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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»

Finding Alaska is easy. My eyes mint gold. Nothing shines so brightly.

The scenery  paints itself. I'm just the middleman. 
You can't create experiences like this, you undergo them.

You can mine for gold or you can sell pickaxes

Being born in the US is like being kidnapped and sold into entrepreneurship  on Planet Pick Axe.


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, and monetize my best asset,me, 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."




All Ashore-Traquility Base, The Ego Has Landed

Skagway Today

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.  If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it, After all, success doesn't come to you, you go to it. It's not easy getting a gig on a ship.The Only Easy Day  on board was Yesterday.


Ship/ Shift Happens

After 10 ships, yes TEN, 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. The Greeks invented the idea of nemesis to show how any single virtue, stubbornly maintained gradually changes into a destructive vice. Having a vague and abstract love for everybody and everything has its moments,  but by becoming passionate and vowing fidelity to concrete relationships, persons, institutions, and places are ideas whose time has come.


Fire In The Belly


Steve Jobs said “Money is life’s report card, Sam Keen, "Nice gets you a C+ in life" 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’ts (no resources) into cans (resourcefulness) and leveraged my dreams (I haven't been everywhere but it is on my list) into serendipity a thousand unseen helping hands. As I stated in my Youtube channel bio--No matter how low the budget bar gets, I always manage to limbo my way under it. If you think about it, I am the Wilt Chamberlain of shoe-string travel.putting up #'s so unthinkable, mere normals will never, ever reach them.-300 ports in 38 months...

 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 youI have  come to love this new self, not by being  a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly, and renewed with a sense of wonder about this.  It’s only by becoming intimately acquainted with these narratives that we can begin to live consciously and, as the Sufi poet Rumi said, “unfold our own myth.”  I always tell  Bob Reif that he is  in a storytelling economy, and  gets paid for the stories he tells.

 I too am  constantly writing and re-writing my autobiography in this blog.(but I get paid in attention more than cash.).


Being born in America is like being kidnapped and sold into entrepreneurship



  •  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 Power of NEW


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  am  a time millionaire. It is  going to be about resourcefulness and not resources.Who does not love the sea? The beach is a place of healing and joy. The salt cleanses us and the sun embraces us in its warmth. The ocean heals the heart, mind, and soul. life is different. Time doesn't move hour to hour but mood to moment.Yet, the sea has never been friendly to me. At most it has been the accomplice of my restlessness.So there is no cure for this curiosity.

TV is an eraser and Youtube and Blogger, a paint brush. My leap of faith to go on ships was recreation and re-creation and re-invention. There are second acts in American lives, and third and fourths.No Man Is An Island, yet after age 40, land is seldom seen and you can count your friends on one hand.I am an expat, yet not every country will do. I don't know why, some countries fill the gaps and others emphasize my expat-ness. In reality those that satisfy me are those who simply allow me to live with my ''idea of them." 

Life’s a beach in an ocean of ennui is the take away from places like Fiji, Tahiti and the Maldives, even Alaska, aka, The Big Alone., It is when laziness finds respectability.

 These "Islands" are extraordinary within their limits, but their limits are extraordinary. Yet if I do the math, an emotional algebra adds up to 1+1=infinity. It's a pristine place.This is no 9 to 5. You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. It is just a fraction of you. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating on a cruise ship, walking the painted line, where everything is nicely arranged--formal nights, shore excursions, shopping, bottled water.


When you’re perpetually cruising , you are what you are right there and then.



 People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yes in yesterdays on the road.I know both sides because I am both sides: a tourist who doesn't know where I've been; a traveller who doesn't know where he's going. I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list. 

I thought college was the longest vacation I ever took; but this Graduate School seamester is a kind of study abroad in Nomadic PursuitsI meet therefore I am- a multinational soul. I shrink therefore I am part of — and apart from American, European and Asian culture. and the countries I visit(ed) and live(d) in are as eclectic and restless as ports of call I "inhabit" for six hours or at most three daze. 

 Along with the displacement, and the associated "jet" lag" and culture shock, I am simply a fairly glib product of a movable feast, living and working in a world that is itself increasingly small and increasingly hybrid---a transit lounger, forever heading to the all "aboard" by 6PM gangway.The cult of the amateur wanderers is growing; global souls who haven't been everywhere but it is on their list; for whom home is a feeling, not a place in the soil but inside yourself. I am one of the privileged homeless. Is there a new kind of person being created by a new kind of life?


Rust Never Sleeps- 


It's Neil Young's Soundtrack again--"I've been to Hollywood, I've been to Redwood, I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold".  As a Canadian singing and living in the US, I know verbatim every song on his Harvest album. I used to dress like him in flannel shirts and Tims (Timberline Boots) He's still hip, and aging gracefully.Me too, I believe. 

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