Don’t look now, but the first fourth of 2013 is over and the rest of the year is totally checking you out. I’ve been doing this travel blog for about the same time, having been in the planning stages since early January and officially nomadic on the 1st of February, and in 3 short months I’ve learned more about myself, others and “life” in general than I have in any other 3 month period that I can think of. Here are 5 notes from the first quarter of 2013 from a recently nomadic traveler.
- Sometimes it’s better to have good timing than good friends. Timing really is everything. Good timing can make crappy situations turn out alright or be the reason for a good connection falling through. I’ve found multiple times that people who I thought were cool ended up sucking really bad just because the timing was off. Nights have turned into full-fledged panic attacks because of bad timing. When I roll through a city, the clock is constantly ticking so everything I do may seem a bit rushed, obviously not ideal when trying to meet up with a local connect who may have a completely different schedule than myself. I’ve learned to not always blame the person for being a douche bag… rather, maybe just the timing wasn’t right.
- Always know where you’re passing out. I’ve run into the situation several times through my travels where I end up running around all day, busy with a project or just messing around, and by the time 10pm rolls around I still have no idea where I’m going to be sleeping that night. Two examples come to mind immediately: in Austin when a connect in the downtown area fell through and I ended up stranded in the city with no place to sleep and all the hotels booked at 1am. Luckily, the man Paul Meara was there to save the day with his hotel room and a pillow. The second sketchy sleeping situation came on the train to Austin, TX for SXSW when I ended up spending all my time in the observatory car, away from my bags and seat in my assigned car near the back of the train. After a night of conforming footage, I passed out there in the observatory car and woke up to a serious surprise: the observatory car had been detached from the rest and was headed to New Orleans, the opposite direction of my actual compartment and all my personal effects! Luckily, the peeps at Amtrak are super helpful and ended up driving me the distance to the Austin-bound train. The point of Glass Duffle and my adventures is to be spontaneous, but where I will be sleeping on any given night is something I’ve learned to take more pre-adventure care with.
- Birds have feelings too, man. Spending time alone has certainly made me more, shall we say, “self-interested.” I try not to be selfish but on any given day, I really am my only guarantee so it’s conditioning, really. This has recently led to a few, shall we say, “problems.” I’ve recognized the importance of meeting people and building relationships since day one but I’ve also learned that even when I leave, feelings (positive or negative) will linger on. Respect people’s feelings and leave everywhere better than when you found it.
- People are genuinely afraid to say “no.” This has probably been the biggest issue for me since I started my travels and the hardest to adjust to. People are genuinely afraid to tell people “no!” I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve had plans upset or ended up wondering “what the hell am I gonna do now?” because someone told me “yes” when they meant “no.” The only thing I’ve learned from this is that “no” is more meaningful than “yes,” every time.
- Get over it. The best thing I’ve done for myself anytime something has gone south was to just get over it. From ending up on a train to New Orleans to the whirlwind of emotions I left San Diego with, getting over it is always the best option. Lingering on plans that didn’t work out or beating yourself up over something is only messing up your game. I can promise you that no one feels bad for you besides yourself. Get over it and get back to doing dope shit!
Tomorrow I’ll be heading into Yosemite National Park with a ranger for the day and then it’s off to Denver, Colorado! Keep up with my travels around the country by liking the Glass Duffle Facebook. Cheers.