Monday, May 3, 2010

Walk like you know where you're going

Everyone I have spoken to so far that has been traveling agrees - if you walk like you know where you're going, people won't bother you because you don't look like an easy target. When you look like you're in control, if you can create the illusion of being in-the-know, you sweep by everyone with ease. To master this ability is like art.

"My first day back on the road was a little tough. This trip was supposed to be taken with someone else, and being by myself is something I haven't experienced in a long time.

"For now though, I'm in Amsterdam with Emily. Yesterday she showed me around the city. I'm feeling somewhat melancholy that I should be leaving Europe so soon, since this was supposed to be just that: a trip to Europe. Change happens, as I wrote in a previous blog, and I must adapt. This trip is about enjoying every minute and not wishing my life away. Stop to smell the roses while you can, right?"

It's important, my mom always taught me, to live like this. Not hoping for tomorrow, when I'll be back in South Africa, but to live in this moment, in a beautiful cafe in rainy Amsterdam.

And to pretend that I belong. This trip is about pushing my boundaries in a different way than I have before. It's about fooling people into believing that I am confident when I am not.

Emily and I rode bikes around Amsterdam last night. For anyone who knows me, they know I am scared of bikes. For some reason I feel more comfortable on the back of a 17-hand, unpredictable Warmblood stallion than I do on the seat of a bike.

But I fooled everyone (except Emily who knew how scared I was). We rode through the red light district, through the town square. It was one of the most beautiful and exhilarating experiences of my life, and I'll never forget it.

If you walk (or ride) like you know where you're going, no one will know you are scared to death of bikes and the porters won't bother you in the Johannesburg airport. No one will know that you are walking in the opposite direction, that you're scared to death, or that it's your first joint.

They'll think you fit right in, that you were born to walk with confidence.

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