Chris Guillebeau, blogger for chrisguillebeau.com, confronts those asked why they don’t just quit their job and travel around the world. It’s blunt, frank and fun. Sure it may sound crazy, but maybe – just maybe – it isn’t. I sure hope one day I have the balls or tenacity to just get up and go!
Here are some rebutels he addresses:
“I don’t have money to travel.” “The rest of the world is dangerous.” “I like staying at home.” I’ll do this kind of stuff when I retire (or at some other distant point in the future).
And some question you may have to ask yourself:
1) Am I satisfied with my work? Does it meet my needs and fulfill my desires? 2) Think back to the times you have left your home country. What did you learn on those trips? Do you think you have more to learn? 3) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be? (Don’t think about reasons why you can’t go there.) 4) What are your financial priorities?
What we are talking about here is the grasping of some greater force, call it fate or kismet, that can be harnessed if one is willing to give themselves up to natures will and allow this ‘force’ to guide them through their day. I have done my research my friends and can safely say that if you live in a city such as DC, NY, LA, SF or even Huntington Beach, CA you have an amazing story awaiting your discover right outside your door any day of the week. There is no need to plan, no need to find a buddy, no need to check the news paper for events. Nope, you and the city can work together to create an amazing night. It all lives within the faith and trust you give your cement filled provider.
Persue the unexpected
You must give in and recognize the unexpected pleasures that can only be found when walking aimlessly through a bustling city. Is it a pleasure that can only be understood while doing so. Much like Martin Buber wrote in “I and Thou”,:
it is within the moment that understanding is achieved. The moments after a moment is realized the human mind begins to analyze it, it begins to process the moment thrusting it away from the experience you’re having and into your memory, or it will begin trying anticipate what should be expected to happen next; the experience itself is short lived and is felt – not understood.
Every time you leave your house and you give your fine city a chance to express itself it will return the favor with a parade you didn’t know about, a race that wasn’t on your calendar, a must see sculpture to see thats not on your to-do’s, an unfortunate accident that will be seen on the news to your suburban counterparts only hours after you have taken it in, or a simple interaction with a new or old friend that you didn’t expect in a part of town neither of you have any good reason being in. Adventure must be your middle name and patience must be your side kick.
The rules are fair and must be followed to a T and with complete acceptance both of the mind, the body and the spirit. They are as follows:
Simple Version (Bill of Nights Lite):
1) Go out early on a beautiful day
2) Don’t expect anything more then getting the chance to experience your city
3) Don’t make plans or make phone calls to see what your friends are up to
4) Push your self to stay out all day and night, do not go home till after midnight
Full Body Version (mmmm…..Sooooo meaty):
1) You must pick a beautiful day. Good weather and good sun is key
2) You must leave the house early, no later then 11 AM
3) You cannot have any expectations or plans set up for the day.
4) You must be prepared to enjoy the day and nature for what it is, do not expect to drink, or have “fun”. Focus more on getting to know your city, enjoying the day and being alone with your thoughts
5) You can not call a friend, you can answer calls but you can not make calls at any point of the night to see what going on with others. Doing so will derail the fate that nature has worked so hard to prepare that you have no chance of foreseeing.
6) You must go into any bar, restaurant or diner that catches your eye. If you have even the slightest of curiosity – follow it. Even if it’s to just go inside the establishment and walk around to get a feel for it and leave.
7) You must force your self to have a beer, snack or coffee at some of these places. Try your best not to convince yourself otherwise, walk in!
8) Make small talk with strangers. I know this is tough for many of you, especially the shy ones, but as a recovering shyaholic I must tell you every chat has possible outcomes that grow exponentially greater when you and your world are combined to help permiutate the possible outcomes; onother words its necessary to shake your destiny up a bit. Small talk with strangers when you’re by yourself is like a brilliant chef throwing spices into a soup that allows for an unexpected taste to dazzle his customers. I learned from traveling throughout Europe that it was the necessity to experience my surrounding on a budget that forced me to asked questions about where to go, how they like their town etc. As Blanche DuBois put it , Always depend on the kindness of strangers
9) Wear sneakers
10) If you get tired sit on a bench but don’t get too comfortable, keep walking and exploring new neighborhoods. There is always a dip of excitement a few hours into the adventure. It’s normal and is a hump that needs to be passed much like a cramp you would get in a race.
11) Observe your surrounding do not stare at the ground
12) Do not have head phones on. The city is bustling with activity and you may just find, as I always have, someone you know in a random part of town bump into you. It’s amazing how bloody often this happens!
13) You must stay out till after midnight and not in any single place….once again keep moving
14) say yes. If you do see someone you know and they ask you to come with them for lunch or a beer etc….go!
15) Always leave one opportunity experienced for another new presented opportunity. Allot of people go wrong here. The night turns out great early, they get excited that The Bill of Nights worked and get too comfortable in that experience to entertain the possibility of a different one. A new request comes in and is turned down, the person thinking that the night was already success…it is not a success until you are out after midnight and interacting with all possible out comes. See 3+4
Remember it is not a single event your are perusing rather it is the night as a whole. Experience new things, new neighborhoods, all new adventures every chance you get. I know it snot easy. I catch myself making mistakes now and again but stick to the mantra and correct myself as soon as I can. I have had an amazing night implementing The Bill of Nights 100% out of the 10-12 times I’ve done it. Not only that, but close friends that implemented it correctly have also succeeded in an amazing story about unexpected encounteres and memorable experiences.
If you believe in your city, your city will believe in you!
P.S. If you have a good or bad experience from your Implementation of “The Bill of Nights” leave it. Share your experience and comments 😀