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Published:March 12th, 2014 15:21 EST
Leanne and Joshua Bearden Survive Superbly When Traveling Abroad, But Not In US; Huh?

Leanne and Joshua Bearden Survive Superbly When Traveling Abroad, But Not In US; Huh?

By John G. Kays

We exchanged some wonderful conversation with a monk and his novice. We wound up talking for over an hour. He even offered a place to stay in his monastery for the night but we kindly declined as we already bought a bus ticket to Bagan for the next day. He stated that no matter what religion you are the two most important things in life are peacefulness and happiness. We will go along with that. Entry for: 8/19-8/26/2012 My Oh Myanmar! Leanne & Joshua Bearden`s travel blog

I just saw Joshua`s thoughtful tribute video to Leanne this morning and was very much moved by it! Leanne had a great sense of humor and actually was convincing as a singer as well; with this touching video compilation providing background support, I pressed on with some analysis of their travel blog, selecting six more random entries, that jumped around in time, with no particular pattern in mind. 

For the most part, I was simply looking to see if I could discern what Leanne may have been going through (emotionally or psychologically speaking), or trying to notice an Achilles Heel, if it should present itself (either directly or by way of metaphor).

I ought to qualify this assertion by saying, I was hoping I wouldn`t attempt to read too much into any one photo or one string of words, or that I would start to see some kind of conspiracy in any little action, gesture, or phrase (referenced in the blog). I know that`s the wrong approach, so I faked objectivity (sounds like something Leanne might have said) and journalistic integrity, and went along for the trip (so to speak), sensing each entry should point me in some clear direction.

I mean, it can`t just mean nothing; a good theory would have to be, the sum accumulation of the whole two year journey must have (somehow) done injury to Leanne Bearden`s psyche. Was she only an action-packed woman; was the US too boring for her?

If the opposite turns out to be the truth of the matter, her suicide makes absolutely no sense; however, another way to interpret this, would be, she had so much fun on the world excursions, that she was let way down, and sank into depression, by the time she started to re-adjust to life back in the States. Initially, anyway, this looks like what Josh had theorized (publicly, at least).

Nonetheless, in sticking with my theory, the origins of her negative state of mind must have an embryo of sorts during her journey; I`m just searching around for tiny signs, without blowing it up too big, since that would be an over-reaction. One has to think, ultimately, Leanne never obtained the peacefulness and happiness mentioned in the above quote. Why did she pen this account of meeting with the monk anyway (I won`t go there)?

There you go; it`s not too hard to read too much into this. I`m stopping myself, so I hope you`re doing the same. Let me list for you the entries I examined this morning; you might choose to look at these yourself, and I certainly encourage you to do so. The more eyes the better! You may notice something I missed entirely (which is not too hard to do); I`ll be frank with you and tell you now how I`m reading the tea leaves, I`ve got nothing too hide. 

I`ll preface this by saying, this is not a Detective Novel or a Who Done it type of exercise, although it comes off that way when you say Leanne was a charming, intelligent, humorous, witty, resourceful, and determined kind of lady, who loved life and loved the adventures that life brings us infinitely!

Now you see what I mean; Leanne Bearden doesn`t come off (the way she projects herself in the blog) as someone who would ever commit suicide, and yet we know she did. Here`s where the mystery and the trappings of a good detective story enter the picture. So there you have it! This one is more puzzling to me than any other detective story I`ve ever looked at. 

I should add also, I`m getting to like Josh more and more as I read some of the entries; I`m sure he has a heavy burden to bear on his shoulders and perhaps blames himself. From what I can tell (and I haven`t seen everything yet), Josh was a good companion to Leanne on The Trip, and, in fact, was a great source of amusement and fun to her wherever they went.

Oh yea, before I forget (as Columbo use to say), those entries: let`s see, there`s 2/10-2/17/2013 (Delhi, Aga, and Varanasi: Beauty and the Beast), then 4/01-4/06/2012 (Je ne Parle Pas Francais), then 4/08-4/15/2012 (8,104 Miles), then, the entry which had the strongest impact on me, 8/19-8/26/2012 (My Oh Myanmar!), next 11/25-12/12/2012 (Thankful in Vietnam), and finally, 6/02-6/09/2013 (Making Our Way Around Africa. 

Notice the erratic switches in time; this was done on purpose to give me a sampler of how they were doing at any one given time, as they tried to adjust to a variety of cultures in different countries. The second entry was before they`d even left the US, when they visited Houston (what college did Josh go to?), then prepared for the big lift-off from San Antonio, which is where they finally ended up in January of this year.

Bookending the San Antonio rendezvous (s) in my sample study, I thought, was a wise move; it tells you how they felt when they left and how they were doing once they`d managed to survive through all these tumultuous adventures. Just a few observations, which I don`t believe really amount to a whole heck of a lot, but Josh`s weight seems to change a lot through the trip, his hair gets a lot longer too, but Leanne`s body weight never fluctuates. 

That`s no big deal, but just something that you`ll readily notice when probing the blog. Another thing, which is not quite as innocent, but the two are always drinking a lot, especially beer; well, you might say, they were on vacation, but still, Josh & Leanne come off as heavy drinkers. Is a problem with too much drinking tell us something else unsettling is going on beneath the surface? Maybe not, but I`m just asking.

*(This is my notes and seems significant) I found some irony in a quote from 8,104 Miles, when Leanne wrote: San Antonio will always have a special place in our hearts. Well, you probably see what I mean, since this was the end of the road for her. A major crisis crops up in Myanmar when Josh falls through a pothole and nearly loses his life, yet he holds on to the ledge, but gravely injures his hand.

The couple was able to survive this ordeal, but it seems to have shaken them up pretty much, as is a natural reaction. My take-away is, Leanne just got stronger and stronger during the trip; she was in her element as an adventurer. By contrast, the reality of survival in the US was just too ho-hum, not enough of a challenge maybe? I better stick with the facts, but...When does a strong individual turn into a weak one; perhaps never?