A Letter to my Friends around the World: What I’ve been Meaning to Tell You

Today’s post is my 300th.

To recognize that, I’ve written an open letter to all of you whom I know well but haven’t spoken to in a while. I’m sorry if it’s been a while since we talked.

This article is dedicated to you.

Aloha, again.

I wanted you to know that I’ve been thinking about you.

As you know, I’ve been blessed to live in many different places, invariably meeting fascinating people along the way. Sometimes we become fast friends, and sometimes the tree of friendship grows more slowly.

Bonsai tree between two Chinese Dragon figurinesIn either case, I always treasured it, because it was beautiful.

I’ve thought about emailing you to schedule a skype call, or simply calling you out of the blue, but for some reason the timing never felt right. Although I’ve written about it multiple times in the past, I still seem to struggle with the concept of long-distance friendships, and I know that I’m not alone in that.

(Actually, if you want to understand how I feel about this in greater detail, I think you’d get a lot out of reading “Why Long Distance Friendships Always Fade”.)

Anyway, I’m sorry if I’ve let you down.

Please understand that I care about you very much, and you can call me any time. But also please understand that I have limited energy and time, and to be honest, I sometimes have trouble staying on top with what’s going on with my very own brother. (Perhaps embarrassing, but true.)

Basically, I want you to know that I do still care, even if we don’t talk for months.

Does that make sense? Is that stupid? Whatever the case, it’s how I feel. I want you to know that the lines of communication are open, even if I don’t have the time or mental bandwidth to reach out as much as I’d like. I’m balancing more now than I ever have before.

I still think about how we would share our philosophies, make jokes, and simply enjoy life together; and I want you to know that no matter what happens, I love you, with philia love, approaching agápe. I’m sorry if it seems like I’ve faded away; please forgive me. Thank you for sharing a season of my life.

I hope life brings us together once more, and we can have another walk, another talk, and another opportunity for communion between our hearts.

Thank you for reading this, and for being in my life.

Please know that you are never alone.

with a galaxy of gratitude,


I realize that many others might also feel this way about their long distance friendships, so if you have a friend you feel similarly about, feel free to socially share, email, or otherwise send this to them, if you’d like. It’s an easy way to articulate to them how you feel. Thanks again.

It’s been an honor writing 300 posts for you, and the adventures still continue!

In fact, if you truly are interested in my work, you can follow my unfolding, fast-paced, award-nominated Sci-Fi series over on my other site, MYTH.LI

Also, I’m now giving away my new fast-paced, Sci-Fi novella, so sign up & grab it! Mahalo 🙂


The Most Valuable Lesson I learned on Hawaii: Are you truly safe here?

Why do you attach your sense of well-being to stuff?

It’s an old question, certainly. And whenever I ask myself, I always come back to one thought: no matter how much material success I may have in this life, everything I see is temporary.

That certainly doesn’t stop us from attaching our sense of security to what we have attained, especially if it’s taken us a significant amount of time and/or effort to attain. Indeed, attaching our sense of safety to possessions is the epidemic of the modern age, at least in the Western world, where materialism is the status quo.

But when I think back on my time on the Big Island of Hawaii, I must admit that, even though I wasn’t making much money, I nonetheless felt quite secure in my lifestyle there.

And frankly, it began even before Hawaii, when I’d exposed myself to the unpredictabilities, risks, and rewards of long-term, solo travel. If you’ve been reading Byteful Travel for a few years, you’ve already read about many of my adventures, the risks and rewards of those experiences. Thankfully, such experiences were, on the whole, very enjoyable (not to mention provided me with plenty of growth-inducing stories that I share with you).

The Most Valuable Lesson

The point is, Hawaii taught me many valuable lessons, but as my time away from it increases, I’ve realized that perhaps the most valuable lesson of all was realizing the answer to that age old question: “Are you really safe here?”

Well, are you?

Kids playing in Mahana Bay green sand

Kids playing in Mahana Bay (The Famous Green-sand Beach)

I’ve observed so many people trying to create a sense of security through outward possessions and attainments. The work of the philosopher Alan Watts discusses this in detail — how we in the West are so attached to possessions and circumstances.

But circumstances change rapidly (especially on a volcanic island) and living there proved to be a crash-course in the non-permanence of all things. These days, possessions seem more like grains of sand on a beach to me. They flow in and out of my life at the perfect time.

I moved three times during my nearly 1.5 year stint on Hawaii. And yes, each time it was a little scary. Moving is never without stress. But I wasn’t alone.

Maybe it was because I’d cultivated good relationships, or maybe it was because (as I would like to believe) the Universe itself was looking out for me (probably both), but something always worked out. Even when I moved, a friend manifested in the right place in the right time to help me move the few possessions I had with her car.

If I can feel and experience as much (or more) joy and security than someone in a more traditional situation, then is the feeling of well-being and security directly connected to money at all? Many people turn money into their sole power source, but is that really true? Does the power come from the number or from the energy you bring to it? How many people do you know, who are outwardly successful, are also rather terrified at losing what they have gained?

Where does the true happiness lie? The truth is, when you align with love, you know that you are safe.

Are you really safe here?

How you answer the question defines the attitude of your entire life: all of your actions, your thoughts, and your beliefs.

As for me, I’ve experienced enough to know that I am safe here. What about you? How might your life change if you decided that you were at all times, safe, secure, and centered?

Possessions pass away; but love, contribution, and joy are eternal.