The following post is by Tim Urban of Wait But Why blog. It really resonated with both Jenna and I (especially the graphic about the time left with your parents), so I hope you’ll enjoy it just as much. You can find the original article here.
Tim, take it away…
In a post last year, we laid out the human lifespan visually. By years:
And by weeks:
While working on that post, I also
I know what you’re thinking.
First these people name their website after the number of days they have left to live.
Now they’re telling me to write my own eulogy?
I thought this project was supposed to be uplifting!
I’d encourage you to read on because I think you’ll find it is.
Where did this come from?
The idea comes from a book category I used to consider taboo – self-help. Oh the stigma!
Our trip around the world has afforded me the opportunity to learn a lot of new things.
I’ve learned about how people live, what inspires them and what troubles them. I’ve gained numerous new skills, from scuba diving to farming to architectural and website design. I’ve seen old things from new perspectives and reinvented many of my long-held beliefs. I’ve put myself in uncomfortable situations on purpose and have come out better on the other side.
As our trip comes to an end we tow the line of the next adventure – continuing our growth at home.
While it’s one thing to step out into the world and experience the new, returning to the familiar and converting that knowledge to new life habits is completely different.
I know from experience.
After traveling Europe for 4 months back in 2010 I returned full of optimism and ready for change and while I did
Jenna and I hate being tourists.
Early on in the trip we paid our due to statues, museums, popular towns and other “must-dos” until we realized there was a direct correlation between misery and tourists attractions.
It wasn’t until we taught English in Vietnam (our third Helpx of the trip) that we had a three part epiphany…
Part One: We hate being on the tourist trail and museums are expensive.
Part Two: We love meeting locals
Arrived from our brief layover in Doha, we began making our way to our next stop – a farm 40km north of Athens where we’d be working on another HelpX for about 3 weeks.
Our host had instructed us to meet him at a particular train stop – this is where we met the crew and from the beginning it was, well, crazy.
Theo has spent the past year developing his property into something he calls
During the course of our trip we’ve met a lot of people that have been to India and their message is always the same; that place is crazy.
Some people absolutely love it and cannot get enough; a number of friends have traveled the country for 6 months or more at a time!
Others abhor the place will never go back; one of them provided me with a telling acronym of his experience in India…
After spending nearly 5 months in Asia both Jenna and I felt the time was right to move on. It’s truly a wondrous place but one that can tire you out in a hurry – which is why our next stop sounded all the more appealing.
Ah yes, Europe.
Different enough to stretch your horizons but not so different that toilets aren’t just a hole in the ground (I’m lookin’ at you Asia).
Back in January during our going away party one of Jenna’s friends, Dave Abramson, had stopped by and was telling us about his uncle who lived in Thailand. He told us he was married and had lived there for 18 or so years and that we’d probably be welcomed in by him.
Did David actually expect us to go find this uncle? I’d say probably not.
But in mid-July after finishing our brief exploration of Laos,
Between Laos’ ancient capital of Luang Prabang and current capital of Vientiane lies a small town called Vang Vieng. There’s not that much to do in Vang Vieng save for two things:
1.) Drink Alcohol
2.) Ride Tubes on the Nam Song River
One could make the argument that a third could be drinking delectable fruit smoothies for $.50, but for simplicity’s sake we shall leave it at two.
Normally Jenna and I would steer clear