This blog's for ME

Almost 25 years old, asking my parents if I can sleep in their bed with them. I had thought I was going to be the 25th Prime Minister of Canada. Things had changed. 10 years later, I was still a scared little boy. The time had come to slap myself awake. One Saturday morning, November 19th, 2009, I declared to the world I would be riding my 10 year-old motorcycle from Vancouver, BC Canada to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and back.

The official departure was August 28th, 2010. A group of well-wishers saw me off at 8:03 am.

I arrived in Rio de Janeiro around 6 pm March 1st, 2011.



My return to Vancouver came on July 5th, 2011 about 2:00 pm.

Drug & alcohol abuse, ADD, social anxiety, health, chronic pain, night terrors.

So many concerns. But I am far more interested in this question: Do I have the capacity to make this trip despite all my shortcomings?

My mission: To inspire myself to face my fears, enlighten myself on how all living things can peacefully co-exist, enjoy every moment, and see the world as plentiful and generous.

Go ahead. Call me crazy. Call me anything you like.

I'm out to save my world.



I LOVE YOU ALL



Questions, comments, concerns, threats? Contact me: jason.chapman99@gmail.com


Selective Fear

The thought of riding a motorcycle through some of the most dangerous countries in the world is scary for some people; for me, not really. What was scary to me was the thought of swimming in Cold Lake, or amicably known as Buttermilk Slough. None of us had ever even considered going into this thing, but when Bonnie asked if you could swim in it, I realized how afraid I was of it. My dad then proceeded to tell us how Davey Lovell almost lost a big horse in the quicksand there years ago, and how, when he walked across it one exceptionally dry summer, the floor moved as if techtonic plates. Very unnerving! So, what exactly is this fear? It seems to be the fear of the unknown, if one were to generalize. What kind of bugs are there in there? How much goose poop and seaweed cover the bottom? My imagination simply get the best of me, and make it abundantly clear that we are all scared of something.
I am scared of people in authority, or decision makers in business. I am scared that they are going to say something not nice, or I'm going to feel uncomfortable, so I do everything possible to avoid being rejected: talk a lot, be very nice and don't ask for anything.

Cleaning Up

I told my boss I was leaving back in early December '09, and the last 8 months had been about mentally preparing for August 28th. Several momentous occassions were to be packed into the final month: a 20 year grad class reunion, introducing my parents to my birth mother, organizing a farewell party, and saying goodbye to my girlfriend. Many of these experiences would seem difficult for most, but I was seldom worried. Cleaning up the things from my past, on the other hand, gave me quite a problem.

It seemed to me a life-changing motorcycle trip to South America required some big steps to support it. One of them was getting rid of everything I owned, keeping only what could be stored in a 2'x2' box. This seemingly drastic measure served a few purposes, but tantamount was this: I believed I had to let go of any unneccessary clutter, so there was space for something new to come along. It's hard to put that brand new suit in a closet that is jam-packed full, right?

One last week spent in Stettler on the farm in late July had proven to be a godsend for hot, humid weather after weeks of heavy rain. Although the grass had never been greener in my mind, the clouds of mosquitos ready to attack prohibited us from truly enjoying the outdoors. This precipitated some indoor work, so it was time to look at all the things I had stored in my parents' basement since I moved out to college in 1990.

As I had already practiced letting things go from my apartment clean 10 days prior, the basement clean was somewhat easier than expected. I was quite surprised at the things I had amassed over the years: pins, certificates, taxes, the list was exhaustive. Hesitating briefly at times, I calmly placed stacks of paper in a box for recycling, separated a couple boxes of items for charity, and a bag for garbage. My hope was that at least someone could use the things I did not, and that somehow they would live on, and in it my memories of them. What I did experience though, was an uneasy mix of relief that I had done the job, and a fear of letting go all the things that mattered to me in the past. The question I finally asked myself was, "am I my things?"

Peace & Quiet

After 6 days on the homestead, my mind is settling, and my heart is at peace. So quiet, so peaceful. The mosquitos' buzzing, and biting only momentarily placate my need to bliss out in the fields where I grew up, but the summer sun, and green, green grass beckon me out once again. I was shocked to hear from my cousin Larry that we indeed have wireless internet out here on the farm. Growing up with 3 channels, we have come a long way, albeit slowly, to the modern age. Irony as it is, our satellite Tv, and internet keeps us connected, and yet the silence, and beauty of the Central Albertan summer refreshes and reconnects us to nature. I don't miss the city one bit. As I meet old friends, and think about life here, I realize I've got a big story going that if I lived here, I would disappear. As if living in a big city means I matter more. Irony seems to be the code of conduct tonight, as the close connections, and community of a small town, would make you much more important to the vibrancy of the town, than anything you could do in the big city.

