, from the deep sea of Clouds to the island of the moon, carry me on the waves to the lands I've never been, carry me on the waves to the lands I've never seen.



“Long, long journey through the darkness Long, long way to go But what are miles across the ocean To the heart that's coming home?” ― Enya

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