We are participating in the BootsnAll 30 Days of Indie Travel project. We will be posting once each day in response to a prompt given on the BootsnAll website. Leave your comments below and also check out their website for other bloggers joining in!
Day 8 : Travel and learning go hand in hand. Travel teaches us not only about the world and the people in it, but also more about ourselves and our own ideas and values. What has travel taught you this year?
When I traveled to Costa Rica earlier this year, I specifically brought tennis shoes that were very old, and trust me they had seen better days. I had planned to hike through the rainforest and up mountains, leaving my shoes in Central America to rest in peace. At the end of our trip we were in Arenal kayaking with Hugo, a local from the area. I had my shoes with me and mentioned off-hand how beaten up they were and the plan I had to not return to the U.S. with them. He gave me a look that I won’t ever forget and simply asked, “do they not work anymore?” I was caught off guard because as a trainer I preach to my clients about replacing their tennis shoes and the consumer culture I am surrounded with doesn’t ask if they still work, but whether they are still in style?
I responded to Hugo with an uncertain Yes… they do work.. but I have others at home that are new… and these are so old….look at this hole in the front…
I couldn’t even convince myself that the shoes at that point were worth getting rid of. Hugo was right, my shoes weren’t in that bad of shape – and I should be grateful to simply have a decent pair of tennis shoes. His five-word question completely changed my mindset on what I value and what I should value. He was unable to comprehend that my shoes were out of style, or they were worn down and why I would even consider getting rid of working tennis shoes.
Such a small interaction with Hugo, and I began looking at all of my belongings in a new light. Do they still work, what is really wrong with them, do I really need to replace that or could I save that money for a higher priority. My values were challenged and I am glad they were and will continue to be challenged in 2012.
In case you were wondering: my tennis shoes did get packed and brought back to Chicago thanks to Hugo.