Shutter Island

It is possible to talk about a movie without giving the plot. This one with Leo DiCaprio was a nice twist on thriller and suspense despite a bit outlandish. Hey, why else do we go to movies? Bonnie and I pulled up the reclining love seat nice and close to the TV at my parents' house, and settled in to be entertained. The movie was effective to a very fine point: I was creeped out going to bed. To make matters worse, we were sleeping in my parents camper, of which we entered with a full moon and strange sounds surrounding us.
I was on edge, and irritable, and couldn't find a way to relax. I was concerned I was going to hurt her in my sleep due to watching the movie, and my history of sleep disturbances. We talked, reconnected, and I told her everything that was going on. It was a relief to get it all out, and that she was strong enough to hear it. I woke up feeling refreshed, and Bonnie claimed I only spoke once in my sleep, giggling at some unknown person "I don't know who I am sleeping beside". I think she felt relieved that I could never cheat on her and lie about it, because it would definitely come out in my sleep!

Going Back

I've always been nostalgic. Even months after graduation, I was bringing my yearbook around the bar to get all the grads to sign it for me. It just seems to be the thing to do; a more accurate description would be 'collector'. Collecting signatures, friends on facebook, experiences and memories. Perhaps my fear is that if not for these tendencies I would disappear. Possibly I'm just ADD, Obsessive Compulsive, or Borderline Personality. I suppose though that I could be afflicted with far more severe compunctions, or at least the 'conditions' I do have could be much more serious. A good family, a sense of right and wrong, and the knowledge of how to find peace within oneself, are really all you need to get by.
Those three skills helped me immensely as I prepared to meet the people I grew up with. My inner dialogue of whether I would measure up, or what I would say, or what they would think, could have paralyzed me had I not learned how to deal with them.
I make no apology for supporting the need to reconnect with the people you grew up with. As I got up in front of these people Saturday night to sing three songs, I said, "please bear with me folks, this will save me about $20,000 in therapy". It did. For me to be able to share my own gifts with these people, and have them fully accept them, was truly wondrous.

Mexican Advice

My new friends Leo and Betty invited dad and I out to their house today to talk about travelling in Mexico on the motorbike. Not only do they have an amazing house, he has a gorgeous Harley DAvidson, nifty trailer, and a motorhome and trailer to carry them and two quads. They travel down to Arizona, leave the kit, and jump on the bike with the small trailer. He suggested I take a border crossing at Sanoyta, as he likened it to driving through downtown Stettler. My dad thinks I will ignore this advice and go through the borders he said to avoid. We had a wonderful conversation, and it jumpstarted my brain to think of a few things to take care of. They gave me a phone number of 'Mexico Bob' Acosta, from San Xavier Mexico Insurance at 1-888-327-1255. They have an office in Tucson, which is nice to know. They went through Cathy at RBC here in Stettler for travel insurance.
I'm just going to ramble through some of the precautions, and things to think about:

* Don't drink the water except in bottles
* Make sure you've got your shots and malaria pills
* Green Angels travel the Toll roads and will help you if your car breaks down. All you pay is for parts!
* Don't drive at night
* Make sure you deal with insurance companies that are trusted
* Have photocopies of registration, ownership, insurance, passport and driving license
* Take a 1 litre gas can - turns out the gas is in fine shape down there since the government got involved
* Make sure you have a can of the tire repair - you shouldn't even need a spare tire, but I'll bring one anyways.
* Take an anti-histamine with you. Betty told me about how she got bit three times while they were going 100 km/ hr!

Overall, it was very generous of them to spend the time with us. I think it put my mom and dad's mind at ease a bit to know that the Mexicans are some of the friendliest, and helpful on earth.

Mel Gibson's rant

Thank God for Mel Gibson. I wonder if the boys over at BP paid him to rant, because I can't remember the last time I heard anything about the oil leak in the Gulf.

Drumheller


I was so proud of Alberta Tourism for the work they had done at the Royal Tyrell Museum, and the town in general. I was authentically excited to see THE exhibit of dinosaurs in the entire world. World class attraction, world class fun.

First Meeting of Jimmy Lamb & The Bluecollars Session 3

The Baja sessions have begun Vancouver style. This promises to be the party of the year, heck party of the last 3 years! Billy Bishop Legion at 1407 Laburnum Street in Khatsalano 5 pm. $10 gets you a night of entertainment.

