The Difference Between Intuition and Plain, Old, FEAR.
I could write for ages about the benefits of travel but, the one I’ll focus on here is breaking down the barriers of what we feel is “safe”. No one travels across the world to be “safe”. At home, we are “safe”.
At home, we avoid making eye contact with people that aren’t like us, we journey on the same roads, and we don’t say “yes” to opportunities because they will probably be there tomorrow, right? Well, travel eliminates all of that. We make eye contact and smile with everyone that doesn’t look like us, because, well, that’s usually everyone. We journey new roads, traverse new paths, and take wrong turns every day. We say “yes” to every new opportunity because we know we probably won’t have this chance again.
“Today is tomorrows yesterday.”
I want to show you all what a “yes” looks like. This is a “yes” story.
I was traveling the Indonesian archipelago, and spending time on the island of Flores, just near the Komodo islands. I had come there to meet some friends I met months earlier while in Singapore. We spent a few days climbing mountains to see sunrises over tri-colored lakes, island hopping, seeing Komodo dragons, you know, the usual offerings of the Indonesian archipelago. Well, my friends vacation were nearing an end, and as they trekked off to catch their flights, I found myself all alone in the town of Labuan Bajo, without an idea in the world of what my next adventure would be. I had originally intended to stay in Labuan Bajo to dive for a few days, but had recently been graced with a nasty sinus infection, rendering this an impossible feat. Well, I knew one thing I could do: eat! I found myself at a restaurant, dining alone, and had a visitor during my meal trying to coerce me to go on this boat for a week for some modeling job. I listened, but my inner voice was saying, “b*tch please, I lived in Miami for three years, I know a modeling job boat scam when I see one.”
Let’s pause here.
Was this inner voice my intuition? Or was it fear? Was this voice wise and mindful? Or was it working off ASSumptions? (The answer is fear and ass.)
I let this strange man at dinner continue his pitch. After he left, the local woman dining at the table next to me surprisingly validated his story. She mentioned that she works at a dive shop down the road and the owner of this boat that the man was talking about had called the owner of her shop, asking the same question. They needed western “models” to come on the boat for a week while they filmed a commercial to help get the boat chartered. Seemed reasonable. But I was still weary.
Fast forward. I finish dinner, and go to leave the restaurant. As I’m walking out (remember how much of a random city I was in, on a random island) and I hear someone yell, “Tara!”. I am baffled. Turns out it’s the owner of the boat, and he had also come to coerce me to try to go on this trip! He soothes my apprehensions by allowing me a test run. He says, “look, the boat is moored up right out in the harbor here, come meet us on the dock at 1 tomorrow and we will show you the boat, let you meet the other models and film crew, and if you are up for it, we’ll leave the next day.” Cue, FEAR! UNCERTAINTY! DOUBT! Nonetheless, I oblige. And the rest is history (in the form of one of the most unbelievably dreamy travel stories, ever).
P.S. this is what "yes" looks like...