First off, i’m sending this to you guys from my Ipad in Macau (off the Southern Coast line of China). I have friends here who work in the Acrobatic production show, House of Dancing Water, we’ve just finished watching them have the most amazing performances, and i’ve managed to lose my phone……In a casino bathroom.
Not on the cross country train travel, not the streets of dark alleyways…..a bright bathroom and it hasn’t been handed in yet. I know this cos i’ve checked about 4 times and probably thoroughly annoyed the crap out of poor Jodie. I was LIVID at myself and whoever picked it up but now i’m thinking about it differently. See it’s made me realise, that yes, i’ll need to deactivate it, if it doesn’t turn up tomorrow, and yes get a whole heap of new numbers and plans and all the rest – BUT – it’s not the end of the earth. And I have been fully capable of functioning without it. It’s just one of the many things that can happen whilst cavorting out and about.
Straight up Obvious Positive:
When asked, “what do you love about travelling?” the most common answers come out as:
“To observe other cultures”, “experience other ways of life”, “to see the wonders of the world”. And these are all fantastic responses. Our world is a diverse and amazing place. No two countries exactly the same, and many countries so wildly different that it can be difficult to fathom how they work. I personally support the notion that if you can, you should visit a place that is culturally and economically different from your own. There is no ONE WAY that our world and lifestyles run, and the beautiful thing about humanity and freewill is that history and circumstance have adapted us as a species in so many different successful ways.
We live on this Earth, it provides for us, and it has some truly breathtaking places – awesome, as in the fullness of that word….awe-inspiring. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own little 9 to 5 bubble sometimes. In visiting some of these places that have stood before mankind was an evolutionary thought, and will most likely be there whence we’re long gone, is humbling. Humanity has existed for less than a cosmic second, we impact an inconceivably tiny portion of the universe and I personally find that incredibly exciting. There is still SO much more to see and learn. It’s an awareness like no other to have a sense of scale of self in our world, be it standing on an isolated mountain top, after hours of exertion and effort in the remotest of locations – watching the world keep on irrevocably flowing through its existence, or floating tens of metres under the surface of the ocean watching the aquatic world churn invisibly beneath the seas.
The Hidden Lessons
I find that people can come to love travelling, even on a subconscious level, because of the inherent chaos and freedom of action that can come with it. The best laid plans, rarely come out exactly as detailed, and it’s the “issues” and “challenges” that arise from travelling that create the funny stories to tell when you get back! That train that was late, and the one person that didn’t get on and had to find another way. That item that you forgot to pack which you probably really needed and had to find a way to do without. And who can ignore going to a country where you don’t speak a word of the local dialect, they don’t speak a word of yours and you need to ask how to get to the train station in 15 minutes to catch the 9.11 train for 2 people to the 12th stop.
This comes together loosely under what I like to call “Character Building”. Particularly in Modern Western Culture, where we have easy access to resources and the answer to whatever we need is a quick “Siri what is……..?” away, there is a real risk of practical problem solving skill development going by the wayside. When you are globally remote, in a situation with no telecommunication, potentially no resources at your disposal and you have a situation that REQUIRES solving – then it’s just you and your wits. Pride gets shelved. The charade acting skills often come out and you are forced to adapt to the situation. One – it’s hilarious. Two – it’s a functionally important skill to develop in whatever your life choice is. Travelling will expose you to these situations, to varying degrees depending on where you are headed, and embracing and enjoying these opportunities will do you the world of good.
So – This morning, as we’re getting ready to explore some more of Macau – I havent found my phone. And I’m not going to let that ruin a wonderful experience. There are ways around it – and hopefully it will turn up yet. Optimism, enjoyment and resolution are the mantras today folks. Go out, enjoy your day, and remember – it’s a wonderful world, and you’re all wonderfully important in it. Make your little slice a special treat.
Cheers – Pete.