Where Does This Money Come From

I love hockey, to play and to watch. Especially Canadian Teams in the playoffs. I still have issue with some things. This week: The New Jersey Devils try to sign Kovalchuk to 17 years at $102 million for the contract. Seriously, what the hell are they thinking? How often will a player be competitive until he's 44? Chelios has been one in a million to make it that far. It's clear they have so much money they just are willing to throw everything at this guy to come and play for them.
Next, where does this money come from? $102 million dollars to play a game? If it was me, I'd be fighting for every penny for sure, but because I am not, I can only see opportunities for this money to do real good in the world. Imagine what that could do for creating new sustainable agriculture ideas? Imagine what that money could do in the hands of a non-profit organization?
This is the Roman Empire, and I may get my head cut off for mentioning it.

Fear of Heights is what?

Have you ever joined a window washer on a 37 storey building, with just a rectangular shaped piece of wood under your butt? Don't. I've bungee jumped, sky dived, rap jumped, snowboarded, mountain biked down vertical slopes - all nothing compared to this.

Downsizing

One of the hardest, yet satisfying moments was when I stared at my own mess of junk. After deciding I was to move out of my apartment one month early, and realizing I was gone the last week of the month, it was go time on Monday night. Most people my age are accumulating things, renting storage rooms and piling boxes into closets downstairs. I instead worked from 12 noon until 2:30 am, and the only reason I finished when I did, is I simply got rid of it. Those of you who are looking to be the next big star on that TV show the 'Hoarders' need not apply. I literally saved hours of sifting through belongings I had piled on the floor by simply throwing it all in the garbage. No recycling, no sorting, no deciding where I was to store it. I simply realized there was not one single thing I really needed, and my spirit, and mental space instantly cleared up. Simply let it go people, and find your freedom!

Running out of Space

So Surrey's Mountain View Cemetary is so badly running out of space that they are reselling plots that have already been bought and never been used. My first question is: how does a burial plot never get used? It's not like a pair of mittens that get stuck in the back of the closet, there's only one place to go when your time is up.
My second question is: what if we just buried ourselves in the forest without a gravestone at all, returned back to the earth where we came? My final question is: What is going to happen in 200 years when another 10 generations of people have died and want everyone to see their gravestone? Are we going to have to move out of the city so we have enough space for our gravestones?

20 years later

It was like yesterday, that Friday night in May. The rented tuxes, the ball gowns, lots of smiles; it was to be an epic night. Our journey into adulthood commenced this hot summer’s eve in the Stettler Wm. E. Hay gym, as we marched through the steps practiced for months. Alongside our partner chosen by height, we took our places in the bleachers, as all eyes were upon us on this one night we could call our own. The valedictorians spoke on behalf of the Graduating Class of 1990, and the Principal handed us our diplomas.
Now, 20 years later, it would have been hard to imagine all that has happened. Marriages, divorces, children, funerals, promotions, trips around the world; as our class join together next weekend, one can only imagine how many stories there will be to tell. It seems now that instead of answers, there are only more questions. How do you sum up two decades of life in 48 hours? Has the unbridled and infinite hopes of these Graduates translated into lives well lived? Will we even recognize each other? We all grew up together, and now, it is time to reconnect. It will be up to us to decide where we go from here.

You been talking in your sleep

Did I mention I've been a sleep talker since the age of 6? Oh, and sleep walking and sleep destroying as well. My first horrific memory is crashing onto my brand new Snoopy racetrack from Christmas, and destroying it beyond repair, as I ran right through it in a sleep-induced haze. This 'condition' ran it's course, as a humiliating screaming episode at a popular kid's sleep over, and a culmination in 3rd year University as I ran through a plate glass window, not realizing I had a 1" deep gash in my right arm that didn't start bleeding till I got into the dorm bathroom, and woke up at least 4 of my floor mates. Some of the most embarrassing moments of my life, but certainly experiences that have humbled, perturbed, and ultimately affected my entire experience of existence. That being said, I have never physically harmed another human being in my sleep. This is a non-sequitor if I do. Actually, for some reason, I am aware of who is sleeping beside me, and intrinsically know they are not to be harmed. That being said, if I had experienced some awful thing growing up, like rape or physical abuse, things could be different. If I were a judge, one of the most difficult cases to decide on would be murder. Even if one were 'awake' when they murdered someone, what if they were simply 'asleep' to their own social responsibilities, a temporary black out? Should we punish people for the rest of their existence for something that has been proven to be part of the human condition. Does a lion get put on trial for killing a gazelle?

