On November 28, my wife Lindsay and I are flying to India. We have no return tickets, and little plan. I’m leaving a great job; “professional ennui” is the furthest thing from my motivations. What’s going on?!
It’s adventure time!
If there’s one common lesson I could distill from my collegiate and professional engagements, it would be the value of diverse experience, and the difficulty of planning to build that experience. Sometimes you just gotta jump in learning’s way.
We’re young, not tied down, and have seen like 0.0001% of the world. So, earlier this year, after getting engaged, we decided: let’s hit the road! Our plans are loose. As of now, we:
- Have 1-way tickets to Delhi and 5-year visas to India. Many countries in Asia have VOA (visa on arrival) for US citizens.
- Got our arms jabbed (immunizations).
- Are brandishing a fat sack of doxy and a veritable menagerie of antibiotics.
- Booked two days booked at a hotel to buffer our jetlag.
- Asked a friend-of-a-friend to find a short-term lease in Delhi.
- Are super frigging pumped. I mean, come on!
I’ll miss the crap out of my friends here in the US. We’re flying around a bit to visit folks before heading overseas – San Fran tomorrow through Wednesday, then Buffalo, then Houston for Thanksgiving.
Then, on November 28, IAH-ORD-DEL.
Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than a moving plane, ship or train. There is an almost quaint correlation between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, new thoughts new places. Introspective reflections which are liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape. The mind may be reluctant to think properly when thinking is all it is supposed to do.
If we find poetry in the service station and motel, if we are drawn to the airport or train carriage, it is perhaps because, in spite of their architectural compromises and discomforts, in spite of their garish colours and harsh lighting, we implicitly feel that these isolated places offer us a material setting for an alternative to the selfish ease, the habits and confinement of the ordinary, rooted world.
― Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel