When we're in the midst of life, it's hard to connect the dots. It's hard to understand why things happen in the way they do. But when we look back, there is always a clear reason why life presented to us what it did. (And if we're still confused, maybe we have more life to live before we'll understand.)
The man, myth and legend, the founder of Apple whom many of us idolize said it so well:
"You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future." -Steve Jobs
It's times when we are outside of our "box" that we really create the dots for our later selves to connect. This is ever so apparent when we travel. It's when we experience new countries and cultures, when we hear unintelligible languages, food we've never tasted, and sights we've never seen. It's in moments such as these that we create new dots in our lives.
And from the dots we've made, we can one day look back and see the path of our growth.
The average life filled with average activities and average things will have an average numbers of life dots.
But when we step outside our comfort zone, that's where we really start to create ourselves (and create a shit ton of dots).
I found myself on a dot-making experience when I was aboard a flight to Bangkok with zero plans. Quite literally zero.
As I stepped out of the airport at 2:00 AM, I realized I had no place to go and nothing to do. I was in a brand new country, with a brand new language, new sounds and new smells, and I was lost.
With a few pointers, I found myself in the back of a cab, headed in some direction. A few hours later, after bumbling my way around some less than safe streets of the city, I eventually found myself a great place to stay. (If you're ever in Bangkok, check them out at @SlothHostelBangkok.)
And so started my two month trip, traveling through Asia. I had zero itinerary, no destination, nothing I wanted to see. I just wanted to make some dots in my life. And did I ever?!
The best ways to make dots in life, so you can one day look back and see the meaning, is by doing something you're not comfortable doing. Get out and see a new country. Talk to the random person in the elevator. Who cares if you feel awkward. Don't ask for permission, ask for forgiveness. Be authentic and be yourself.
Looking back on my travels, I can now see they happened for a reason. My life perspective was forever changed, starting with that first night in Bangkok. Had I not gotten on that plane, I would not be the person I am today.
That's my story...what is yours??? What travel have you done that changed your life? How do you create dots to connect at a later time?