As I explained in my last post, my Mom’s cautionary texts were an echo of my own thoughts. For weeks I have a felt a growing desire to “get ready” for my next expedition and make it more fulfilling and purpose-driven than my last trip. And yet, the task seemed manifold forcing me to wonder: “Where do I begin?” Whenever I’m solving a complex problem, I always think of Mary Kay Harrington – director of Cal Poly’s Writing Lab when I went through tutor training. She would say, “Think TRIAGE. Stop the bleeding.” I immediately saw research as my first move.
I started by furiously browsing the Internet searching all things related to travel: tickets, visas, instructions, maps, guides, and anecdotes. I stumbled upon a link to a free “e-book” on making world travel a reality: The Art of World Travel by Justin Troupe (look it up at www.TheEndlessWeekend.com). Seek and ye shall find. In this brief e-book (paper is probably a better word for it) Troupe explains that world travel is something everyone can do and he provides the reader with questions and tasks to focus her/his intentions and energy. Troupe includes an impressive story of his travel history, a clear statement of his audience and purpose, and motivating stories and facts. The reason I’m attracted to his work, however, is because of the questions and tasks. Focusing my thoughts, feelings, and actions seems to be a clear beginning step in my preparations. Although the writing isn’t perfect (whose is?) and its guide to success is standard manifesting meditations that can work on any dream, it really spoke to me. Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Justin Troupe: What is it that has stopped you from going and seeing the world?
Che Luv: Money.
JT: What are you willing to change about your story so that you can experience your dream?
CL: I think that’s obvious. I’d have to get my hands on more money.
JT: Are you really willing to look back on your life someday and realize that you missed your chance?
CL: No. I never said I was.
JT: Imagine laying on your deathbed and looking back over the timeline of your life. What things would you want to change?
CL: I’m going to assume you meant to say “imagine laying on your deathbed right now (as opposed to when I’m really old) and looking back over the timeline of your life. What things would you want to change?”
CL: I’ll take your silence as a “yes.” In that case I would say, “I would have wanted to see everything and go everywhere, to LIVE, to become my own person, to look back and know that my experience of life was truly my own!”
After explaining that I must start visualization meditation, Troupe asks me another set of questions to help me create the faith I need to turn the visualization into a reality. These questions lead to an “auto suggestion,” which is a goal statement in the past tense with an addition of action to attain the goal. I then tell myself this “auto suggestion” over and over again to trick my brain into a new belief system.
JT: [An example of auto suggestion would be] “I am so grateful I completed my first trip around the world. The money came to me easily because I set aside _____ amount every month. I love choosing experiences instead of products. Here are all the things I am committed to doing in order to make it happen.” Then make a list of all the things you need to do.
CL: OK, but can I first say that “auto suggestion” is a creepy term. It sounds like robotic brainwashing.
CL: Right. I would say I’m prepared to stop eating and drinking out, only buying something if it’s essential, drive 65 mph instead of 70 because 65 is more fuel efficient, get a higher paying job, move in with family to save on rent, sell some of my things, have a second job.
JT: When you repeat your end goal in the positive and past tense and strengthen it with a specific plan of action, your faith becomes unstoppable. What happens is that as you start to actually do your list your mind has the expectation of the goal. You have told it repeatedly that when ___x___ happens then you will receive ___ x___ In return. What autosuggestion do you need to make it happen?
CL: When I am able to only spend money on something if it’s essential then I will receive world traveling in return. That seems a little awkward.
CL: Maybe I’ll try coming up with a different auto suggestion later.
JT: What travel dream are you truly passionate about?
CL: Making a trip that goes from New Zealand to the west coast of Australia to Asia.
JT: What 2 things that you are committed to doing to make this dream happen?
CL: Seriously? That sentence slipped past the editor’s eye?
CL: Right. Save and earn a bunch of money in the next two months. Get totally prepared for it mentally and physically.
JT: What has stopped you in the past, and what are you willing to do to make sure it never stops you again?
CL: I’d say that what stopped me from truly enjoying my travels before was not truly understanding what world travel required and not having a clear goal from the experience. The way that I’ll make sure those never stop me again is by getting as prepared as I possibly can.
JT: What fear could prevent you from traveling the world?
CL: My fear of being alone, not having a career in the future, wasting my time and money.
JT: How can you be more afraid of the opposite, (or in other words) how can you be more afraid of missing out on your dream?
CL: Um…Hm…I think you have a valid point to create a strong fear in missing out on the dream, but it seems like there are ways for me to overcome the fears I have instead of just brushing them away. I mean, they’re legitimate, don’t you think?
CL: For instance, I could take action to work against my fears just as the autosuggestion was working to create faith. So I could list the things I’m willing to do to combat my fears. For my fear of being alone I can work on feeling satisfied when I’m just with me, I can create purpose for my alone-time, I can make sure that I’m taking social opportunities when they arise. For the fear of not having a career or that I’m wasting my time I can take a TEFL course so that I can teach English while I travel and I can write about my experiences and maybe get published! Publications, even if they are unpaid, look amazing on a CV! If I can keep my future goals in mind as I’m traveling it’ll be extremely fruitful. My travels will be driven and purposeful.
CL: Sorry. Next question.
JT: What would you want to do and see if you had six months left to live?
CL: As much as possible. Too vague? I’d go to Asia. I’d ride a motorcycle through Vietnam, I’d trek in Bhutan and Nepal, I’d visit Japan.
JT: What is it going to cost you if you don’t stay focused on your dream?
CL: Freedom. Autonomy. Self-Actualization.
JT: Are you content with life and the world the way it is now?
JT: What are you ready to do to change things?
CL: Well, I’m ready to take control over my life and make it happen.
JT: How would travelling the world improve your chances with the opposite sex, or if you already have a partner for life how will travel bring you magical moments together?
CL: Wow. That seems a bit off topic and quite personal, Justin. And don’t you think it’s a little hetero-centric to ask about the opposite sex?
CL: Fine. I would say that traveling the world and being ready for it would help me with the opposite sex because when I’m happy traveling I don’t care about or really even need the opposite sex.
And that was the end of our conversation. Troupe ends his work by reiterating his point that bringing our dreams to fruition is a choice and we must fight for our dreams.
Even though I’ve had a laugh while answering his questions, overall I found Troupe’s work helpful. Finding a focus and a having clearer idea of some of the work I need to do to make my dream happen is grounding. I have to focus on bringing in more money, saving the money I earn, figuring out what I’m going to see and do, while simultaneously sharpening my long-term goals for the trip and working against my fears.
I hope this made you laugh, Mom.