I came across this TED blog post by Tania Luna at just the right time:
Tania Luna coins herself a Surprisologist, which is just about the most awesome title I can imagine. I wish I had thought of it. My favorite of her tips is to “get to the gold on the other side of awkward.” All the good stuff lies behind a sticky clump of discomfort and uncertainty.
How true! How often have I avoided the discomfort of a new experience only to find that I’m left exhilarated and expansive after trying it!
I think that’s what I love about travel. When you wake up in a new place, you spend the day alert, open, you’re in the moment.
I’ve been thinking I want to prioritize travel like I have in the past, and not just for me, but for the whole family as much as possible. I want Micah to grow up open to different places and ways of life. I don’t want him to be the type of tourist who says, “Going to [insert comfortable and lovely place] really makes you appreciate how good it is to be American.”
I had a college professor who was married to a high school teacher, and they had two or three school age kids. With everyone sharing summers off, they took a monthlong trip each year – not just the predictable trip to the cabin, but they got away long enough to forget home, volunteering in Appalachia or backpacking Europe or something past comfortable into adventurous. Micah is getting old enough, and although we don’t all have whole summers off, I’d like for us to do what we can together. David can join us for a couple weeks, and maybe the two of us can take one or two more.
Although it’s not really in the spirit of embracing newness, this summer I’m envisioning immersing ourselves in home, an island at a time: Big Island, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai. I know it’s not the exotic adventures I hope lie in our future, but this semester I’ve been so inspired teaching Hawaiian History, the richness and vitality of it. I want to actually see and breathe Kalaupapa and Iolani Palace, Kilauea and the Na Pali coast. It wouldn’t have to be expensive – we could camp or possibly do a home swap. I’m happy to spend more on gas than we do on tourist activities.
I’m craving the adventure of not knowing how the day will unfold, of being fascinated by all the new, little things, of the discomfort of muddy feet and getting lost.