|1998 Backpacking at the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain|
So it's been 20 years since I went on the backpacking trip which changed my life. On that trip in 1998, a 26 year old Chuck Bastie left Canada for 10 weeks in Europe alone, and on a quest to find myself.
During that journey, I wanted to write a screenplay, a movie or a book. However, when I got to Europe, all I did was party until I ran out of money in Budapest, Hungary. That was definitely the low point of the trip, but it ended up being the necessary shift that I needed. I met a person on a night train that I had no business meeting under the most unusual circumstances. This chance encounter became the basis for my novel, Journey of a Lifetime.
When I returned to Canada, I was deeply disappointed in myself for not having written a word for my screenplay. In fact, it wasn't until over 10 years later, in 2009 when I actually started writing the novel which was to become the genesis of Journey of a Lifetime.
So here I am 20 years later. I am travelling the same timeline of my original trip, and let me tell you how surreal this is. The places look the same, but obviously the experience is different. At each point, I am now surrounded by a host of memories and feelings which feel like I am being charged with 100 volts of electricity. Admittedly, that 26 year old Chuck Bastie is long gone, and I am the replacement which feels like being a distant cousin to myself, which is to prove to be a reoccurring theme.
Speaking of themes. One of the themes in my novel is serendipity. -A fortunate coincidence, if you will. These coincidences occur in the most magical ways by manipulating and creating sliding doors of time lines. Back in 1998, I had no idea what these phenomenons were. They were more frustrating annoyances which blocked what I thought I wanted.
Now, I welcome and accept them. For example, I had originally wanted to leave on this trip on July 1 to keep to the original timeline of the novel. But life happens, and I ended up booking my ticket for July 16. When I went to fly out of Toronto, there was in climate weather and the flight was cancelled. This cost me an extra day in Paris, and after the delays so far, this was going to really make my timeline even more challenging. But in each of these sliding door moments, you have a choice to accept that The Universe has something different in store for you.
So I instead took a connecting flight to Halifax, and I got to see my Father and my aunt and have lunch together and have a wonderful visit for the afternoon. So instead of operating on the original timeline, mine seems to be Lovingly guided in a continuing series of serendipitous events which will ultimately lead me to the timeline I am supposed to be on, and not the timeline I thought I was supposed to be on.
And to start this trip, I've already been re-routed (and re-rooted lol) a couple times. So I am very excited to see how things shift as I play the role of Tristan Kelly in a social media adaptation of my novel, Journey of a Lifetime.
So I landed in Paris. Stay tuned :)