Psychic

Was at the salad bar yesterday and thought I recognized a woman that I had purchased an art print from several years prior. "No, it couldn't be", I said to myself. Didn't think about it until just before noon today, when I checked the messages of phone #1 from phone #2, lo and behold her husband, of which I hadn't seen in over a year as well, left me a message to check out his exhibit at the library. When Bon and I went back to the same restaurant today, she was there, and this time, I looked her in the eyes and called her by her name. She answered, and we chatted. It was nice. I promised her I would visit her store after 4, and when I showed up I grilled her. "Did you tell him you saw me yesterday?" "No, no, I never said anything", she retorted. "He's psychic. Really, he's psychic. He must have known you were leaving. He's really a creepy guy. He's creepy that way".

Coincidence? Did she just see me out of the corner of her eye the day before, tell her husband, and voila! a convergence of souls? Perhaps it is simply an example of the amazing power of our intuition that creates things our limited vocabulary could only call miracles.

Whatever it was, it sure was neat. I felt special.

Highly Senstive People

Is there a place in the city for Highly Sensitive People? The warriors who feel no pain, and can ignore their troubles, with a single-minded desire to achieve their goals are not privy to this council. These people, in short (HSP's), are deeply in-tune with their environment, and are more sensitive than others to everything from colours to smells to emotions. In an urban world, honking horns, busy competition, and constant movement can be so overwhelming for sensitive people they can go off the deep end. Are people who are depressed, anxious or affected by other mental health disorders simply too sensitive?
People with sensitivities must find ways to stay happy in an environment that doesn't always promote well-being at it's core. Hot dog stands at every corner, busy streets and unfriendly people. Perhaps my thoughts are simply the result of being overtired, too busy to enjoy my life, and could all be turned around if I just went and did something spontaneously?

MacGyverin'

Wonderful weekend in Harrison Hot Springs with Karen, Steve, Colin, Joel, Natalee, Bonnie, and Eddy. Camping was followed by a World Cup Final session that saw Spain pull out a 1-0 win, which we watched with Bonnie's family in Chilliwack.
The bike was parked outside Lora's house all day, and when I got back on around 6 pm, I noticed it wouldn't run unless the choke was on. I thought it would work itself out, like a cold engine, but by the time I was on Vedder Street, I knew something was wrong. This was the 2nd time my bike had broke down in Chilliwack. I also knew the street was littered with gas stations, so I pulled over and saw the problem. The end of a small 1/4" hose seemed to be flayling about on it's own, and a valve stem seemed also to be missing it's mate. When I put the hose on the stem, voila problem fixed. Problem was Chevron had nothing to attach the hose, so Plan B. Canadian Tire! Closed at 6:30. I looked around the parking lot, and found a string, which I thought was the best I could do. I made a tourniquet on the one end, and put the end of the hose through it. As I placed it over the stem, I tied it tight, and tied the other end to a bar. Problem fixed, and my confidence soared. I did it on my own. Note to self: bring a bunch of Macgyver stuff on the trip.

All You Need is Sun

As we approach the seemingly finite summer months, prevailing knowledge states that sunblock, and a big hat, are the two most important things to take when being in the sun. But what if blocking the Sun from penetrating into your body was detrimental, if not counterintuitive to sound mind and body health? What if all you needed was the Sun?
Recent studies have shown that adequate time in the Sun has had dramatic effects on everything from one's mood to skin conditions, to reducing incidence of cancer, all for one seemingly benign ingredient: Vitamin D. Although the Sun is one of many ways to obtain Vitamin D, 40 - 60 % of the entire world population is vitamin D deficient. What people will begin hearing more and more of in the media is the effect of raising Vitamin D levels in the body, and it's impact on the health industry as a whole.

Close Your Eyes And Jump

My friend Tommy texted me today and asked if I was getting excited about my trip. "A mix of things as you can well understand." I replied. "Saying goodbye to the known security and safety and stepping into the unknown. It is at one time scary and and exciting." His reply? "Close your eyes and jump. I am envious." I wanted to tell him I too am envious of him - 3 beautiful kids and a great wife.

The grass always seems greener when you are looking over the fence. I will fertilize my own lawns, and make sure they are well taken care of. Not manicured, or easy to manage, but a wonderfully wild assortment of rocks, bushes, trees, long, unkempt grasses with creepy, crawly, wonderfully abundant, bugs, beetles and triumphant birds perched all over. Come for a visit, but envy has no place in my backyard. We all have our gardens to tend, and the wonderful gift we're given is comprised of the tools to make it our own. The bonus is when we get to enjoy anothers as if it were our own.

Let's share in each others experience of life. We're all in this thing together.

