March 21, 2011

Make the Connection: Why One Man is Walking from Canada to Mexico


Pause.

Seriously, just for one minute.

Think about the last time you had a minute to yourself. Perhaps you were waiting for a friend to arrive or the bus to come. Out of nervous habit, did you pull out your cell phone to send a text, check your email or Facebook?

I do that all the time. But I'm hoping to change that, thanks to Jordan Bower. Unfortunately, quiet moments have become awkward as technology, which conveniently connects us, is also creating a bigger disconnect.

Jordan is a business graduate-turned-vagabond who hopes his wanderlust inspires you to change by putting down your gizmos, gear and gadgets to engage with one another. The 30-year-old Toronto native wants you to join him on his journey. His latest adventure: to walk from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Mexico. His goal is to create a shift in you and me.

Why would anyone want to walk for 1,800 miles?

"I started to feel a lot of disconnection going on.  It was the start of the Facebook thing -– and the way people were relating with each other started to change," Bower said. "Personally, I was going through some growth, so I went traveling and went to India."

That trip changed the trajectory of Jordan's path personally, philosophically and photographically.


I met up with Jordan recently during his stop in San Francisco's Mission District to find out what inspired Jordan's journey and how the purpose of his unique photo project clicked like a shutter.



"There's a lot of bad things about the quality of life in India when compared to the wealth and prosperity of life in North America, but one thing Indians don't lack for is community," he said.

Jordan says he doesn't expect you to follow in his footsteps. Instead, he hopes you have a moment of awakening.


"Enlightenment isn't going to come through an app or through your computer," Jordan emphasized. "Community comes with people interacting with people."

Jordan's pilgrimage has cut into his savings. Ironically, he turned to his community for help. Through Kickstarter.com, he raised $8,051 to pursue his passion. However, he needs to raise funds to complete his journey to Mexico. Here's his fundraiser page. He also shares his adventures through his photoblog: WalkingToMexico.com.

What can YOU do to connect with someone today?

4 comments:

  1. How Inspiring. While the progression of technology has allowed us to further our reach, I agree that really connecting with others should be done on a more personal level. Keep up the amazing work, Jordan!

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  2. This is truly an inspiring story. We may not all have the means to trek from Canada to Mexico, but we ALL have the means to open our hearts just a little more and talk to more people!

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  3. What a beautiful story, and what an incredible mission he's on! Jordan, you are a blessing to a lot of people.

    Thank you so much, GIG, for sharing this with us ... the world needs more stories about personal human connection.

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  4. It's funny that the technology that disconnects us also brings new opportunities to learn about and find amazing people like Jordan doing amazing things. How to balance it?? We've got more good news and ways to connect on the new www.Tonic.com.

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