Sunday, August 17, 2008

Anticipation… Aug 15. (-42 days)

Sometimes travelers say that the destination is ultimately the purpose in a voyage. To get there, to be there, and to do things is important. Others say the destination is unimportant, it is not the real objective, but the voyage itself is what really counts...
I would take it a step further (or before actually) and say that anticipating is probably equally thrilling.

I’ve been thinking of this trip for more than 2 years, it’s one of those things that you say once and you think it’s a good idea, then you repeat to yourself because you like the idea or to your friends because it sounds cool – until at some point you actually believe that it is part of a greater plan that you have. It wasn’t like this till recently. Actually it wasn’t like this till they told me that I can’t have it the first time I asked for it in January. You see, the plan was that I would now be back from my planned 3 month trip. I would have embarked on that journey already in April, left everything behind and come back a new person. Back in Geneva, new job, new ideas, all still the same but seeing things differently. Well it didn’t quite play out like that. So only when you are confronted with a reality, even if it is a negative one do you realize what you had coming.

Careful what you ask for because you might really get it at the end. And then you better be prepared to do something with it.
Slight delay I thought to myself, I will try later, and October-December is not that bad anyway if your plan is to travel to the southern hemisphere… “Perpetual summer” is the title of this trip. Leaving a cooling Europe is September and visiting places where summer will rule in the next few months. But destinations and the trip itself are not up for discussion today.

Our subject is anticipation. Anticipation and the sweetness it involves when what is coming up is the “trip of a lifetime”, “the best thing you can do now”, “the right choice- when you will have the time to do it again, after you’re married with kids?” That’s what some people said. Maybe they are right. Anticipating something is not the same as doing it. It is like reading the book vs. watching the film. Anticipation is dreaming, a playful game you mind where you put yourself in a situation full of what ifs, how to’s and when’s. It might have nothing to do with really doing it, not even close. Better or worse than doing? Depends on who you are: some people spend their whole life anticipating, waiting for something that never comes. Is that really so bad? Hardcore realists would say yes but that’s not always the case: Reality is what we perceive as the truth and living a dream might be better or worse than living reality. The debate here is not on living a dream vs. living reality. The previous sentence had 3 big words: reality, dream and living but only one really important one: It’s about living and living something to the fullest (whether it’s a dream or reality) And everyone does that in their own way. So don’t be judgmental now.

I decided to do both. Dream it but also see it in reality. I am still in phase 1 and even that I don’t think I’ve realized yet, although today I booked my ticket. It’s final. But that is part of reality and I am still anticipating. I am anticipating renting out my place, saying goodbye to my friends, getting their wishes, packing my blue backpack and roll in my 10 T-shirts and socks & underwear and actually believe that for the coming 109 days I will be living out of a bag that I will carry on my back. I am anticipating traveling 30,000 kilometers over sea and land, crossing the equator 3 times, spending a hundred hours on airplanes (even if it is in Economy class), and visiting 4 continents, 7 countries and 14 cities. I am anticipating seeing sunsets and sunrises, forests and beaches, meeting new people and really understanding what they do, who they are and how the live. But most of all I am anticipating the day I come back. The day I come back and look myself in the mirror and hope to see a different person. A slightly better person in every way possible.

And now, that is something worth anticipating.

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