May 17, 2012

What I Learned about Love while Walking from Canada to Mexico. ~ Jordan Bower

On September 1, 2010, carrying 50 pounds of camping gear squeezed into a blue backpack, I opened the front door of a friend’s house in Vancouver, British Columbia and began walking towards Mexico.

It was a love story.

Two months earlier, I’d come home to find a handwritten note from my girlfriend waiting for me on my kitchen table. It was to the point: she was leaving me for another man. I was heartbroken. As I racked up those first lonely miles through logging country in Washington state, a single question dogged me with each step:

What do I need to learn about love?


By the time the Oregon rains hit my tent in late October, I’d had hundreds of conversations with strangers I met along the way. It was a hard time to be in America: the deepening financial crisis and the pace of change had affected everyone. Almost everyone I met had a similar story about pain.

I spent the winter in the Redwood forest and walking the coast of northern California, before crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge on a sunny day in early February. From San Francisco, I traced the edge of the Monterey Bay and along the shoulder of the curving highway that cuts through Big Sur. With each step, I grew more confident that I’d achieve my goal.

Several months and hundreds of miles separated me from my breakup as I approached Los Angeles. My conversations had changed too. Instead of seeking support from strangers, I discovered a new capacity for compassion and intimacy. When I’d meet people looking for love, I began able to offer counsel and an understanding ear.

After all, in order to love anyone else, we need to learn to love ourselves first.

On a cloudless day in mid July—Day 316—I  reached the border fence between the US and Mexico just north of Tijuana, where it reaches the Pacific. After a journey filled with growth, I had one final lesson to learn: (Listen to me tell this story here.)

Reaching the border wasn’t the end; it was the beginning. I had a new mission: to share the wisdom I’d gained to inspire others.

I’ve learned you don’t need to go on an exotic quest or separate yourself from society in order to connect with your heart. That’s why I’m approaching retelling my story in an innovative way: as an interactive scavenger hunt on a mobile app. The idea is to invite you to act out a quest where you are, following a path sprinkled with the universal lessons I learned along the way.

My hunch is that acting out a growth journey is just the right thing to catalyze one.

I’m fundraising for my project on Indiegogo, and there’s only a few days left. My dream is to inspire others to open their hearts by sharing what I’ve learned while exploring deeply into my own.

Will you help me make it real?


Donate to Jordan’s project, Monarch Spirit: A Quest for Love and Connection, here!


 Jordan Bower is an award-winning cross-media storyteller. Find him online at Jordan Bower {+} Lovewallah.




Editor: Cassandra Smith

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