Lifestyle Changes - More Smiles!
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A year of travel, extreme travel at that, is a huge lifestyle change. We have no permanent residence, we sold/donated 95% of our material belongings including our car, we’re both working as consultants, and we’ll be thousands of miles away from family and friends. Languages, food, road signs and culture won't only be different from what we’re accustom to, but it’ll constantly be changing. We’re also confident that as we’re only at the beginning of this journey, we don’t know many of the things that’ll be different from what we’re used to.
No one would blame us if we were afraid and nervous about this lifestyle change. In fact, when talking to people about our plans and goals over the next year, a common comment we receive is about the anxiety we must feel about the changes that are coming. This isn’t us though; we’re choosing to embrace the complete shake-up of our lives. We’re excited to be immersed in cultures and languages that are so different from our own. We look forward to eating new foods and meeting new people. We’re relieved to own so much less stuff. It’s nice not to have the responsibility of an apartment or a car. We love that we can go anywhere and do anything at a moment’s notice.
Because our life is changing so much and we’re embracing it, we ask ourselves. Why not embrace more change? Since everything is being shook up like shake n’ bake, why not? Plus, it’ll probably be easier to work on personal goals since everything is in flux and nothing is routine. When life is stable and activities follow routine, it’s hard to change since usually we just fall right into habit. So, if we don’t have any routine, habits have to change from day to day, this seems like the perfect time to work on some personal goals.
Taking It a Step Further
We’ve always wanted to be that person/couple who has a big smile and a “Hello”, “Good-morning”, Good-evening”, or “How do you do?” for the person we pass on the street or sit next to at a restaurant or bus station. Both of us grew up in large cities in Southern California and we think it goes without much explanation that this isn’t the culture there, so neither of us really do this. It isn’t that we’re rude, it’s really that we aren’t accustom to it. The culture we were raised in is so much more about ‘self’ and everyone is busy thinking, doing and going to the next thing, event, or task. For the most part, people around us go unnoticed. Because of this, we really appreciate it when others take a moment to smile and say hello to us on the street. It’s kind, welcoming, and just makes us feel good. If you’re from a large city, you may actually remember the first time a stranger genuinely greeted you on the street. You may have even been confused and thought to yourself that you should be on alert, this person must want something from me. And then, you likely realized, it was genuine well after they had passed and it was too late to return the greeting.
We like so much that others kindly greet strangers, so we have to ask ourselves, why don’t we do it? We have on occasion, but it never really sticks and we fall back into our old habits. So now seems to be the perfect time to become that person that greets you so kindly and genuinely that you think to yourself “this person must be from a small town in the Midwest”.
A Smile Is Worth a Thousand Words
On our walk this morning, a woman was coming towards us with a big city look on her face, no emotion and a wall between her and anyone else on the walkway. We smiled a big small town smile and said hello. It was amazing, her wall dropped and she smiled back! It was even better to give the greeting than it is to receive it!
It’s going to be a year of smiles and hellos! We can’t wait!