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Reactions to a RTW Trip, or: Shaddap!

What happens when you tell someone you’re going to take the next eight or more months traveling around the world? Spin the wheel of reactions… where will it land?

A. Denial:
“You’re not really going and we will not ever talk about this again because it hurts my head. How’s your pizza?”

B. Collaboration-Excitement:
“That’s awesome! Maybe one thing you could think to make your trip better is ___… And I know this person in __ who would take you around the city! One thing that you might try that helped me in the past was ___. Perhaps we could do a partnership between my project here and you in ___. Don’t forget to email and Skype me cause I love you and want to trade stories of our respective adventures!”

C. Envy-Sadness:
“I wish I could do that, but instead I’m saddled with ___ and ___ and ___, grrr. Sigh. Life stinks and there’s nothing I can do about it. Whenever you talk about this I get depressed.”

D. Envy-Anger:
“It makes me really angry that you can jaunt around the world, so carefree and privileged, when I have to ___ and __ and ___. You’re a bad person, and I may spit in your drink when you turn away.”

E. Fear:
“Aren’t you scared?? Robbers, rapists, con men, getting lost! Don’t go!!!!

F. Confusion-Pity:
“Why in the name of all that is good and holy would you do that? Why are you not married with kids in suburban New England by now? Directionless, misguided girl. You don’t know what’s best for you… you’re just trying to be like those hippies on TV.”

G. Mutual Inspiration:
“This is giving me an idea for a way that I could fulfill my lifelong dream and __…”

I have been so moved by the love and support I have gotten from everyone, but it is interesting how this trip has illuminated the priorities, ambition-type, and life philosophy of a lot of folks. For example, does one prioritize a prestigious 3-year program over mobility? A fantastic, long-term career over a lower-ranked one that gets you money to travel, quickly? A dog or car over savings for a plane ticket?

Given that, is one happy in the priority one has selected? Is one’s life track changeable? Deep down, does one desire to change their trajectory, and will they ever? If one can’t or doesn’t want to change something, is it worth being angry or sad about?

To everyone, I want to say this: I am pretty great, but so are you, and I vow to honor all that is going on with each of my loved ones, and not be all high and mighty thinking world traveling makes me hipper.

What this means is, I don’t want my trip to make anyone angry or sad! Confused, I can live with that. :) I believe we all choose what we want to do, and if we don’t like it we all have the power to change that, at least to a small degree. May this trip and this blog contribute to your happiness, as you have contributed and continue to contribute to mine.

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