Follow that camel!

These are not the camels you are looking for… move along…

I have travelled to mountains, beaches, jungles and plush cocktail bars in search of enlightenment. I have searched high and low and in places of medium elevation for meaning and truth. I have attempted to spread my message of Inner Interiority through the medium of electrons whizzing through the cybersphere. However, there comes a time when one moves on from being the lone pilgrim, when one heeds ones calling to spread the word more directly…

Merlin had his Knights of the Round Table; Yoda had his Jedi; Merve had the Magic Tones. As I wandered through the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco among the juniper trees, I wondered: was I, the Existential Vacationer, missing out something? A following, perhaps? Could I be more effective as the facilitator of a spritually-enabled, task-focused existential enterprise, boldly moving forward in an integrated manner?
The answer, clearly, was yes.
In a flash of insight, I knew I had fulfilled my destiny as a solitary ambassador of fluff, trudging the world with only the humble accessories of backpack, Nikon and iPod. In order to fully realise my potentiality, I decided, I needed to gain followers.
I would become a Cult.
Of course, this being Existential Vacation, a normal cult wouldn’t do. I hunted for inspiration, for transferable concepts which would leverage my brand into a truly apocaplyptic force. Finally I hit on something. Inspired by the Engand Rubgy Team’s performance in last year’s world cup, and their concept of ‘total rugby,’ I have launched a brand new paradigm in cult formation. I have decided to become a Total Cult.

All the best science fiction movies, and many of the best spiritual movements, start in deserts. Think of Sting riding Sandworms, or Obi Wan Kenobi chopping off the hands of Tattoo artists while muppets play jazz. Fortunately – and surely this can be no coincidence – the Sahara Desert was close at hand. Using my previously demonstrated powers of blending in with locals, I disguised myself as a Tuareg and (quite literally) hot-footed it to the sandy wastes, where I was sure my plan would come to fruition.

Once there, acting with lightning speed, I jotted down a list of stuff that a total cult needs. First of all, any cult needs followers. In another of those strange ‘coincidences’ that fill our lives, whose ultimate mysterious significance we must tune ourselves into, a follower duly appeared. I was joined by an existential acolyte, hoping to learn from the master of finding ones inner self through backpacking. She will henceforth be referred to by her Existential Vacation Cult name: ‘Oh Teeny Miracle’. I have encouraged her to start up her own blog as a path to enlightenment. Look for the link soon. Here we see the Teeny Miracle learning one of the early lessons of Existential Vacationism: if in doubt, have a cup of tea. Note the wide staring eyes and manic grin of the Cult Follower. She is learning her lessons well.

Of course, the desert demands respect. And any credible spiritual movement needs a stylish outfit. As The Way of the Purist (desert edition) clearly states in its ‘sartorial desert rules’ section:
1) socks should not be washed – ever;
2) turbans should be worn loosely wrapped and used periodically for the cleaning out of earwax

Sporting our turbans, we marched for days through the arid wastes, gazing at the stars, meditating, avoiding camel dung and picking sand out of odd places. It was a time of exile, forty days and forty nights in the wilderness. (More or less. Actually less.) Along the way, I accumulated other followers, both human and the dromedary variety. The loneliness of the desert took its toll on some, leading me to formulate the third rule: free love optional.

If you would like to join the Existential Vacation Cult, and learn the remaining rules, please send a cheque for your entire net worth plus government certified bailout bonds for any stocks or shares you may own, to the usual address.