I know you were all holding your breath waiting for a post titled this.
no: I'm not going to sell textbooks door to door in Texas (again)
no: I'm not joining the Army
no: I'm not going back to graduate school
don't worry: I have (mostly) gotten over my obsession with the benifits of hickhiking
don't worry: I'm not moving (or if I do, it won't be out of the Tokyo megalopolis)
don't worry: I'm not getting hitched
I've only become obsessed with a new travel website. only.
That's right. I plan to travel somewhere (TBA) and stay with someone I've only met online. Sounds great, doesn't it!
sure sure. this probably sounds like a bad idea. is it safe? there are ax muders out there, ect. hostels aren't that expensive, ect. but in my opinion this is not just better than sliced wonder bread, this is better than sliced pumpernickle.
This is the pic for my profile on www.couchsurfing.com. my caption is
"this is not meant as a political statement"
someday, I'll write an entry about the new boy, but skipping that for now, I'll relate soemthing that he said that really impressed me. We were out to dinner with some KM school people and Akemi asks him, "What is your dream?"
the boy answers that he hopes to really touch and make a difference in just one person's life. to make just one person's world a better place.
(this is the best picture I will ever post of him. yup.)
it's a nice answer but I was particularly impressed because the boy isn't an English Teacher or average struggling expat. He works for the US Embassy. He's a diplomat. So saying that his dream was to touch one person's life seemed kinda modest and sweet. (I'm such a hopeless sucker, I know.)
But, returning to my ranting about "couchsurfing.com" (which the boy is a member too) I have a similar attitude. I'm thinking more and more about how I can make the world a better place. If I don't go into science and stop aging (sorry dad) or pioneer the regrowth of limbs (again, sorry dad), I still feel like I need to make a positive difference in the world. and I think this is one way
I think everytime you can show that you haven't given up on the goodness in people
everytime you take a stand and say, "I will not lead a jaded suspicious life"
everytime you make a new friend by saying something real or keep an old one by staying honest
everytime look a stranger in the eye and smile (sure sure, I had someone act all creepy towards me on the train after smiling at him, but I'm not going to let one creep stop me from smiling. seriously!)
everytime you make a connection with someone and the world becomes a little less full of strangers but rather full of friends you haven't met
another quote I've been rereading lately comes to mind:
"I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit." Dawna Markova
and so all these are reasons why I'm so drawn to the couch surfing project. of course there are creeps out there. of course there are dangers. of course there are all sorts of horrible things that happen if I dare to go outside (even in the daylight!) of course I need a safe back up plan. of course there are things to be wary of.
I understand these evil truths. but I chose not to let them ruin my life. so I'm joining couch surfing and going to meet other people who also choose to not let these evil truths dictate their life.
I also hardily suggest checking out the site. and if you join I'll vouch for you and maybe vica versa. come on Dan, don't you think the coop would dig this? Paul, between you and Casey this seems like something you'd get a kick out of. For my friends who are commited to grad school, the world could come to you! Murray, Maddie, Dad and other wanderlusters you've got to check this out.
I'm totally psyched.