The Travel Lifestyle encourages experimenting, trying new things. That’s the whole point. But sometimes, we can’t get over our inhibitions, and lose out on some great experiences as a result.
Some of you may have heard of the novel The Dice Man, published in 1971 by Luke Rhinehart (a pen name), which quickly etched its way into the annals of literary cult classics, but most probably haven’t. In it, the main character, named after the author, decides to start living his life completely based off the roll of a dice: each of the six sides represent a different path he must take, no matter how crazy. Luke follows the law of the dice to the dot and allows supposed randomness take over his life. Far from a light or wholesome read, the book gets pretty dark. I’ll just be borrowing the concept of the plot for this second installment in the “Travel Lifestyle” series. The rest can stay in the book.
Life is a mixture of decision and luck, and sometimes the lines are blurred. It’s when we take life too seriously, as if it were all a product of who we are and the decisions we make, that we start missing the joy in the craziness. Feeling Lucky? plays on the feeling of freedom and detachment that comes when a decision is taken out of your hands.
“Reality is not always probable, or likely.”
– Jorge Luis Borges
The Yes Game
Exactly as it sounds, a wonderful game, particularly for travelers: Someone in your hostel asks if you want to get lunch? Yes. A local man invites you to a soccer match? Yes. A fellow traveler suggests going on a morning hike through the jungle? Yes. And so on and so forth. We all aim to broaden our horizons when we travel, but often forget that it rarely happens on its own. The game itself is great for enabling new experiences, given that you put yourself in the right situations.
The Dice Game
As mentioned in the introduction, this game is best played with dice but can be even be played with a coin. Assign one action to heads, and another to tails. It’s no use if you don’t follow through, so gradually begin with things you know you’ll do. Then raise the stakes. It helps to have another player to hold you to the whim of the dice.
The Unfinished Story
This one can be a lot of fun and its simple: the way your day is spent is a story and you’re the main character. You start in Chapter One. From here, you decide where you will be in Chapter Three. You wake up, have breakfast at the hostel, and decide that in Chapter Three you’re going to be dancing with locals somewhere, but you have no idea how you’ll get there, you just have to get there. The blank pages are Chapter Two. This game is a great way to remind yourself that endings don’t matter all that much, it’s the journey that does.
What’s similar in all of these games is that you’re never actually completely subject to randomness. In the Yes Game, you can easily increase or reduce the chances of getting asked a question depending on the situation you put yourself in. In the Dice Game, you choose the actions. In the Unfinished Story, you’ve already written the ending.
Our lives are at least partially dictated by our decisions; in learning to accept the other half, we give ourselves the tools to be enjoy that large, unavoidable part of life.
Now, all of this is screaming for a disclaimer. Use common sense at all times. Some sketchy local offers you a ride to an undisclosed location? Say no — that’s what Bum A Ride is for. You have to keep your wits about you and know when to draw the line. Play within safe boundaries, and you’ll have a lot of fun in discovering new sides to the person you thought you were.