I am not okay.
No, this isn’t a cry for help. I’m not depressed or suicidal. Nothing terrible has happened.
Still, all is not well. In a nutshell, I’m empty. Things that once brought me meaning no longer do.
Let me be clear: I’m not writing these words to elicit sympathy or solutions. I simply have to get this off my chest. I’ve attempted to write about a myriad of other, more positive topics over the last few months. Each attempt has felt like a tacit falsehood. My well has run dry.
So here I am. Empty.
I hate feeling…
So your idea of a México vacation doesn’t include the words all-inclusive.
You prefer your water cascading over a cliff, rather than over the edge of an infinity pool? You’d rather explore ancient ruins than get ruined at the club?
It’s high time you visit the state of Chiapas.
One of the only coastal Mexican states without a true world-class resort destination, Chiapas is instead an adventurer’s paradise, replete with stunningly blue waterfalls, Mayan ruins, multi-colored lakes, covert caves, and dizzying gorges.
Don’t have much time? Here’s what to see in four days.
CAÑON DEL SUMIDERO: 2 hours…
I hate snow.
There, I said it.
All you Oregonians who gasp in awe and wonder at the first falling snowflake, who Instagram every second of their children and/or pets frolicking in the pristine whiteness that so seldom blankets this part of the globe, can have it. Take it all. Snow is the actual worst.
Before you judge me, go live in Michigan for twenty-one years like I did. Go enter a childhood of unpaid indentured servitude, chopping wood behind the house in subzero temperatures because your parents had a wood-burning stove, and told you that wood and labor are…
When it comes to packing one’s bags, there are two types of travelers.
(For those of you who have forgotten what travel is thanks to 2020, it’s when you board a plane, train, boat, or car and simply go somewhere. Apparently, it’s supposed to be amazing.)
There are those who pack light. One carry-on, and maybe a small personal item if they’re feeling feisty. Conversely, there are those who bring four suitcases for a weekend trip.
I’m not saying that one method of packing is right and the other is wrong. …
Chirp, chirp. Chirp, chirp.
I rubbed my eyes and squinted at the floor. Was a piece of bark squeaking in my general direction? Or was my imagination getting the best of me again?
Mentally, I ran through a list of probable causes. I had just arrived at my condo in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. My two-leg flight had only lasted seven hours, so I wasn’t overly jet lagged. I’d slept well the night before, so it couldn’t be a lack of sleep. I don’t touch psychedelic drugs, so my eyes and ears were not deceiving me. Thus, there had to be…
My name is Jon, and I’m a fellow Christian. These modest words that follow are, collectively, an open letter to those who believe in Jesus, who call themselves Christians. I am writing this letter as a Christian who has made, and continues to make, a lot of mistakes. I have hurt both God and my fellow humans. I don’t write this letter from a position of superiority, but rather from a humble place of knowing firsthand my need for grace.
We Christians share a common creed. Preeminently, we believe in Jesus, God become man, who left everything to…
I am not a casual tequila drinker.
While I won’t waste your time with tales of my palette prowess, I will say this: I love all things agave. Tequila, mezcal, raicilla, sotol. You name it, I drink it. Furthermore, when I want a quality bottle, I don’t run down to my corner liquor store for a bottle of forgettable, name-brand agave garbage. (Agarbage?) Instead, I go to the source: Jalisco, Mexico. …
Being God is an unenviable job.
As George Floyds and Ahmaud Arberys are murdered for the color of their skin, as systemic racism abounds in a country that purports to offer liberty and justice for all, as hundreds of thousands die from COVID-19, as countless others suffer financial hardship as a direct result of the pandemic, our hearts break for the injustice and suffering around us. As each of our hearts breaks, God’s heart breaks eight billion times.
Don’t get me wrong: there is joy in being God. Joy in the beauty of a hopeless person who finds hope again…
It’s difficult to find a human on this planet that hasn’t been affected by COVID in some way. Maybe that hermit on his private Italian island? Maybe some reclusive Antarctic researcher? In one manner or another, though, every life has been altered, whether in regards to health, finances, plans, employment, losing a loved one, or all of the above.
As a society, we need more. More masks, yes. More ventilators. More toilet paper (or more people who don’t hoard). More COVID-19 test kids, especially here in the United States. More adherence to social distancing guidelines. More federal assistance.
In these crazy times of self-quarantine and social distancing, hiking is more of a necessity than ever before, for the sake of our bodies, our minds, and our souls. Even in states with the most restrictive shelter-in-place edicts, hiking is still very much permitted, and even encouraged. Experts have weighed in and stated that the transmission of COVID-19 is very unlikely when hikers maintain the requisite distance between themselves and fellow hikers.
We are in this together, however, and need to work communally to flatten the curve and end this pandemic. Hiking is not an opportunity to be lax on…