Saturday, January 9, 2010

floating thoughts

an excerpt from an entry i wrote while sitting at the floating lounge in berlin, germany. enjoy.

"...there's a hostel and floating lounge...i'm sitting here now, alone, in the red glow drinking a large Rothaus beer. i ate a few chips this afternoon so i already feel this going to my head...there's a table over speaking english and i kind of want to go over there and mingle, but i've also enjoyed just being super reflective and introverted this trip. i love observing and am excited to blog and edit my's been good for me. i realize that i'm ready to share my life with someone...i've spent enough time alone. i want to plan my life with someone and share all these experiences because although they're meaningful it's not the same. it's like the question of, "if a tree falls", if a person travels and experiences, sees the world--does anyone "hear" it? we take pics, we take videos, we write - why? because we want to share our experiences with others. maybe our motivations are different, but i believe we all have this innate desire to share. the reason could be selfish and egotistical, or it could be genuine and in the interest of teaching, inspiring others...

it's awesome - in this lounge right now i hear english, french, german...

but that's the thing. one of the "mottos" i live by is the pike quotation "what you do for yourself..." traveling "alone" is something i did for myself - even though i stayed with friends and family - but i've "documented" this trip for the purpose of sharing, remembering...

i met this guy on a film shoot in palm springs last spring who shared an interesting perspective with me about pictures and videos. he told me about his dad who would say things like, "oh back then i was so...those were the good times..." as if now sucked. i've often thought about this because i feel there are a lot people who live in the past and get hung up on "good" things were. usually, we remember things to be much more awesome or worse than they really were. i think photos and videos are cool, of course, its the business i'm in, but i also enjoy just LIVING IN THE MOMENT and absorbing it now. if you remember it - great - if not, oh well. at least you were FULLY PRESENT for the time that thing or person was in front of you. personally, i feel this is a beautiful way to live life. sometimes i feel that the urge to "capture" and "archive" the moment all the time ruins it. just LIVE IT NOW! cause in the end it doesn't really matter. it matters, but not in the way we think it will. yes, it's nice to reminisce but that can do a lot of damage. learning to live in the moment and be completely what makes life worthwhile. i don't care what happened 10 years ago or what will happen 10 years from now. what's important is how i'm living now. and right now in this moment i feel both happy and sad. i'm the only person in this place sitting by myself. everyone else is either in groups of 2 or more - besides the bartender. part of this makes me happy because i like to write and observe and think, and part of this makes me sad because i would like to share this moment with someone.

"i don't know i'm here until i talk with someone."

i think that just means in anything you do it's not "real" unless its shared...

i'm gonna have another beer..."
after that, i walked up to the bar, got another beer and struck up a conversation with a fellow traveler from australia. it was so nice to speak with someone who was also exploring the city. this was one of my favorite nights in berlin - it was also my last night before flying back to rome for new years eve. after leaving the lounge, i met up with some friends at a bar and stayed out until 9 a.m. so much fun!

how do you keep track of your traveling/life experiences? photos? videos? blogs? journals? scrapbooks? have you ever just gone somewhere and not documented it? are you scared of forgetting? what helps you live "in the moment"? feel free to share whatever thoughts you have after reading this post...i think this would be an interesting conversation...


  1. “One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more”

    Thomas Jefferson

  2. ooh, that is a great quotation! yes, i agree, if your purpose is to go on a reflective trip (which was most of my purpose this time), i agree that being alone gives you the time and space to reflect...however, i feel you can get more out of a place/experience/adventure/etc when it's shared with others.

