Listening to birds chirp while sheltered beneath the Florida sun: The über-interesting, potentially amazing trip of a lifetime is looming much closer now. In just a tad over half-a-week, I’ll be drifting along to my new earth, to a place I’ve never been, and really know very little about.
In the past, I’ve found newness to be awe inspiring. Our minds, whether we realize it or not, tend to crave the unknown. Exotic places can cause neurons to process on a quicker, smoother, more exciting course.
When we get caught up in a day-to-day conformist rut, we lose track of time. Monday bleeds into hump day. Then, before you know it, and I hate to say it: TGIF. Life can eventually become an overwhelming blur. Enthusiasm can fade.
As I’ve gotten at least the majority of my major logistics complete, I can feel the drifter’s high creeping up on me. I definitely don’t have it yet though.
In the past, when in a whole new place, I felt fantastic vibes. I didn’t really know why, but I felt it. Perhaps it was the pure freshness of trying the language and the food with the people of the land, while constantly picking up on cultural nuances. I simply saw things I’d never seen, and tried things I’d never tried.
In Italy, I saw people on mopeds coming just a virtual hair’s length away from scraping the sides of buses, then observed middle fingers pointing angrily.
In Guatemala, I remember sitting on a full US school bus and watching a man preach about Jesus for 45 minutes before the bus driver even showed up to drive us to our destination.
In Thailand, I learned how to perform the exotic Thai greeting: the Wai.
In Norway, I sampled coffee doctors, which is a combination of sugar cubes, coffee and moonshine.
In Ecuador, I sampled green juice extracted from the cactus plant. I had absolutely no idea that this rancid tasting green panacea would unexpectedly cure my whiplash. Really!
In Japan, I ate sushi four times a week for seven months, almost every time raising my decibel level to say “Ho-ta-te” –scallops- to the well-schooled sushi chef behind the revolving sushi.
In Laos, because I couldn’t find the Lao or Thai word for acupuncture, I was taken to a pharmaceutical plant by my driver. About 20 Lao chemists in white coats greeted me. No one spoke English except for the driver who told me that I could purchase any medication that I wanted.
I wish this list to go on. I feel that I’ll be engaging in so many new things by default, thus the brainwaves will be moving faster and more smoothly. Bring on the drifter’s high.