Heavenly Light

Heavenly Light
Read to see the light

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Proposed Kombi Diaries

The Kombi Diaries

Proposal for Latin American Road trip 2006

By Trent Simpson and Lorena Endara

Founders of SuperKombi Project

The road is open and the time is now! Come along on the adventure of a lifetime. From the beautiful beaches of Brazil to the outrageous peaks of the Andes and everywhere in-between our destinations await. The SuperKombi will be our means of transportation with the traveling Kombista mentality. I invite you to come along for as long or as short as you want, the doors are open. People are welcome to hitch a ride, or guide us somewhere new, always without destiny. Grab your backpack and a sense of adventure; come on board, we are waiting!

Mission Statements:

To travel the roads of Latin America. To open up the world to a eclectic variety of cultures. Spreading of knowledge and skills.[1] Providing a means of travel, advice and support with an open level of commitment to independent travelers. To better the world through social mobility and awareness. To bridge the gap between cultures. To see the world, and have the world see us.


Destiny Without Destinations: the Kombi Diaries Latin American Road Trip is not simply just a bunch of recently college-educated graduates out to cause mischief. The SuperKombi is a vehicle for growth, education, philosophy, ideology, learning, experience, culture, and of course fun. It will be more than just a road trip to travel for personal benefit.

As in the mission statement, we are trying to open up the world. Our diverse crew will consist of people determined to make a difference. Our ideologies are not oppressive in any form of cultural imperialism, and our agenda does not have bias to any political or economic philosophy. We will however, be giving workshops to the people we meet and visit along the way. Depending on the need and desire of the people we meet the workshops can include: Photography, English, Mathematics, Music, History, Computers, Sports, Cooking, Arts and Crafts, and whatever the road leads us to.

The SuperKombi will consist of an innovative crew of people from around the world. Each contributing their own portion to the “superness” of the Kombi, hence the name. Members are free to come and go as they wish; traveling on their own is highly encouraged. However, I am looking for 3-4 full time members whose biographies will be included in this mission statement proposal and become known as the SuperKombi Crew, or “Kombistas.”


This is the tricky part, figuring everything out. However I am going to lay down some basics, and feedback and thoughts or suggestions is always appreciated.

I am looking at starting the road-trip in July of 2006, all college seniors as of this year should be graduated and there is a couple months in there to take some time off and chill and also prepare economically (ie work three jobs for two months).

Money, yes, is the harsh reality. I am not fully aware of Kombi costs, but I am shooting in the ballpark of $3000-4000, to be split evenly between the permanent members (I mean we need a Kombi that wont keep breaking down all the time, might be hard to find, and one suggested we might try to rig a biologically friendly fueled Kombi as well). The other costs of course include one-way plane ticket, food and lodging and beer money. I expect to do things as cheap as possible. This means staying for FREE wherever we can. This includes making and/or calling up any friend/acquaintance/girl/guy you meet at the bar that night to stay at their place. Camping and WWOOFing[2] will be large aspects of the trip as SuperKombi members are respectful of organic movements and in tune with nature. The Kombi itself should also serve as some form of shelter, coupled with a tent or two, basic camping supplies for cooking, etc. Beyond that, sometimes it is nice to stay in a pousada, which are usually very cheap.

Upon arrival to destinations, depending on what that may be the Kombistas must enter with a very open and friendly attitude. The mission of the Kombistas is to be a kind of traveling ambassador of culture, fun, knowledge and various other projects that will be defined in the future. We will look for sponsorships from organizations in the US (to help with funding), we will also look to be invited by communities or community groups in Latin America to perform these various projects (aids awareness, poverty reduction, educational, musical, etc.) and we will keep an ongoing dialogue (probably a live journal) to keep in touch with friends and family members along the way.

So, this is a personal invitation from the SuperKombi director, Trent Simpson, to hop on board and join me on a life-changing voyage for everyone.

Email: SuperKombi@gmail.com

Or personal conversation during happy hour.

******This is a very tentative rough draft. Although some ideas may come across as amusing, it is to be taken seriously. I am in the process of drafting a professional version in order to try and receive grants, fellowships or someone who relates and believes in my ideas and thus feels the need to fund the project********

[1] Numchuck skills, computer hacking skills, etc.

[2] http://www.wwoof.org/

Friday, December 29, 2006

Some links

Since I can't get my links thing on the left to edit, here are a bunch of sites that I frequent, check them out, I aspire to contribute or be like many of them in the future!

(I used this site as my main guide the first time I went to Brasil by myself in 2002)

(A good site for backpackers, in portuguese)

(I interned for them)

(Very useful information, but you need to become a member!)

(I admire her writing, and can relate to her philosophy of travel and the world)

(A great culture magazine)

(Cool website for packing light)

(This is one of my favorite ideas that I had for a book, turns out, Rough Guides is already doing it!)

(These guys have a pretty cool site for expats in Brasil)

(Good info)

(Really cool tour operator in Rio for favela tours, parties and soccer games, while doing good for the communities props to them!)

(Great book and cool resources for India and other innovative and helpful people, links, books and ideas)

A lot more to come...

Some pictures!

A couple pics to get started to see how this whole things looks and works. There I am in my old apartment in DC right before graduation. On the right I am looking over the edge of a 420 foot drop-off above Cachoeira da Fumaca, in Bahia Brasil- YIKES!!

More pictures to come!

Lets begin an archive!