  3. I used to cherish my "alone time" when traveling, but I have found thru meeting up with friends in odd places of the world, that any trip is better when shared, when there is someone to guide you and someone you can surprise with a reaction to something it is common to them.
    I am a little bit of a "wide eyes guy" and I can walk like a hobbit, and I have gotten my friends into strange places they wouldn't notice, and I have let them take me to places that wouldn't be of my liking at first glance. These people are close friends, and it is has been so much more significant to me to actually see their cities thru their eyes and we laugh when we remember details together.
    "You can't know where you are unless you know where you have been", and that has been my excuse to document EVERYTHING, but yes, I have been lost in the moment and sometimes I only have a shot with a cellphone or a blurb on twitter to remind me how it felt at that moment. Though sometimes I have found myself putting the camera away so I can see something with naked eyes, I am also aware that time washes over memories, and it is important to me to keep the vivid colors of these moments intact, and that has helped me share it to others.
    Because of these pics and videos, some friends and coworkers have recently ended up visiting the places I have been to, like the costume store in Union Square where I got my V for Vendetta mask after Nats got scared by an animatronic Freddy Krueger, or the Kenner and Co. toy-store in Malmo where I took a picture with Heidi and Micke, or this little bookshop inside the British Film Institute in London that has a sale on screen-writting books.
    These documents are dear to me, they are my touchstone when I need a pad in the back to keep on going.
    Now don't ask me why do I want to run the globe, or why do I want to keep on running, because I do not have an answer to that yet, nor I am ready to face it. In the meantime, I will keep on collecting memories of shared time with dear friends, because like one of the friends I made in my trips says, "life is a collection of moments". And I want to believe in that, it makes me smile.

  4. beautiful thoughts, gaston. thank you for sharing!!!

  5. "This was one of my favorite nights in Berlin - it was also my last night before flying back to Rome for new years eve. after leaving the lounge, I met up with some friends at a bar..."

    Couriosly I had a similar experience in Berlin too before NYE. I went to the same bar above with friends and met two cool girls.
    One of the two surprisingly spoke Italian as well!Would you believe?And she had killer eyes.
    It was a shame she had to leave the day after.
    One of my best nights in Berlin.
    One of my best nights ever.

    Ring any bell?

    Take care,

  6. I've only traveled alone, and often wondered what I missed with only two eyes and one heart. I know romance and travel are partners in the sublime from the couples I've met on the road, both young and old. Does their love of each other depend on traveling so as not to get too comfortable in one place? Maybe waking up each day in a different location is like the first day of a romance, but with the memory your traveling companion is somehow familiar. Till I meet "her" on the road, I will be content in loving what my eyes see and my heart feels. Next stop....

  7. Close your eyes think positive and picture the happy moments you've went through in your life or draw your future and imagine what you want to achieve. You will find that there is always someone else in that picture sharing your happy moments and achievements.
    There is a very old saying in Arabic! :) that means something like “heaven with no people is not liveable”... Life has no meaning or flavour if there is no one to share it with and I think this is something we all strive to achieve and maintain
    even insignificant things such as a new gadget or a bag or shoe or car we like to share with our friends and people around us but I think here we have drifted a bit from knowing what would make us really happy and satisfied and instead of setting goals and targets we are being followers of whatever is the trend which kept us always unsatisfied and frustrated plus its keeping us always on the run trying to make more money to be able to buy our happiness.
    Life is much more than insignificant things money can buy. I agree that money is extremely important but only as a tool and not as our goal.
    My point, we need to start putting more time and efforts socializing with friends and people before its too late. And i am not talking about a companion. When i grow old i don’t want to end up being alone or with my wife or partner without having friends to fill up the picture ;)
    At the end thank you Leah for making me write my first comment ever :) i hope i didn’t drift from your topic

  8. Hi.

    When I travel, I don't document anything. I don't write, I don't take pictures... the only thing I love and remember from a new place it's how it smells. When you smell the same thing again, you remember that one place you visited once, and the people who were around you.

  9. @mohammad - thank you for sharing your thoughts! they are absolutely beautiful! i really appreciate you writing such a thoughtful comment here! i really like the arabic saying you mentioned, "heaven with no people is not tolerable", very fitting for the perspective of this post!

  10. @michele - yes! i remember that night and the taste of apple vodkas ;)

  11. @canole - i think traveling together is one of the truest tests of compatibility!

  12. @manu - i've heard the sense of smell is one of the strongest memory triggers.