Does Travel in Africa give me a Spiritual Understanding of the Life


More accurate would be to say, Africa travel gives me a quicker and deeper spiritual understanding of life than say driving down Route 66 in the USA.

I had a reader ask me if read "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho:
"The Alchemist details the journey of a young Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago."

The desire to find a higher spiritual understanding is the number one goal of humans on planet earth. Each country I enter is permeated and populated with groups of people trying to find the path to righteousness.

There are always two paths, can you choose the best path that gives you pride?

Here in Africa, the average person sits around singing religions songs if they are Christian or praying in public if they are Islamic. The first things travelers to Togo do is go try to discover Voodoo, searching for something magical.

I call this "the search for God," it is also the search for the meaning of life, when I use the words, "The Search for God," instantly 50 percent of readers become angry, because as a child, their family often forced them, and tortured them, imbued a sense of guilt so deep, that today they hold a resentment that is almost dangerous.

It is tempting to avoid their anger at God, which is displaced anger at their parents, then pointed at God. Often people are angry at all the people in the Church they was forced to attend, saying things like,
"They are all a bunch of hypocrites."

Lome, Togo West Africa --- Saturday, January 22, 2011


We are tested in life
Married for 50 years?
Boot Camp in the Military
Fraternity Hazing
Two a Day American Football Practice
Working a 90 Hour Work Week

What is West Africa to me; it is a personal and profound spiritual test. However, for my Mother and Father to go to work everyday in a Factory they may have hated, can be a more severe test of spiritual fitness. Please do not glamorize or romanticize travel, this is not a spiritual test as great as some of you have experienced.

I recovered or put alcoholism in remission, this was my ultimate spiritual test, and when I die sober, I will know I passed. Each day, one day at a time I prove I can stay on good spiritual grounds. I do not have the luxury of petty lies.

What is a spiritual test?
It is a challenge to our soul, it is when we come to fork in the road, one way is easy, and the other path is difficult. Everyday there is a choice, do I take the path that is easy, or do I take the path that will make me a better person?

I recently became very angry with the Cote d’Ivoire women in my life, this was a spiritual test. Whey was I angry, that is simple, I am scare to death I might get hurt, that she could make me feel enough and break my heart.

My Mother in her great wisdom wrote an e-mail saying something like try to leave good terms, and she did leave. On the other hand, did I push her away because I was too afraid? The spiritual test comes when I am tempted to take the easy way to avoid pain.
(I may travel to see her again this coming week, there is always a test, Oops…)

I am sad when people lie, just a small simple little spiritual test. I know many travel writers and Blogger who 24 / 7 fail the spiritual test and misrepresent travel, they romanticize and glamorize travel to make themselves seem like great people. This is to failure of the spiritual test.

I could tell you that all Africans are wonderful people and paint a picture of how they have this simple and profound acceptance of life. This is a lie, Africa is primitive, it is too bull apes fighting for territory, I am daily involved in a macho challenge where I can have a choice, I can go hide within the cocoon with the other white people, drive a car to avoid jerks in public transport, eat in only nice restaurants, because there is always away to avoid temptations.

I choose to travel in Africa, where there is way of avoiding reality.

Traveling at street level is where travel is a spiritual experience, to wallow in the mud with the locals, to understand their daily toils. To feel what is like to have some big African person push you aside in line, to feel weak, to feel vulnerable, and not become the same. I see many whites here in Africa who will ignore me; they have horrible manners, worst than any African I have ever met in my life. The failed, they did not become more loveable, they took and evil path, they are so afraid of people, they ignore me and run.

It would be so much easier if I stopped saying hello to people, however, I will persist in saying hello. I am always happy, African people usually say hello back, I can feel it, they are excited to say hello back, as suddenly then think.
"Hello White Man., thanks for saying Hello."

When a person gives me love back, I know I am carrying around with me good spiritual juice. When I write something that is raw and honest, and a person becomes radically angry, I have also spread some good spiritual juice, it just helping them to understand from a different side of the same coin.

We each need a people who are capable of entering our brain, touch our souls and try to hurt us, not with malice, but a person challenge is needed daily. Moreover, if every day we meet these challenges and we do not become bad people we are doing well. Yes, we fall, but we get back up, and we get right back on the good path.

When I become angry, I am afraid; I must sit down and talk to myself. I am extremely strict here; if I lose my personal battle for spiritual progress it deadly dangerous for me. If I lose too often, I will eventually become so resentful and angry I could take the easy solution to pain.
"Drink a Beer."

I am one beer away from suicide.

Nobody has every made me angry, I was angry and they said something that opened the wound. If I react badly, with bad form, then I am walking on the wrong path.

Africa or India gives a person many challenges; there is a constant frustration when dealing with people who never stop. India is worst than Africa, but Africans are stronger and will push a man to his limits. I have many men here try to dominate me, women have it easier, and Africa is much simpler place for women than men.

