"The moment you shut the cab door, you can be who you want to be...If you spend your day making decisions, you can stop, releasing yourself with those magic words: Whichever way's the fastest. Repeat it again when your driver attempts to brainstorm with you. He could tell you that the West Side Highway is closed and he'll need to swing around the moon first. Really. Whichever way."
I feel like I take control in so many decisions in my life that it's a treat to hand over the reins when I can and just give myself over to the moment. Like while sitting in the backseat of a swerving car in northern Iraq, for instance. Or like when I run races and don't bother to view the course map. (eh, someone will tell me if I get off course, let it be a surprise! Giant hill in the middle? Random stream I have to cross? Fire? We'll find out!) or like when I blindly joined the Run Now Relay. (I loved what my friend Corey said during the Relay. "I don't have to worry about being the one in charge during this - just tell me when to get out of the vehicle, and point me in the right direction to run...")
No decisions. Giving yourself over to the situation. It's so nice and exhilarating sometimes. I (unsuccessfully) tried to make my boss believe this concept the other day as we were discussing Food Trucks. He said he wanted to like them but was worried about how safe they are.
I disagreed. You have to give yourself over to the experience, boss! You gotta YOLO it. Sure, you could worry about potential explosive diarrhea, but then you'd miss out on delicious food trucks! Who doesn't want to walk up to a strange vehicle and order whatever a Korean taco is?
And how could you not love seeing Madeleine Albright's nephew dressed up like this, serving you food:
See? Sometimes you just embrace risk and stuff your face in a meal served out of a car window. It's how you know you're alive, man.
I feel that way about travel, too. One of my favorite vacations was to a place I had never considered before. In fact, when my friends first asked me if I wanted to join them, I said no. After I changed my mind (deadly case of FOMO and all), I ended up loving that whole trip and every random adventure that went with it. Which is why, come November,
I am going to Nepal.
Not because I've always dreamed about going there (I haven't), not because I've heard great things about it (I haven't), but why? Because Kim, who was in my Semester in DC program thirteen years ago, randomly messaged me on Facebook and told me she now lives in Nepal and I was welcome to stay with her if I ever wanted to visit.
That was it. That was all it took for me. Facebook had chosen for me, and all I had to do was give myself over to the ride. Just tell me when to get out of the plane and point me in the right direction.
Speaking of direction, does anyone know which one I'll fly to get there? Because seriously, I know nothing about Nepal. I did start looking into what I might do there. First, I know my friend Susie occasionally rides elephants in polo matches there. So I considered that:
Then found out she's not doing it this year.
Ok, well Mt. Everest is there, right? Maybe we can hike on that for a bit?
We can't. It'd take entirely too long to get there and get acclimated.
Ooookaaay. Well there's Kathmandu - a place I had only heard of because of a bad Milla Jovovich movie in the 80's... -is there enough I'd want to do there to spend several days in one place?
So I asked Kim. She mentioned trekking in the Himalayas.
Mmm.. trekking. That sounds nice and outdoorsy. The Himalayas...they sound tall and exotic....
So in the end, I'm approaching this trip like I approach cab rides. If Kim asks me which way I want to start trekking, I'll YOLO it, hand over the reigns, and tell her whichever way she thinks would be best.
Really. Whichever way.