Sometimes we have to travel in order to learn about home. While in our normal, day-to-day existence, even the best intentioned of us can lose track of what really matters. We get frustrated at catching a red light or stress at waiting 10 minutes for an appointment. For some of us, the thought of having to wait while the cashier at the grocery store exchanges more than the permitted amount of pleasantries with the customer in front of us is enough to exhaust any remaining patience.
Then we go on vacation and suddenly (and/or hopefully) we change gears and gain a new, more reasonable perspective. Suddenly other humans turn into people with stories that we want to hear. Parks and local tourist spots are worthy of a closer look. Even the sun and flowers feel and look differently. It’s interesting that we sometimes need to be pulled out of our current routine to slow down and get reacquainted with a more humane, connected self.
Here are 2 quick stories to share…
The Jamaican Caddy
Several years ago, I had the pleasure of playing quite a nice golf course in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. To our golfing pleasure, we were each provided with a caddy, a first (and probable last) for yours truly. My caddy (I believe his name was Roland) was a great guy and made an impression on me that remains to this day. Whether stepping up to the tee block on a long par 5 or addressing a 5 foot putt, his advice was either “medium stroke mon” or “easy stroke mon”, the message being take a minute, think and be in control.
Some say golf can be an analogy for life in general. Challenges, victories, defeat, through rain and sun, different people, different courses, our attitude and disposition will ultimately be a huge factor in the outcome. Stepping up to challenges with a “medium stroke” helps to slow down our reactions, think clearer, use better judgement and have a better chance at driving down the centre of the fairway.
The British Butcher
On a more recent trip to England, I went with our hosts to do some shopping for dinner at the local butcher. The butcher, Ken, had been in business since 1958 and from the 10 minutes I was there it was clear why. We were at the counter to place our order while our hosts introduced me to Ken. Not straight to ordering with the ‘get in and get out’ mentality we too often have. We chatted about his history, how he had originally started out down the street and then he grabbed a photo off the wall to show us.
A picture of Ken circa 1958 in his early days in the business. Now by this time a small line-up had formed behind us while we had the nerve to drag out this conversation. The strangest thing happened. Rather than huff and puff in a passive aggressive protest, they all poked their heads forward to see the photo which they actually all passed around for a look at. I actually found my heart rate increase slightly at the thought of holding all these people up while we look at a photo. I couldn’t have misinterpreted the situation any worse.
Walking out of the butcher shop had me thinking. These locals still did their shopping like we do…they just didn’t do it like we do. They took a moment to connect, chat and share a story.
And I’m not saying we are barbarians by any stretch. We locals just have a tendency to plow forward too often with our heads down. The message from both these stories is to approach life with an ‘easy stroke’ and take time out to share our stories in an unplanned chat or smile.
Do you have any ‘travel stories’ that brought about a new perspective for you? Let us know…we’d love to hear from you.
Thank-you for visiting!