When you’re on the road, it’s the details that trip you up, pull you down and stomp on you a little before moving on to the next unfortunate victim.
You’ve procured a regal meal, but you don’t have a fork.
You’re all kinds of ready to ask directions in the local language, but you have no idea where you want to go.
You find yourself covered in grime and walk to the shower with your toiletries in hand, but you don’t have a towel.
It’s in these situations where resourcefulness and the willingness to bend your expectations and perceptions can come in very handy.
Are you willing to eat with your hands, or figure out a way to eat with your bread instead of utensils?
Are you prepared to wander aimlessly until you come up with the name of something local that you can use as a reference?
Are you open to the possibility that, under the right circumstances, a big wad of toilet paper can look a whole lot like a towel?
These aren’t ideal solutions, but they are solutions, and they’re just as practical as they are uncomfortable and strange.
They are not, however, wrong. And coming to grips with this opens up a whole new world of taking life as it comes, hurling oneself into opportunities as they arise, and generally being able to adapt to new circumstances in a way that is conducive to success.
Update: January 6, 2017
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in a private hostel room with some kind of take-out, realizing only too late that I have no utensils and the restaurant is closed or far away, and there’s no other option than to dig into my food with my bare hands.
It always makes you feel a little silly at first, but man is it a learning experience. And you very quickly get past the ‘I must look like an idiot right now’ feeling when you travel, because half the time, yes, you do look like an idiot. But who cares?