I suppose I am not so different than most people.  I constantly go through life fantasizing about exotic trips I never take, being endlessly happy, successful and hopefully making some sort of lasting contribution to humanity.  Only these fantasies never seem to come true for me and time mercilessly continues to flow along, utterly indifferent to my desires.

So there I was, circa 2003 finishing up my linguistics study abroad program in Chile.  I had taken advantage of a week long break from classes and headed 40 hours to the extreme north of the country, just south of Peru in search of hollow surf.  Finding no waves in Arica, I doubled back to Iquique a few hours to the south where the surf was bigger.  After a forgettable session I headed to a nearby, poorly lit dive bar with my new friend Kyle whom I had met out in the water.  He was expecting his friend Rob who he was studying with in Santiago.  Oddly enough, considering how much this individual (Rob) transformed my life, I don't remember much about him.  I wouldn't even recognize him if I saw him today, yet in the span of 30 minutes or so he planted a seed inside my mind that caused me to drive thousands of miles from one hemisphere to the other.  His casual aside of how he once drove to Panama from California a few years back had inspired me tremendously.  We parted ways shortly thereafter, not even bothering to exchange information, but from that moment forth my mind was made up.  I was going to drive to Panama as well as soon as I graduated from U.C. Santa Cruz in the summer of 2005.

Over the next year and half I decided my journey was not going to end in Panama though, I was going to drive all the way to South America even if I had to sell my truck along the way and fly over Columbia as a result of logistical complications.  In doing so, I was able to surf and skate whenever the opportunities to do so popped up, while immersing myself in some truly exotic cultures throughout the journey.  Although I didn't fully grasp it at the time, this roadtrip indelibly impacted my existence in a way that I never could have foreseen.

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