Life’s steady drum beat, the underlying rhythm of your life with its isometric pace — the formality of your work, the predictability of your friends, the steady stream of unconscious thoughts that hit you like waves breaking on the shore — well, frankly, they can be boring. Don’t get me wrong; I like some predictability in my life — to know what’s expected. But where’s the excitement in that?
Changing the expected
I like to think of life like a great symphony. You could live your life as a Mozart operatic masterpiece, with each character always having their own melody, like the intro music baseball players have when they first come to bat, or you could choose to live your live like a Shostakovich symphony – one with happy, joyful moments, mixed in with melancholy melodies and then the occasional off -beat, out of tune note that surprises you so much you wonder if the musician hit the wrong key only to realize they didn’t – it’s intentional. My life seems to follow a Mozart opera with the occasional Shostakovich moments. Honestly, I’m not sure which one I enjoy more. They each have their time and place. But life is full of musical moments; sometimes you just have to play to your own tune, improvise your next score.
Why travel changes your tune
There are some adventures in life that have the ability to fundamentally change who and what you are, both inside and out. Your internal musical meter can go from 3/4s, like a Viennese Waltz, to one that’s more like a Fantasia, where you have no measures and only basic meter and note values are provided, leaving you free to compose as you see fit. Just like in music, planning a score or trip with limited guidelines can lead you to venture out of your comfort zone. These types of adventures are my favorites!
Last month, I ventured to Thailand for a little over two weeks, all by myself. Everyone asked me before, during and even after the trip if I was ok to travel by myself. To be honest, and please don’t tell my Mother this, I was a little bit afraid. My first stop was in Bangkok, a city larger than any other city I have been to before. In fact, it’s almost 600% larger than San Francisco, where I currently live, and 1760% larger than my hometown of Galveston, TX. Talk about big! The size really didn’t scare me, but the fact that I don’t speak Thai really scared me. What happened if I got lost and no one spoke English around me? Then, I said, “Oh well, here’s to an adventure. I’ll never know until I try.” And you know what, I actually enjoyed the fact that I had little understanding of what was being said around me. To put it into perspective, it’s like listening to new music with an instrument you have never heard before. Not knowing the how the notes are created or what each word means gave me the piece of mind to really soak in my surroundings, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Fighting your fears of the unknown
Besides being around an unfamiliar language, silly me, I decided to push into the unknown even further by signing up for an adventure tour. Since I came down with Fibromyalgia over 14 years ago, I haven’t been too adventuresome, physically speaking at least. But hey, life is short, so why not. On this tour, I signed up for mountain biking and kayaking, both of which I haven’t done since I was a teenager. On the way up the mountain, an hour ride outside of Chiang Mai, my internal thoughts sounded something in between The Little Engine that Could… I think I can, I think I can and Geddes, A Familiar Rain, “……and not out of fear or loneliness, but only to find myself again… for we have come too far my Life, to turn back now…”
Creating a constant stat of change
After fighting my fears of the limits of my physical abilities, I was unstoppable. My symphony of my adventure kept a steady crescendo from one adventure to the next.
From eating new foods…
To playing with tigers…
To learning about an ancient culture…
To riding elephants….
My tune has changed forever because of my travels. No longer will my life be that pop melody, with it’s expected intro, repeating lyrical verse and grand exit. I will be always creating and recreating the story of my life.
Now the only question is, “where will I find my next tune?”