I want to begin to archive all my information, research and experiences, and have now decided the blog will be the best way to do so. Thus, I will be posting a lot of information in the upcoming weeks in order to have a go to guide for a lot of material I have been sifting through. In my down time here in Colorado, I have pondered, read, contributed and sought out a variety of travel websites, boards, communities and people with very similar and very different tastes in travel. However, I have discovered the obvious link between all of us--travel. Thus I will use this blog to hopefully generate a group of people who are dedicated on the just for fun, heres an idea, level to get things off the ground and enter the world of travel writing.

I encourage any and everyone to submit anything, or provide links to your favorite sites, travel areas, in order to build up a large database!

Its ambitious, but I like the idea, and its infinite!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Letting Go

My last entry was entitled Move On, so thus I will call this one Letting Go. In my travels I have come across many amazing people, cultures, lifestyles that are all exciting and different. Because I bounce around so much, I see how so many people live around the world. Different types of people, at different ages all going through the same stages. Life is an isequnetial battle of tials, hishaps, good times and bad times. We cant dwell in the past when we are surrounded by dark clouds, we make the past look glorious and forget the rest. So, like me, I have tried to go back to all of my past lifestyles...and began to realize that was not the solution. But in order to let go I had to say goodbye. I had to say goodbye to each one of them before I coule move on. So move on and let go I will. One step at a time in the transitional period that we each have at one point in our lives.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Moving On

So after my 4 month trip around Latin America, I have decided to come back to the states. My flight was back to Washingtong DC. After crashing on couches and with my girlfriend for a couple of weeks I have realized I cannot do this forever. I am going to Philly to help one of my friends on a campaign she is working on. I will work through the election and then probably head back to Boulder, Colorado, my hometown in search of a job to make some cash and get me back on my feet. The most important thing for me, and also the biggest struggle is losing your freedom. If you sign a lease, you are committed to that lease for that amount of time. If you take a job, you have to make a valient effort to stay for long enough. If you dont work, you get anxious...and broke. So I am going to work on this campaign to hopefully put my brain to work again, all day every day for 3 weeks. After I head back to Boulder, my plans are to move out with my brother to San Francisco and pursue some ideas and opprotunities he has going out there.

Over the next few posts I hope to begin to discuss a lot of the things I have learned in the past four months of traveling, couch crashing, dreaming, graduating and researching, so I will take time to post 1 entry per day examining my thoughts on all of these aspects.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Start

I am in to process of accepting my status as an international vagabond. In order to develop this realization, I have decided to start a blog to focus my thoughts, reflect, and hear what others have in response, advice or anything else who are interested, have experienced or dream of doing the same. In Portuguese the word vagabundo, or vagabond, is often used as playful insult amongst friends. I discovered this as I was drinking until dawn with my host brother and his friends at our neighbors graduation party. The Johnny Walker Red Label had broken the ice and the awkwardness of a gringo at the party had worn off and we the group of lifetime friends had included me in their circle. They were all about the same age as me, in school or about to graduate, motivated, young and ready to party and give each other a hard time. It seems that in every group of friends there are the typical archetypes: the comedian, the serious intelligent one, the shy or silent leader type, the busy or nervous one, the player and the outright crazy. At least some form of this dynamic will almost always exist amongst a group of friends that has grown up in a small town and has known each other since birth. As the night wears on, the etiquette of a formal graduation party shifts to debauchery, and the crazy one starts calling the intelligent one names--but the silent intelligent one has had as much whisky and has become as witty as the rest and asks me how to call his friend a vagabundo in English. Being an international vagabond is difficult, much more than I expected. I set off to Brasil again to find paradise and stay there forever. After a little bit of searching and some luck, I came across what seemed to be a pretty sweet deal. I was going to rent a pousada, or bed and breakfast, on the beach which included a restaurant and potential for a beachfront bar. The place is located in an up and coming tourist destination, although access is a little tricky. The beach was voted 6th prettiest in Brasil, so the tourist boom would it hard this year. The pousada has 20 rooms, all run down and in need of some love. It was going to be hard work, and I was ready for it. However, it is located 4 km from the nearest village, basically secluded on a semi-deserted beach. This may sound like paradise to some, and for me I thought it was, until I had to make the decision to live there for at least 2 years. A long story short is that this place encompassed everything I had dreamed of. I had been endlessly telling my friends that I was going to start my International Community of Awesomeness (another failed blog), basically a place for people to come and go, experience nature, beauty, culture and the world. Forget everything that exists in our busy lives and thrive in paradise. The infrastructure and opportunity to live my dream was there, but as I discovered the timing may not have been right. As I eagerly contacted my family, friends and loved ones, they began to tell me to look into my heart to see if this was the right decision. At first it was yes, then no, then maybe. We began to take the necessary steps in order to get everything done in order to be a legally run business. There are many boundaries to cross in order to become such an expatriate and is quite difficult. I did not imagine everything on my idealistic trip to escape the world and never come back. I ultimately listened to my heart and it told me that I was taking on too much responsibility too fast, and decided not to go through with the deal. Thus I spent the rest of my time looking into how to actually purchase real estate abroad and in Brasil, and how one might succeed at doing so. All in all, I have found myself back in the states, wiser on the issues and bureaucracy that goes in to all of the above, but am crashing on couches, counting my pennies and searching for something, anything, anywhere. I have come to realize how hard life can be without a home. I was able to save money by living with families and friends, eat their food and see how they live. However, it is always difficult being the burden of someone else, even if they love and care for you and want you to be there. I have been waiting so long to be entirely free, that is to say that my biggest goal in life was to graduate college so that if living in paradise backfired, I would have something to fall back on. Now, I have come to realize that I may need to fall back on that much quicker than I had originally hoped for. Thus I dedicate this blog and sting of free thought to everyone, everywhere around the world or at home, to express their thoughts and experiences.