On Freedom

This morning, I watched these videos from the ongoing Mongol Rally.  I’ve really wanted to participate in the Mongol Rally since I heard about it last year.  It’s one of the biggest, most ridiculous, most dangerous, most foolish adventures devised.  Of course, like with all cool things, it costs more than I have.  So maybe in another 3-4 years I could think about it.

In the third episode of the video set, they met a French cyclist.  This guy was on day 638 of his bike ride from Holland to India.  He spoke several languages and was a nomad in the truest sense.  His journey put even the epic 10,000 mile Mongol Rally in perspective.  The bike was loaded down with panniers and bags.  Holding everything he needed to get by no matter what nature threw his way.

All this got me thinking about Freedom.  I think once I have no debts, no obligations, and no reliance on other people, I would be free.  But as I was running today I realized that isn’t entirely true.  Being out of debt and on my own as a self-sufficient individual is still the (unfortunately long-term) goal.  But freedom is a mindset.  If I lived in Singapore and didn’t owe anybody anything, just going from the internet cafe back to my bungalow on the beach, I wouldn’t necessarily be free.  I would still be worried about where my money was coming from, when does my visa expire, am I breaking one of Singapore’s crazy laws right now, I’d be in a cage within my own head.

Even once I eventually get out from under the external forces holding me back, I will still need to overcome the internal chains.  Only then will I be free.

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On Freedom