Firstly, this is not a resolution, but a statement: 2016 will be used for an excessive amount of self-discovery. The last few years have shown me I am my best self when I’m around water, especially lakes, but oceans and creeks will do. Being in nature is just as amazing as being at my mom’s house eating Patti Labelle Sweet Potato Pie and watching The Godfather II (the greatest one, and that’s not up for debate). Where will I go?
A few weeks ago, while in Iguazu Falls, Brazil, I hopped into an ENO Hammock strapped to two trees in the hostel’s courtyard and knew immediately what needed to happen:
1. Get Eno Hammock.
2. Locate Places To Use It.
Oh, but for the purpose of this post. Find you happiness right now. What places make you happy? Stop following the beaten paths and take off down that path covered in brush and bugs. What’s there? Rio makes me happy, but who’s not happy in Rio? I want to know if I can find happiness in Kek Lok Si, Malaysia. Where will you experience that moment of unfleeting joy in 2016? Where will you debate your decision to return to work and a chaotic life?
So again, where will I go?
I’m going for the place in which mediocrity does not exist: nature. I want to see as much of the outdoors as possible, looking up and over to the stars from my hammock. I once drove down a highway in New Mexico and had to pull over. The moon was as close to me as the woman in my passenger seat. Sadly, the moon hates photos, and none of them came out nice, so I just sat there on the hood of the car, staring. Stars everywhere. I want that again.
Places I Will Hang My Hammock & Jump In The Water & Be At Peace:
1. Boya Lake Provincial Park, Canada
2. Flamenco Beach in Culebra, Puerto Rico
3. Garden Route National Park, South Africa
4. The Adirondacks, New York
5. Phi Phi Island, Thailand
6. Masai Mara, Kenya
7. Rabbit Island, Cambodia
8. Cinnamon Bay Campground, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
9. Boothbay Harbor, Maine
10. Lichnos Camping, Parga, Greece
Understand there are no geographical cures, but there are places that make us better. For however long. And if you need a travel mantra, just repeat to yourself one of the following while looking at beauty:
1. Who wants to live a life imprisoned in safety?
2. Travel and life are all about the experiences.
3. If it doesn’t challenge me, it won’t change me.
Where will you go? Enjoy!
Darnell Lamont Walker, a self-professed traveling foodie, has been found sitting at tables eating baby goat sweetbreads, drinking tequila, and laughing loudly with strangers. The writer, filmmaker, artist, and sometimes photographer puts happiness above all.