Missing someone isn’t about how long it has been since you’ve seen them or the amount of time since you’ve talked. It’s about that very moment when you find yourself doing something and wishing they were right there by your side. – Author Unknown
...He hoped his daughter, when delivering his eulogy years from now, would speak not of the yards he gained, but of the man he became. — Curtis Martin (NFL Hall of Fame Player)
Sunday, January 13, 2013 (DAYS 316 - 335)
Our weekly Sunday BBQ happened to coincide with the day before my 31st birthday. Wow, sometimes when I say it I feel old, but then again I’ve realized that you truly are as old as you feel. When I pause to look back on how much more I feel that I’ve lived in the past 10 months, it certainly seems more than I have over the past 10 years. Later in the evening, without my knowledge, Pamela who had traveled from Costa Rica for my birthday has secretly planned with Lali to go out and get me a cake and before I knew it there were more than what appeared to be 60 people singing me happy birthday as a small cake with a candle appeared from within the crowd. Since I’m not one that enjoys being the center of attention, this was by far one of the best starts to a birthday I could ask for.
Come and live with me in peace and safety, away from all the Wangdoodles, and Hornswogglers, and Snozzwangers, and rotten, Vermicious Knids. — Willy Wonka
Sunday, April 15, 2012 (DAY 42)
First of all I’d like to give a HUGE birthday shout out to my cousin Mike Michalak aka Milk Chocolate, aka Rain Drops, aka Mr. Clean! I am definitely missing our endless garage time discussions of one of our favorite topics THE DENVER BRONCOS, fulfilling gluttony at its finest at Rodizios Grill, Summertime mayhem at the corner of 20th & Blake, dominating softball in true Boozers fashion, & while I know it's your birthday, I still have to mention it, causing you to spout out enormous crocodile tears as I whoop up on you in both Madden and Mortal Kombat. Bahaha. It's your time old man, live life to the fullest! Love ya bro, now let's hug it out.
The laughter never ends at Finca Ixobel, and with it, the location of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Let me explain. Earlier this afternoon I was fulfilling one of my volunteer duties by acting as a server in the restaurant to a group of English speaking tourists that consisted of all women and one lucky guy. Let me also mention that I have not worked in the restaurant industry prior to arriving at Finca Ixobel since I was fifteen years-old at Sharis in Westminster, Colorado, which sadly, and probably for the best overall welfare of humanity is no longer in operation. Since my skills as a server continue to be unpolished, I rely upon my debonair smile and charm, which brings an incredible tip of, wait for it, $1.86. Yeah I’m that good.
Joking and flirting with my table of primarily young female customers that could have easily passed as contestants for a Swiss Miss look-alike competition amid all of the blonde hair and blue eyes, which ironically was the nickname my good friend Eric gave to my girlfriend in high school, my sarcastic nature continues to spill over a few tables down where Armando and Aldo sit with their faces buried in their laptops. Out of complete randomness I ask Aldo if he knows who Willy Wanka is, looking up and nodding his head, he admits to knowing the chocolate genius. Continuing to play upon the humor I ask him if he has been to his chocolate factory. Dumbfounded by this question, he looks perplexed and inquires what I mean. Like a spider that has a helpless victim caught in it’s web, I realize that I can take this a step farther and ask if he has been to Wanka’s Factory. Leaning forward learning this new secretive piece of information, Aldo asks where it is. Laughing uncontrollably along with Armando, we begin to speak of this magical place with such enthusiasm that Aldo cannot contain himself wanting to know the exact location of Mr. Wanka’s intoxicating treats. At this point I am laughing so hard words become unrecognizable in my failed attempt to communicate this top secret information and all that is heard is random sounds mixed with gasps for air. After several minutes I am able to slightly, very slightly, contain myself enough to explain to Aldo that he should use his computer to do a search on Google maps for the hidden location as I walk away returning to my table of neglected customers, hinting that the location is in Central America.
Returning back to the table, Aldo’s quest for what has become his Holy Grail, I ask if he has had any luck in locating the Mecca of all Candy Lands. His look of disappointment says it all, and an eruption of laughter spills out of my mouth. I convincingly tell him that he’s just not looking hard enough and instruct him to ask Armando to assist in the search. This in turn causes Armando to lose it and if milk were anywhere in the vicinity of his mouth it would be spilling out his nose and down his face with how hard he was laughing as well. Walking away I ask Aldo if any other travelers have mentioned visiting the factory where dreams become reality, in which with the look of a helpless puppy, he shakes his head and says no.
Finally returning to the table to for the last time, I ask Aldo if he has had any more luck in acquiring the enchanted location of this mystical factory, and of course his answer is no. I am still laughing uncontrollably as he admits his failure in obtaining the address for Willy Wonka. Having my ridiculous amounts of laughs I admit to him that this is a fictional character that does not reside in Latin America and he cannot swim through the chocolate river, nor taste an everlasting gobstopper, or even chew gum that ends in becoming a blueberry and he realizes that he is the butt of a very hilarious joke. I can’t thank him enough for his good sense of humor in all of this, because this is by far the best entertainment I’ve had in the past several days. Thank you Aldo Willy Wanka Pablo Escobar.
These lazy Sunday Fundays have taken on a new meaning in Central America since it feels as though every day can fall under this category. I am still unbelievably thankful to be living out a dream that I know may seem courageous to many, but I view as a humbling honor to accept the challenge of what life has for me and live to embrace each new day with more passion than the one previous. This isn’t the secret to life, but is the progression that we should all be aspiring to regardless of the unique passions that exist within our hearts. “A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place…” – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Be challenged in not just seeking change–talking about it, but in truly living the changes that you have sought after, this will bring you to a new level of character, and I promise you, others will take notice of it too. The truly passionate people in life are the ones that have taken risks, willing to face failure and ridicule, whether they succeed according to the definition in the opinions of others is vanity, for they know they can stand strongly with the knowledge of being true to the only opinion that matters, the life beating within their own soul. And to these individuals, I stand in admonition of what they have accomplished in just taking that first step, no longer talking about a dream but pursuing it wholeheartedly.
About the Author
My name is Troy and I gave up a promising 12-year career to travel the world! Now after more than 4-years of continuous global travel, I've lived an incredible life and my goal is to inspire others to achieve their dreams!
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