Careening down the freeway full speed, heater on, and windows down gifted me an elation I thought was lost. As the sun streamed through my glass pane, I finally felt it: joy. Peace.
It’s crazy how much an ailment can knock you down, both physically and emotionally. Bed-ridden for the better part of four weeks, everything from my sinuses to those simple pleasures in life fell to a standstill. And if that weren’t enough, my first big project of the new year and big interview slapped me with one rejection after another faster than Netflix can queue up your next episode of FRIENDS (which, by the way, has 236 episodes. Brace yourselves.).
But I refuse to subscribe to superstition. 2016 was not a bad year in total, and neither will 2017 be, despite how it started off. Every month, day, moment is one more opportunity to grab life by its poppers and explode with glitter.
“Have you ever, felt this glitter in the air?”
Today was one of those days. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE coffee shops. Surrounded by dreamers, doers, creatives, and self-starters, anything can happen. It is here where my such run-in with serendipity occurred—waiting for the bathroom. Door locked with no sign of anyone inside, the line for the single stall stacked up like a UN conference. But patience is a virtue, and the fellow behind me decidedly passed the time by striking up small talk. This led to a nearly 2-hour conversation where we discovered similar interests and vision, as we both are in the midst of birthing our own dreams.
Anyone in the entrepreneurial or creative world will tell you: carrying vision alone is a burden, but just one chance encounter with a new friend who shouts, “me too!” can be a breath of fresh air. Even better, “English Dave” as he called himself revived my pulse for adventure. It’s very rare you get to meet someone who’s eager to know more about you; this curiosity is truly the mark of a world traveler.
Ah, those European nights drinking wine from baby bottles in back alley bars with strangers.
Our conversation led me back down the cobblestone pathways and into those dimly lit tapas bars, where soaking in the moment at hand with friends and strangers alike was the norm. It whisked me away to those days crossing streets in Thailand to brighten someone’s day through prayer or even a courteous bow. You don’t have to speak the same language to connect in your humanity.
And you may say, “sure, Ché—that happens when I travel, but who has time for that today?” Truly, it’s easy to lose the whimsy of adventure once you’ve gotten a taste abroad, but I’m even more motivated to keep it going here at home.
You don’t have to leave your hometown for adventure. It’s as easy as closing your laptop and staying open, come what may.
Neither my project nor my interview handed me the outcome I expected. Truth be told, this left me in a funk for a few days. But control is an illusion that’s sure to breed discontent. If there’s anything this nomad now rooted back home can tell you, it’s to let yourself experience the beauty, the adventure, in the everyday.
“[C]ontrol is an illusion that’s sure to breed discontent.”
I came to this coffee shop with a somewhat rigid agenda and came out, instead, with new inspiration and a new friend. All because I chose not to let my plans swallow me and to dive head-first into spontaneity.
By the way, English Dave (find him on Instagram @EnglishDave) has traveled to 31 countries and is now in San Diego opening up the first-ever co-living space: an incubator program that will practically launch entrepreneurs into their dreams. New year, new you, right? Community—actual living, breathing community where I rode the highs and lows with the same group of people who loved me through everything, not the side-by-side bubbles we assume in public—has changed my life for the better, and I am committed to going deeper with such believers in its magic here and now.
If you or anyone you know is interested in discovering such magic for yourself, check out Qwerky Coliving. Your dream, and your future self, will surely thank you!