Why Easter Island?
I’ve failed to mention why I chose Easter Island as a place to visit, as it’s a story worth reading. Last year, I had just finished hiking around the Patagonia and barely made it to my bus, which was headed for Punta Arenas, a small port city in Chile. On the long, 6 hour bus ride to this remote city all I wanted to do was fall asleep as I’d been up for a two straight days, just hiked/ran 15 miles roundtrip to Torres del Paine, and was both mentally and physically exhausted. But the bus had a vent that was open and the wind and rain was not exactly allowing me to catch up on my beauty sleep. While defrosting, I began to look around and my sights took me to the kid sitting directly across from me reading Into the Wild. I watched him read and he kept smiling as if he was trekking in Canada alongside Christopher Johnson McCandless.
Our bus pulled into Punta Arenas at 10:00 PM and I stepped out onto the sidewalk to meet the wind, rain, and chill that I just left in the Patagonian Mountains. Unsure of where to go, the guy sitting next to me offered his map and we began to chat. His name was Braden Fox and for six months explored Peru, Chile, and Easter Island. Sleeping on trains and working in run down towns is how he made ends meet. In Easter Island, he met a girl and what was expected to be a two-week vacation turned into an eighty-two day re-location.
All evening he spent telling me about this dream girl and dream island. He painted a picture that was too appealing to pass up and I knew that if I had the chance, I was headed there.
For a few months after Braden and I met, I followed his status on facebook and read how his life returned to Toronto instead of to his dream girl in Easter Island. I cannot say I was shocked, but I was somewhat disappointed as this island presumed to have the ingredients necessary for love stories like this to occur.
As I walked around the streets and dirt paths of Easter Island something in me wondered if Braden Fox was, in fact, back in town and if he wasn’t, what was his dream girl doing? And then, as if someone was listening to my soundless thoughts, a young white guy sped by me on a scooter. “It can’t be?” I thought. An hour later, it sped by again. “There’s no chance.” I responded. Finally, as I walked through the center of town I noticed this same person who was riding that red scooter and as I walked towards him I realized that yes, the legend of Braden Fox lived on as he was back in Easter Island. After a sound discussion I came to find that he had been back two other times and was still in love with the same mystical Easter Island girl that he so eloquently described one year ago. After catching up I went to the beach and couldn’t help but smile and know that yes, Braden Fox was surely maximizing his own potential and Winning Forever.