Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Travels

Remember when you first ventured to a new place? You were half excited, half nervous. Would the place be as exciting as you'd hoped? Would you find fun stuff to see or do? Or would it be boring? Would it smell like urine there--or mold--and would the hotel have cold running water or hot running roaches?

You were probably filled with anticipation, expectation, trepidation, and even abject fear.

Okay, so I can't speak for you... but I've felt all of that. And I feel the same thing when I'm trying something new. Say I decide to join a choir, or learn to knit, or take a class on photography. I could totally suck at it. It happens to all of us (or most of us, for those of you in denial). And the more new things we try, the more likely it will happen.

But it's important to travel into that new territory anyway.

Let me use the travel metaphor again to illustrate why. Say that you go on a cruise to Cozumel. And it was fun. And Cozumel was fun. So the next time you think about going on a cruise, you go back to Cozumel. You know you liked it, and you are afraid the other ports of call won't be as good, so you just keep going back in the same direction. Over and over.

But after a while Cozumel gets old. And in the end you realize that you've missed out on a ton of other places--and that's just in the Caribbean. No telling how many other fantastic places you've missed. Even if you cruise other places, but never travel any other way, you will miss out. Can you truly see Europe if you don't go inland? Nope. You miss too much. Can you see it in a week? Nope. What about Asia? What about Africa? How will you know what places truly resonate with you if you don't try them out?

There's the two kiddos...
bet you didn't know my daughter had purple hair, did you?
(graphic courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)
I write this, not because I've ventured into new territory lately--and not because I've been on a cruise lately, either--but because my kids have done something truly new. Last night they both auditioned for our community theatre's production of Oliver! I auditioned, too, but I'm a bit more experienced with it than they are. I could tell they were nervous. And even a little scared. My son  couldn't sit back in his seat, even after he had sung his little piece.

But they both did it. They both stepped up on that stage--by themselves, mind you, not holding my hand or anything--and sang a song. And they both got back up there and learned a little dance routine so that the choreographer could see whether they could dance at all.

Will they get a part? No idea. I'm not sure whether that really matters (at least not to me). I'm bursting at the seams with pride that they tried out, that they had the guts to step up there and do something new and radical. I hope this is just one of many new things they try this year. Whether they get parts or not, they have added a notch to their confidence, have realized that they wouldn't die from fear, and have proven themselves a bit more independent than they were last year.

Now I have to consider what new things I will try this year. Where will I venture? How will I keep myself from staying within my travel comfort zone?

Come to think of it, what new travels are you planning?


  1. Yep good for the kiddo's. That is a wonderful way to be when you at least try something. Fear is living death and stops people from having a life. I knew at one time I hated the smell of cooked beets but until I tasted them I didn't really know how nasty they really are.

    Me hell I left home at 17 spent my time on the ocean in the navy and then struck out on my own without a clue on how to live outside of societal structure of having a home r source of food, four years later I knew not only how to live comfortably outside but how to feed myself. I Left in fear and came back in confidence, now I have no where I want visit. This place, trust me Shakes, is trip enough.

  2. I think that trying things is GREAT. And I tend to be pretty intrepid, standing up in front of a crowd or presenting a paper or whatever. I think it's FANTASTIC that your kids were willing to try out in such an environment and hope the best for them.

    But reading this, I realized I'm not really a trying "new things" kinda gal. I HATE going to new places, at least alone. I've been to Rome and Nice for work before and I'm ashamed to say I couldn't wait to leave. Not because the people were rude or the cities weren't lovely but because I didn't want to be there by myself. Did the conference and got the first flight out of there. The cities were wasted on me.

    In fact, I've hardly ever gone anywhere for my own sake or for my own entertainment. Weird.

    I guess I really am a dull dog.