Noob Explorer asks three questions about travel.
Really, the first thing you need to know about Danielle and me, is that we’re different. That may seem overly obvious, and yet, it’s an easily forgettable trait of a couple. I don’t know about you, but when I think of my mom and dad, glaring differences come to mind as easily and quickly as their similarities. But the differences shape their decisions and the way they choose to proceed. And sometimes two different journeys may align. So, the point? As a whole, I’ve been far less adventurous than my fiancé in the realm that is travel.
I grew up in the Midwest, and essentially spent my first twenty two years of my life huddled in the canoodling grasp of the tri-state trio Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. And although a good trilogy can get my heart beating, it left me yearning for more and so I moved in with my brother after I graduated college. And thankfully, that was 1700 miles away in sunny Seattle! And going on eight years straight, I haven’t left Seattle except for quick jaunts back to the Midwest, or down through Oregon or California.
I said it before and I’ll say it again, man I love being a ninja…no, wait. Sorry, that was from a badass movie. Anyway, what I said before and I’m saying it again now is: “quick jaunts.” You see, that’s really all I have under my belt. My only experience out of the country is to Vancouver B.C. for a day trip. Yeah, that’s it. Outside of that, I’ve been to a smattering of states here and there for mini-vacations.
And yet, with little to no travel experience I’m about to embark on a minimum of one year of travel (granted, I’m traveling with someone with a head on her shoulders so that’ll make some things easier). Things are about to change for us. Things already are changing.
“Culture shock is the personal disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life due to immigration or a visit to a new country, a move between social environments, or simply travel to another type of life.” I’ve heard about culture shock and I’ve discussed it with friends and family who have traveled abroad. Most interestingly, most say they go through culture shock when they return to the states. Weird, right? You’ve lived here before and you should remember what it’s like. I mean, shouldn’t you expect to see the differences?
That’s what I keep telling myself. You’re prepared for the changes you will see. You look up pictures of landscapes and architecture online and you imagine situations where you’re the only non-native speaker. You experiment in the kitchen to prepare for the different flavor explosions in your mouth. Easy, right?
If culture shock is essentially being “shocked by difference”, then I better be ready for change. All I really am doing with these mental exercises I perform, is preparing myself to be culture shocked. I can’t keep doing what I’m doing.
A character in an episode of NCIS said it all, “If I do what I’ve always done, I’ll get what I’ve always got.” Change is upon us…much like Winter…
Sometimes I feel when staring at Netflix or the pages of a book or listen to the voices of a Podcast that I’m perched at a window sill, peering through plasma glass, watching life happen before my eyes. Characters with more ambition in their fictitious fingertips make me wish I was adventuring in a story. Make me wish work didn’t have to happen tomorrow. Make me wish I were saving the damsel. Make me wish.
Wouldn’t it be nice to win the lottery? How many of you have wish-tripped over the concept of being gifted tens of millions of dollars? Wishing is easy. Depressing! Yet, easy.
Now, dreams, dreams are where it’s at. Dreams are attainable and motivating. They adapt to what you want and need. I dreamed of change and found a woman who did the same. And it’s worked out so far!
Query D: When do numbers become concerning? At first I second guessed myself, and now I’m around eighty seven times.
I make plenty of decisions I’m sure I never consider twice, and others I just ping around my head over and over until it feels like I finally beat the computer in Pong. And I’m not sure if I’m really second guessing myself, or just evaluating all the difficulties that continually present themselves to me. I mean, I’m just one dude. Danielle has suggested many situations that I haven’t even considered. Her research techniques are different from mine, and she carriers a unique perspective I appreciate. So is there a chance she will bring up something I haven’t considered? Hell, yes.
What should I do about it? Well I’m churner. So, naturally I’m going to evaluate it for the eighty eighth time. But if you want to do something new, and challenging, you better be prepared for the unexpected.
Do you think everyone who opened a business knew exactly what they were doing? Who out there can tell me they knew exactly where they were headed when they graduated? Nah, change happens and there’s no reason to be concerned. Let it ride!
Something tells me the changes I’m going to see aren’t what I expect, or even close to what I dream. And the bigger the change is, the more I’m going to evaluate it. I’m traveling the world with my wife and neither of us knows what to expect. Are we uncertain? Sure. Are we excited? Undoubtedly!