However, when another man comes toe to toe with you, tells you to give him money. This separates the men from the boys, the easy path is to just give him some money and walk away with your tail between your legs. The other good spiritual path is to stay calm, smile, and deal with the situation head on, no walking away or avoiding their glare. Look the man in the eyes and say,

But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No.' Whatever is more (is leading you away from the correct spiritual path.)

Living on top of a mountain in with monks is not being a good person, living in complete chaos, surrounded by evil people and remaining a good person is proof of spiritual fitness.

I can travel in Africa or India with ease, yes, I become frustrated, and often write about how angry and frustrated I was or am. However, 95 percent of the time, I handled the situation correctly, I seldom write about my victories, which is normal. There is nothing for me to learn from, I did the right thing, and there is no reward for being a good person.

When I explain a challenging situation, when I write in this online diary, I am trying to find the path, each day I must try again to stay on the path. Can you go one day without a lie, can you state the truth simply, without misrepresenting something?

Alternatively, when the boss asks you a question, do you tell him or her what they want to hear? This robs you of your personal pride, you are less afterwards, not more powerful.

I invite men to come to Africa, there is macho challenge that can make you weak, or make you into a man.

Can you make up your mind, that is the question, can your yes be yes, and can your no be no, or are you going to always be a maybe?

Does Travel in Africa give me a Spiritual Understanding of the Life


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I think Africa[some countries] are strong and some are better then to the place YOU are in now..there is and always was..frustrations, simply because of the past interventions..but these types of countries like Africa and Asia and that hidden strength and help to you locate or develop that inner power and calmness to life's difficulties that you thought you would never have...

I am the frustrated one and trying to always adapt, they locals in Togo are very happy. It is quite natural for their culture to talk direct and be confrontive, and when an India buy of 120 pounds does it, who care. When a six foot three 200 pound guy here in Africa is confrontive, there is some inner strength needed.

Standing up to a boss sometimes take more guts, most people allow themselves to be in situations where someone has the upper hand and can abuse.

I know that I will always be ok, I survived a few horrilbe situations in my life.

1. I am not going to lie for money.
2. I am not going to lie to make people happy.

If a person can avoid these two temptations, then the road to happiness is a four lane highway.

How to put a monkey on your back?

1. Lie to make money.
2. Lie to make people happy.

That is a horrible weight to carry around unless you are derange or a sociopath, then you have no guilt and not a big deal... hehehe

Hi Hobo,

A few questions...

Why is it spiritually wrong to try to avoid pain?

How do you know it is easier and more simpler for women in Africa?

Why is it wrong to lie to people to make them happy.


Having done more travel before the journey of maintaining my family history of Maine, and feeling myself a bit of a spiritual seeker, I found this post to be an interesting and honestly insightful article. Thank you for this. People sometimes seem to think I am "less spiritual" because I have not been to India and am a "yoga" person. I respect you for the travel path, inner and outer, that you have taken, and for sharing about it.

Interpret the above any way you wish, the answer you find is yours.

Thanks, Andy

"People sometimes seem to think I am "less spiritual" because I have not been to India and am a "yoga" person."

Oops, you get five demerits for not going to India.

i do not pay much attention to other people and spiritual and religious stuff. I refuse to go to Yoga classes, because nobody lets me enjoy the stretch without some type of psycho babble.

Yoga is a great way to meet women in India.

I think so-called spiritual people are very argumentative, and best to be avoided. I like to hang around rogues, they are sometimes more honest in their intentions.

Note, I do NOT think of myself as a spiritual person, I am just trying to do my best. There is some alcoholic jargon here, so many layers of word usage to understand and many allusions.

I do think it is funny, you are not spiritual because you did not go to India and smoke dope and act crazy.

Good post. I would say there are many different types of Monks. The inner strength required to live the ascetic life, counsel people in the world and possibly write taut/timeless Spiritual material is of the highest calling that I can of. I am thinking of the Christian "monk" perspective though.

I understand what you are saying about being tested daily in an often brutal world. However, when you get right down to it is really a test of inner spirit.


I prefer the rogues as well.
Rouges are more open minded than those argumentative so-called spirituals.

The religious adhere to doctrines not of their own revelation.
Since it is an adopted belief, they have a position to defend.

When a persons spirituality is built on personal revelation, the opposite is the case.
They have zero cause to argue or evangelize, as this would constitute imposing a revelation upon others.

For those that believe an ancient text will help them and others somehow
I'd say It was relevant for those that wrote it, and none other,

There is plenty of good things to take away from ancient text, however, I'm saying real spirituality is at a personal level and not prescribed. At times I think religions as not much more than mechanisms to manipulate the minds of the masses.

You may not think of yourself as spiritual, but what I read in many of your posts is someone peeling away layers and discovering the way.
I like the term spiritual juice.

Thanks for sharing,


Excellent Eric,

"The religious adhere to doctrines not of their own revelation.
Since it is an adopted belief, they have a position to defend."

