Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

travel update from estonia

greetings everyone,
I am in Helsinki, Finland. I arrived here yesterday from Tallinn Estonia. I was in Estonia for 9 days, 5 days in Parnu.
From there I took a two hour bus to Tallinn the capital city and couch surfed with Peeter, for 4 nights and then yesterday I took a two hour ride on the Tallink Ferry "Superstar" a big and comfortable ship, over the Baltic Sea to Helsinki the capital and largest city here in Finland.
I first arrived in Estonia, from Riga Latvia by bus and got off in Parnu. Estonia is a small country of about 1,400.000 persons, and Parnu is a small city or really more like a big town. I stayed 5 nights in Hostel Louna on Louna street, which was about the cheapest place I could find. Still a dorm bed was 13 euro which comes out to about 19 or 20 USD.
the hostel is beautiful example of 1920s art neauvea architecture and cleaner than your mothers house. Just absolutely spotless. Great showers, small but adequate kitchen free internet, everything a cheap ass backpacker could want except there was no book exchange. I have been lugging around a copy of Ernest Hemingway Islands in the Stream until yesterday where I traded ilt with Peeter in Tallinn for an english copy of Kurt Vonnegutts Cats Cradel.
Parnu is full of lovely well manicured green parks with lawns and lots of big old shady trees and benches to sit on. Across the street from the hostel is a skate park, where the local teen agers all do crazy sick shit on bicycles and skateboards and in line skates and razor boards. AHH YIKES, none of them wear elbow or knee pads. There are a bunch of jump ramps and these kids know how to do the most radical moves turns and tricks. I wish my little buddy Mateo Carvajol was here...LIKE TOTALLY RADICAL DOOOOD
Parnu also has a beautiful white sand beach on the baltic sea, well I guess technically the water here is the gulf or bay of finland. Same body of water, it just changes its name from place to place or time to time. The water here is warmer than in Latvia or Lithuania and I was able to get in and swim a few minutes before turning blue, but damn near froze my arse off when I got out and into the wind.
It is hard to explain the attraction I felt toward Parnu. I stayed for 5 nights. I suppose I had seen the whole place after only 2 nights but it was just so peaceful and tranquil, clean and orderly I just felt like I didnt want to move on. Not a whole lot to DO in the classical sense of the word but a very pleasant place to BE. Mainly my activities were walking around the old town part of the city, and walking around on the beach and walking and sitting in the many beautiful green parks. People watching and Meditative Breathing.
It is summer here now, or will be in a week. This is the land of the midnight sun and it is light out until midnight and gets light again at about 3 or 4 am. The weather was mild and about 25 or 30 in the day and drops down to 20 or 18 at night for the first 3 days, so for you Americans that would be between 78 and 86 in the day and 65 to 70 at night. So I paid to stay for 2 more nights and of course the weather changed the moment I signed the receipt. Not bad but quite cooler and the beach walks became rather less fun.
So I arrived in Tallinn on 17 June. I couch surfed with Peeter, an artist who uses photography as his art form. Actually his job is photo editor of Estonia's largest daily newspaper, but his paintings hanging in his home are first rate and of course he takes great photos.
Peter was a great couch surfing host. He made me killer breakfasts in the morning and I cooked for the two of us in the evenings. I highly recommend Tallinn to any of you who happen to be in that part of the world. there is a good "old town" and it is a nice clean safe modern city.
The out of control, totally coolest thing about my time there was, last saturday, when we went out with some of his friends who own a 7 meter sail boat and we all went sailing in the Baltic sea! They keep the boat about 60 km from Tallinn in a little harbor and you have to drive through a beautiful forest national park to get there. We saw some wild fox while we were en route, which was very exciting for me, but no big deal to the Estonians who see them all the time. I kept thinking of my old partner Phil and my Buddy Lorenzo who I used to go sailing with back in California...
The boat trip was great. We sailed about an hour and arrived at an abandoned Soviet Submarine base. Here the soviet navy used to de-magnetize the hulls of the submarines. What an eerie feeling it is to be in a place that, (in all likelihood) used to be targeted by my countries nuclear missiles! Anyway it was a great place to have a couple of beers a few sips of Cutty Sark Scotch Whisky and a little pic-nic snack!!

I love the experience of being an explorer. Of going to new countries, seeing new places and faces. The real joy however is the freedom the road offers. What I love best about my life, my travels is the sense of freedom that I feel. The sheer joy of being able to come and go as I please, to stay for as long as I like or to leave on the next bus, or train, or boat to anywhere I choose.
Being a stranger in a strange land, one is totally free from having to perform according to any one elses expectations. Free from all sorts of role playing. I can be whom ever I want to be and no one knows any difference. I can be BUDDHA BOB or I can be CHEF BOB or whatever I feel like being, whenever I feel like being it. I am not clocked in. I do not have any regularly scheduled time to do anything. In short I can just be my self, be who I am all the time. I am free to not have to please anyone else.
The essence of freedom is time. The only real freedom is free time. Time to do or not do whatever you want. I have read that the difference between being rich and being wealthy is that a rich person has lots of money and needs to work and a wealthy person though he may not have much money, does not need to work. That would make me wealthy.
Krishnamurti talked a lot about freedom. Saying that after one has enough money to travel ie to come and go as you please and after one is granted the right to vote ie to live free of tyranny, the 3 ultimate freedoms are Freedom from all authority both external and internal, freedom from the known and ultimately freedom from TIME.
All these last three freedoms have to do with freedom from illusion. If we look deeply, we see that there is no real authority, that nothing is ever really known, and there is no time, ie no past or future. Its all just a big illusion! Freedom from time is the ultimate and greatest of all forms of freedom. .
To be free of time one must first of all be free of the ILLUSION of time. That is the illusion of past and future. Not by reading Einsteins theory of relativity or David Bohms theories of non physical universes both of whom point out that time is an illusion, but to realize this in the depths of your soul. NOT just to understand it but to feel it and live it as well.
At that point one becomes free of time, the ultimate cage, the ultimate walls that make up ones psychological boundaries. There is only the NOW. So being free of time really means that you are free of the psychological NEED for the illusion of time. Free of the NEED for any illusion. The illusion that you need the past to form your identity and the future to bring you fulfillment and contentment.
You are who you are NOW not who you were then. Or who you plan to be in the future. There is no point in being attached to the past. As far as contentment or fulfillment is concerned the disease of tomorrow is the greatest impediment for fulfillment. Never postpone your happiness today because you think by waiting you will be even happier tomorrow. Or worse by suffering today you will achieve happiness in some fantasy "future"
A person can not strive for this freedom from time, because striving in itself implies the need for time. A person can not work on it for the same reason, ie work takes time. One needs only to realize that it is now and you are here, and to just be in the present moment. Not only this present moment but the next and the next and so on. Not a state of doing but a state of being. You do not DO free, you BE free.
Well, I am done writing for today. My friend and traveling mate Samuel, met me at the ferry terminal yesterday and later we picked up my traveling mate Tom, from the Airport and in a few days me and Tom will be off to St. Petersburg Russia and the great trans Siberian railroad trip will officially begin. Yeee Haahhhhh!!! I am NOW going to go out and explore Helsinki. I will write again soon. Below there are a few quotes to think about.
Peace and love,
Rambling Robert

" Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment." Alan Watts

"Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment." Thich Nhat Hanh

"Happy the man, and happy he alone, He who can call today his own: He who, secure within, can say, Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have lived today."John Dryden


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