Location: Isle de Salut, French Guyana

Today was a day of self-reflection aboard Argo. After a tough passage, people were ready to get a break from the nonstop nature of passage life. For me, the day was an even mix of sleeping off and expelling a short-lived bout of the Argo Plague. The time in bed left me to my thoughts; it would be a series of introspective questions that would become my own successful attempt to recognize what it was that brought me to Argo in the first place. I realized my motivations had far deeper meanings than anything I had imagined when I initially signed aboard.

I was brought to Argo in the spirit of adventure, but greater than that, I saw the first step in a life of determined self-actualization. For years I’ve lived to fulfill others’ expectations of me, of what my life should be, of what it means to be successful. The truth is that I am the only one who knows what it means for me to be successful, for me to feel fulfilled. I can’t live my life based on the standards of others; I must live them based on the drive within my heart, the burning passion for leading the life untraveled, exploring the world and myself, to challenge my physical and mental fortitude. I must take risks; I can’t be afraid to leap; I can’t be worried by others’ perceptions of my life because those are the people who were too afraid to take the leaps themselves, who never followed their hearts because they didn’t even believe that was a possibility. You must take risks; if you never risk, if you never fail, then you have not tested the limits of your abilities. You have to push yourself to the limit and then continue to push even further. It’s better to die trying than never try at all.

There was a moment of connection aboard the crew of Argo tonight that I would consider a hallmark in our collective experience, having the opportunity for all of us to come forward and express ourselves, challenging one another to dig a little deeper with the vulnerability that comes in a group context. I now feel that I have a better sense of the people with whom I’ve been living for 52 days, their motivations, their passions, drives, and goals, many of which were not too unlike my own. To see all of us drop to a level field seemed to be exactly what Argo needed to better the experience for the individual but, more importantly, the group.

I would like to challenge those of you reading this to take a moment to reflect on your own lives as those of us on board have done today. Ask yourself what motivates you, what is it that you want most out of life? Are you happy with where you are? Did you follow your heart to get here? If not, whats stopping you? This is your life. This is your one chance to embrace it, live it to enjoy it. Love life, and love yourself. Forge your own path and let nothing stop you.

Life is not meant to be a safe journey to the grave in a pretty and well-preserved body; Rather, you should skid in broadside beneath a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, loudly proclaiming, wow, what a ride!