There is a desire to defend God, like he somehow needs help. There is a desire to defend doctrines. All this is faith and an opinion, so a person could talk to forever defending something that at the end of the day is a leap of faith.

A good challenge, creates clarity of thought, once your on the other side of the challenge, you know your opinion rather clearly.

I think the good Gods have a great sense of humour, truly there is some pancakes in the audience.

"When a persons spirituality is built on personal revelation, the opposite is the case.
They have zero cause to argue or evangelize, as this would constitute imposing a revelation upon others."

I'm not too keen on people evangelizing that should not be evangelizing....but......

Dogwash. I can think of a million different "personal" revelations that ended in complete systemic catastrophe. Possibly, religion is there to guide one not to fall into reinventing the wheel, prideful "revelations" that end in delusions and a general framework for spiritual health.

There is a notion of fellowship that can be real spirituality.

"For those that believe an ancient text will help them and others somehow
I'd say It was relevant for those that wrote it, and none other,"

Really? There is a notion of timeless truths and morals.

Andy, where did you get this moral compass? I would imagine from your religious Christian family.

I come from a Christian Family, my Mother, Father, Sisters, and Brother all believe being a good person is the goal in life.

I am grateful my parents are good, as a straw poll traveling the planet, it is painful to realize that ony 1 in 50 people come from a good home.

At least a home that is happy enough, good enough to say Hello to people, with no need for a reward.

49 percent of people say Hello because it is expectd or they think they can sell me something, the one person just wants to be nice.

My family is the 1 in 50 that is nice.

I do not give a shit where you learn to be spritual or good, the bottom line is I look at your face, I look for a smile. I look into your eyes, and I want to find my family. I want to see my mothers kindness inside of you. This is home, this is me, and know many people were not lucky.

I love my Parents, I am who I am, because of them. I am not sure about Religions, they have an uncanny way of being self-serving.

"I do not give a shit where you learn to be spritual or good, the bottom line is I look at your face, I look for a smile."

hrmm, I don't believe you mean this. There is a quite a difference in the spiritual "new ager", Islamic, cult-of-personality, Christian, Buddhist, etc. I think all devils can have a cunning smile and make one feel good.

I would venture this known kindness you are referring comes from your Family's Christian morals and upbringing - of which - the your Family's religion was the vehicle to help get there.

Sure there are a lot of flaws in humans practicing "religion", but if implemented properly- from the Christian perspective - it is infinitely beneficial for all in and around that sphere. I guess that Pride and hypocrisy (form of pride) always gets in the way -- it is a constant inner battle.....

I have been reading your blog for over 13-14 (at least my computations) years. Man, I am getting old. Was just wondering where this disdain was coming from?

I believe a good person can feel other good people around them, and can see this by looking in peoples eyes.

Religions is God having a sense of humour, he wants people to look and learn to see good. Religions are just a different wrapping around people. Gods sense of humour lies in his ability to hide the good people in plain sight, then he want us to learn to see people as they really are, not as some preconceived opinion tells us.

I asked these questions cos you brought up topics that i myself have been thinking about recently and I'm interested to hear what your thoughts are. These days I have been trying to avoid pain and fill "my world" with things that bring me happiness. I have a feeling this "plan of action" is doomed to fail - life dishes out what it will and I have so little control over that. But I do have control (maybe) on how I deal with those things. Was wondering why YOU think it's spiritually wrong to avoid pain.
Also I'm one of those people who "tell it like it is" and have found that this often makes me difficult for people to cope with. Recently I've been trying to limit my honesty and teach myself how to white lie - it relates to my first point - if I tell a white lie or say nothing then I don't get a bad or angry reaction (the kind of reaction that tends to upset me) therefore "my world" remains a happier place.
I (sort of) shamefully admit I included the question about women in africa having a less hard time than men cos I'm a woman in africa !!

Also I want to say that I enjoy your blog and I suppose I posted the questions just to say hello and "meet" you :)



Now there is a real person, I thank you.

There is nothing wrong with avoiding pain, unless you lie or do something false to avoid, then you diminish or lose pride.

A lie hurts the self-esteem of the person lying,

A white women has it easier in Africa than a white man, mainly because African men are sexist and do not take women as a threat. While a white man can threaten their territory.

If you are Black Africa, then life can be rough for a woman, more than the men.

Yes is yes and no is no, this means when you answer a person just answer directly with editing.

Well, we can disagree. Seems a little simple to lump all religions together.

BTW, I am a real person! Not one of those bots...happy travels my man.


"Seems a little simple to lump all religions together."

This is why I feel God has a sense of humour.

He allows and gives all these religions.

I am "grouping" or "lumping" together all the people who are good.

I believe there is small group of good people on the planet.

Maybe 1 in 50 belongs to this group. As I am walking around the world, I encounter 49 people who are confused, frustrated, selfish, and angry. However, as I say Hello to 49, I can find the one in 50 who is of good spirit.

Do I need to know which religion, not really, I do not care.

All religions give this Doctorine, we are the ONLY one.

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