Published on February 14th, 2013 | by Robert Franklin0
Vision Quest (part one) by Andrew Morales
We present Vision Quest as written by Andrew Morales.
It is the third installment of an ongoing series.
Before I found myself sleeping on the streets in Queens, my first voyage into the world began earlier that year of 2012. It was a Wednesday morning in the second week of March and I was headed out west alone. I was leaving Arizona and the Painted Desert in my rear view mirror for a more exotic destination. I was looking for a place that would breathe new life into me. My trajectory was not California but a region further south called Mexico.
I was on a vision quest.
Being on a vision quest is pretty cliché because I am Native American but it was necessary for my survival in this life. Existing in this world we are faced with many different roads that define the DNA of our lives. Choices that often dictate what lifestyles we will settle in and what will be our life’s work (career, family, faith, etc.). These choices are vast and range from that person you choose to love with all your heart to a place where you want to call your permanent home. How you answer those choices have a result that designates whether you will find happiness or misery.
Many people care for me and want what is best; so they all have suggestions as to what I should do. Some of those folks say I should get married and start a family, while others say I should follow my desires. Yet I had no idea what road suited me best and there I was lost in the chaos of trying to decide the proper path. The older I get, many of these life’s choices have become pressing matters that I need to tackle.
I needed clarity in my thoughts and inspiration to give me guidance. What better place to find that than in Mexico.
It was late in the afternoon when I finally reached Tijuana. Before I entered into Mexico, I was forced to stop at an inspection station where the Mexican guards did a quick inspection of my vehicle. The procedure involved a guard looking inside my trunk and another guard asking me the purpose of my trip. This whole process was completed in a fast five minutes and I was cleared to cross – a fairly easy inspection but a shocking surprise to see how lenient the country was at allowing people in.
My emotions were running high as I drove around Tijuana taking in this new experience of being somewhere foreign. Although Tijuana is right next to the US, the look and feel of the place is vastly different from the southern California cities. The houses appear to be pushed closer together, graffiti literally covers almost every wall and hundreds of people occupying every nook and cranny of the city. While driving I saw a street sign telling me a “playa” (spanish word for beach) was nearby. I decided then I should see the beach and watch the sun set over the horizon.
There I was on the white beaches of Mexico looking at the final sun rays sparkle over the ocean. Seeing the beauty that this world offers is something that we cannot take for granted. In that moment I was thankful to be there and to be alive, enjoying the simple pleasures of life. Many of the answers I was searching for were sure to come.