Analyze

How We Struggle with Self-Image and Living with Little Regret

Let me start by saying I completely, wholeheartedly, and knowingly relinquish myself to the self-hatred of saying, “This is my ‘brand’. This is who I am.”

There is fear in professing and projecting our own values and opinions outwardly, but without such expression there would be no progress.  Yes, it feels great to look back on the work that I have completed and the laurels it has afforded, however, that is not what keeps me motivated and it shouldn’t motivate you either. As George Orwell put it, “ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.”

The process is putting in the time and effort. To find an audience that shares similar tendencies and connect with them while opening up conversations with those who oppose my words. Through this relationships I hope I can find people who can contribute just as much to my writing as I can to their reading.

If I graduated college looking for credit despite creating amatuer, mediocre but fully passionate work, I can’t remember. Today I realize that searching for credit is searching for your ego. It’s an endless cycle with a balancing act on razor blades. The falls will feel larger and the highs will never be enough.

My goal at the end of this journey is to earn the title "explorer". It is my ego that craves this title. I hope I move past it.

I have done many things I am proud of, but I have a list that grows everyday of things that I want to discover. It will be my journey, researched, carried out, and expanded upon in writing and through different outlets.

It's a way for me to give sanity to the mind. The key is in the transference of information and knowledge.  To be labeled an "explorer" means sharing what I discover.

I would have to say that explorers are amateurs. They dare to go where they (nor anyone else) has been and do not feel adequate. They know that unchartered places are still out there, and that to fill them in means to take risks.

However, their goal is to see the disconnected dots of information and compile them into knowledge. That knowledge then has the potential to become education for others.

The title "Everyday Explorer" is to suit just that sentiment. I travel and experiment and try to discover something new everyday. So, in fact, I could just as easily associate with the name “Everyday Amateur”.

I found this written in my notes and cannot remember writing it. I do not think it is a quote from someone else, but if it is familiar to anyone please let me know.

“It is but the turmoil to create and realize how hard it actually is to drive oneself into the darkest corners of our minds that humbles humanity.

To see the infected seas of minds, all dwindling in search of one true impression, is my biggest interest.  Everyone looking about, thinking they are not crazy while making sure they hide all their bits not fit for public in the dark recesses of their minds.”


 

Finally...#Locallife

The travel industry is expansive and in this modern world more and more tourists are becoming "explorers". They are hungry to dive into the culture of a place: to eat what locals eat, to barter at a market, or drink a classic cocktail. 

Unfortunately, not everything is created equal in this scheme. The cycle of economics in tourism drives many decisions in a destination: the city derives income from the increase of tourism dollars, those dollars are spent on more marketing for the destination and also for infrastructure to support future endeavors, local people and jobs are created to support tourism, and then what is earned by individuals is kept in the destination as economic stimulus. This is also a very simplistic way of describing the immense industry that touches almost everything.

What new behaviors are exhibiting (using Airbnb over hotels, Uber and taxis to reach places further away from a traditional downtown, etc.) is the visitors' excitement to experience a place "like a local". What is a local's life like? Well, typically nothing glamorous. Even in a city of extremely good living like New Orleans the everyday is mundane. Locals need groceries, run errands, go to work, but they also go out to eat, go to festivals, and give the destination its uniqueness. 

There, in those words -- "locals make the destination unique" -- is the answer. Instead of continuously writing list of top restaurants or art fairs you should go to why not ask the actual people who will be around you (whether working or joining into the festivities) about what they do?

Give a destination a face. Give locals their voice to protect and rejoice about their city.

Find out about a destination's #LocalLife.

The First Seven

In practice nobody cares whether work is useful or useless, productive or parasitic: the sole thing demanded is that it shall be profitable. In all the modern talk about energy, efficicency, social service and the rest of it, what meaning is there except, ‘Get money, get it legally, and get a lot of it?’ Money has become the grand test of virtue.
— George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

There was a subtle, and internet-era brief, trend on Twitter to list your first seven jobs. It struck me as odd to list the beginning of a work life. Babysitting, yard work, pizza delivery, death by coffee shop seemed to be the most mentioned.

It struck me a little later, maybe even now, that the beginning - even with comparable jobs - sets people up on different trajectories. As someone recently told me, "Out in the work field there are pure breeds and pound puppies." 

I gladly recognize myself with the latter. People such as myself scramble around looking for interests to balance and carving our own way. It is exhausting. It takes time that we constantly contemplate if it's worth it. Sometimes there is no end in sight, only a vague sense of direction that we know is right. 

Kids basketball coach

Push in a way that doesn’t piss people off.
— Patrick Lencioni, 5 Dsyfunctions of a Team

Babysitter

Great jobs are rare and valuable therefore your skills need to be rare and valuable.
— Recap of So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport

Zookeeper

No water, no life. No blue, no green.
— Sylvia Earle

Waitress/Counter Service Girl

I calculated that one had to walk and run about 15 miles during the day, and yet the strain of the work was more mental than physical. Nothing could be easier, on the face of it, than this stupid scullion work, but it is astonishingly hard when one is in a hurry.
— George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

Outdoor Recreation desk jockey

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
— John Muir

Baker/Cook/Chef

The number of flavors is infinite, for every soluble body has a peculiar flavor, like none other.
— Jean Antheime Brillat-Savarin

Writer

Had I been blessed with even limited access to my own mind there would have been no reason to write. I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.
— Joan Dideon, "Why I Write"

 

This is my (work) beginning. The initiatives I started long ago are weaving and working throughout my current work life. It may seem scattered now, but to me it feels right. For now, I claim: writer, Krav Maga instructor, business anthropologist/marketer, volunteer scuba diver at the Aquarium, and explorer. See?

Why Travel Is Hard

It's never easy leaving or coming home for me. Since I was a child I would dream about exploring exotic lands and meeting new people and eating food cooked on open fire pits. As an adolescent my brain could not comprehend being away from my parents, my bed, my routine, or my pets while I was actually away. All of the new sights and sounds and tastes were the only things I knew or even cared about. Ironically, when I returned home and my high ceased was the only time I realized the importance of my excursion and the place/time I had missed.

So why, as I grow older, do I still dream of traveling and exploring, but come down even harder? I know what I am missing and the responsibilities I need to resume when I return. That does not frighten me, that typically fuels me to accomplish more. But, it's a known fact that time spent after preparing and then actually traveling is a "blue period". 

I cannot call it escapism because I have the luxury to travel. The luxury to dream and work towards what I want out of travel. I have reached goals much earlier than I ever thought possible. So what would there be to escape?

Yet, the current adjustments are quite difficult. The details of everyday life that are dressed up while traveling seem more basic now. While traveling I now understand the simplicity of all human actions. The social standards are set in different ways, yet wherever I travel I feel at home because the actions performed are the same. 

Travel presents invaluable quality time to explore, learn, and teach new ideas. My newly settle home in New Orleans represents quality time with friends, work, and a sense of being. 

This is a new era of exploration for myself and I welcome it accordingly.