I recently wrapped up a long trip to Spain. Instead of regaling you with all the amazing things I ate and sites that I visited, I wanted to spend some time talking about some of the things I learned. I’m hoping my experience will be helpful for anyone that’s been putting off something you’ve wanted to do for years. To set things up, I need to rewind a few decades.
Travel has been my thing since the first time I got my passport stamped. I knew I liked it, so I wanted to do more of it. Only one issue, the industry that I worked in did not like people to be away from work.
I loved doing a radio show, but it soon became very clear that taking time away from doing the show was extremely frowned upon. There is almost a maniacal paranoia from management that if you missed more than 4 or 5 shows then your entire audience would disappear. So for over 20+ years of my adult life I would shoehorn in excursions when I could. I eventually had the strategy that if I planned a trip around the holidays, I could add a few days on to the length of the trip – especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. So I could stretch a week long trip into 10 or 12 days. Downside, I missed a lot of family holidays.
So what does this have to do with you and with 2023?
I’m hoping my experimentation will give you permission to try your own.
Things have changed for me – we are not on terrestrial radio anymore, we do the show via podcast. We have a lot more flexibility. I decided that this was my chance to finally answer some questions that I have been carrying around for at least 15 years.
These are my questions, but your questions will be your own. What are the things you’ve been wondering about for too long?
The answers I was looking for on my latest trip are:
1) What would it feel like to be able to stay in a country for a longer amount of time?
2) Would it be possible for me to get my essential work done remotely?
Armed with these in mind, I set out to finally do the thing I’ve wondered about for so long.
I genuinely felt like I had accomplished something the minute I got on the plane to go. There was a tremendous amount of saving and planning that had to happen to pull off this experimental trip. Regardless of what the answers to my questions were, I felt like I had already won. I had set out on the journey, and the I knew I would get my answers one way or another.
I’m back now. So how did things end up?
The answer to the first question was interesting to me. I had assumed that if one week was awesome, then more weeks should be even more awesome. The reality was a bit different. After the initial rush that I get on every trip I take, “regular” life crept back in. There was laundry to do, I needed to go to the grocery store, and my bills still needed to be paid on time. Now I just had to do these things in a different place. I don’t know if it was better or worse, just different.
As for the second questions. The answer turned out to be “no.” At least not in a way that worked for me. While it was technically possible to do many of the things I needed to do with zoom calls and a laptop, the time difference and strain that it put on things proved to add stress to the equation instead of taking it away.
I got my answers. They were different than I thought they would be, but now I know. The information I got is super valuable. It will inform how I think and do things in the future. For that I’m very grateful.
So what have you been daydreaming about? What’s the question you’ve always wanted to have answered? While I can’t promise you that you’ll get the answer you are hoping for, I can promise that if you start the journey, you’ve already won.
Here’s to a great 2024!