Self-healing

The horrible spiraling circle that is pain can set anyone off on a path of ruin for many years. It is only those with the fortunate combination of self-will, discipline, a positive attitude and a supportive network of friends and family, that can make it out quickly.
The body can heal itself, and the pain we experience is mostly amplified because of the connections with our brain. But what technique works the best? How do you not get overwhelmed with all the choices?
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Body Talk, Energy Manipulation right through to conventional medicines and Western Doctors, the list is endless, and every day is filled with a new trend.
I had an interesting conversation with Rose, who claimed that we are all born with cancer, and no matter what you do, if you are going to get it, you're going to get it. I agree with her, to a point. How about we are all born with cancer, and the things we do can exacerbate, or minimize, the risk of it happening? That includes living and breathing smog and carcinogens in our air from cars, and eating fish laced with mercury.
Dedicate an hour a day to your health. You are awake 16 hours, on average, how about spending 6 1/4 % of your day exercising, breathing, stretching, eating, and see what happens. The body just might turn itself around. I would recommend doing this before things have gone too far.

Musings from the Post

Successful, and happy creative types, movie directors , writers, anyone who realize they are in a commodified world called Western Society, but accept they don't know how to change it, have found a way to somehow correlate their thoughts and feelings with what they see in the world. I can relate to my friend Terry, who can get really angry about some of the things that happen in the world, and human nature, but attempts to destroy relationships and people around him to somehow negate those feelings and thoughts.
"I wasn't an unhappy kid. I was a rebel, but I had fun. I never had depression. I was never an alcoholic. I was never a drug addict. God knows, many of my friends have dealt with that, but I've never had any of those tragedies. I've made a bunch of movies, I've written three books, I have a one-man show. For God's sake, I played Coachella! I've done what I was put here to do. I still work really hard and know it can end any minute, but I think I've been understood. Everyday I've got to think up something new, it never ends, but life does get easier. I've been fortunate." - John Waters.
I don't want to have people in this world luckily fall into a successful and happy life. We are all human, and the skills to be this way must be learned. The first five years of a child's life are crucial. How do we intercept that pattern of violence, depression, and inability to change that occurs in people's families? It has to happen within those first 5 years, when a child's brain is developing - yes, the parent has a huge role in this.
Key, is to teach the children that they must learn to maintain a healthy mix of understanding how the world works, but also bending the world's view to their own in a loving, patient way. Seeing either the world, or yourself, as a fixed thing, can lead to serious mental and emotional problems in future undertakings. The world is a better place when we are all strong.

Arguments

It doesn't matter how much a person has grown, or how much they've done in life, there will always be someone who can push their buttons. Short of moving to a Buddhist Temple and isolating yourself from the entire human race, there is going to be conflict. I don't need to add to it, or put my own thoughts and emotions into a conflict, but sometimes I just can't help it. What is the option? Go and find people, places and things that do not cause conflict, do not cause problems, do not piss me off? When I'm in the thick of things, and embroiled in an argument, it feels good to let off some steam, and say some things I might be withholding. But I just got involved in an argument between two other people that had a lot of history, and I ended up just walking away from it, and let the two people's energy work it's way out. Damn it is hard to sit with someone who goes on and on about some wrong doing, or some disagreement, and on and on and on. I just wonder what the world would look like if there were no words?

Canada Day

Canada's 143rd birthday party has come and gone, another year completed as a nation. The Salmon Festival in idyllic Steveston, B.C. was one of many venues across the country that was alive with a congregation of people on July 1st. Some were just happy to have an excuse not to work, while others undoubtedly had a more profound experience. Apparel purchased for the Vancouver Olympic Games were once again on display, and a certain national pride was evident, as youngsters by the hundreds draped their Nation's flags around their shoulders with pride.
Aside one shoving match between a couple teenaged men, the day was peaceful, fun and harmonious. Although the weather was undecided, it was clear Canadians here intended to hold an event that was inclusive to all. People of all races watched entertainment together, visited the trade shows, pigged out on cotton candy and hot dogs, and played in the waterpark. Women wearing burkas casually walked with around with their families, and the energy of children laughing filled the space.
In light of recent events in Toronto at the G20 summit, is Canada's historical matriarchal role of peace in jeopardy? After 150 soldier casualties in Afghanistan, can we really say we as a nation are supporters of multiculturalism, and global oneness? Canadians once again showed their true colours July 1st, our nation renewed once again as a beacon in this world for us all to get along and enjoy life together.

Featuring Bland

Am I the only one who thinks there are two types of songs on the top 40 these days - songs sung by an artist, and songs sung by an artist featuring Beyonce and /or Jay-Z?

Videos of my journey

Loading...