Year of Sarah Joy @ 10 months 6.10.17

The chance to be immersed in different cultures, ways of life, routines and languages gives me time to observe and engage in new behaviors. In my time outside the U.S. I developed new habits I value and I hope to continue practicing.

Body Language
In Asia and India body language was as important to the communication process as oral language. As a person without the local language skills or cultural background, gestures were the first communication tool I learned when I arrived in Asian countries. The respect, attention to detail, level of engagement, and even the associations with peace connoted through the following gestures captivates me.

  • Bowing slightly or deeply as I say thank you
  • Handling important items like money with two hands as I give it to another person
  • Holding hands together in a praying hands pose as I greet others
  • Walking barefoot in holy sights as a sign of my respect and humility

Human Interaction
The cadence of human interaction in the travel world is different. In this environment, starting a conversation with a stranger is expected and normalized. Conversations quickly veer into the arena of values, ideas, and experiences instead of focusing on events or other people. Travel friendships develop quicker and feel deeper.

  • Rarely is the second or third question in a conversation, “What do you do?”
  • New friendships are formed through new activities that usually do not include eating and drinking
  • Conversation for the sake of conversation is commonplace

I have complete control over my daily activities and I am only responsible for myself. I cannot imagine another time in life, and for a period this long, where these two truths will again be my reality. As the sole decision maker the majority of the time, I have developed 3 habits I absolutely love.

  • I wake up every day uncertain about what will happen, who I will meet, and where I will go
  • I approach every situation thinking, “If this does not work out as I expect, what is the worst possible outcome?”
  • I incorporate time to do nothing into every day

Other updates:

What I have been reading
These books and every travel guide I use are borrowed electronically through the Hennepin County Library e-book system called Overdrive. Through the Amazon Kindle platform, books I rent are wirelessly delivered to my Kindle immediately after I check out the title. THANK YOU to my local library.

1 Second Every Day
At 100 days of travel I posted a video of places I visited each day. I posted the continuation of that video at 200 days of travel. Below is the video mashup of places I visited during days 200 to 306 of travel.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Kat says:

    “I approach every situation thinking, “If this does not work out as I expect, what is the worst possible outcome?””

    This is probably a good mantra for life in general.

    Also OMG OVERDRIVE IS THE BEST INVENTION. IT IS LIKE THE LIBRARY FOR IDIOTS. YOU RESERVE A BOOK AND THEN POOF IT TRAVELS THROUGH SPACE TO WHERE YOU ARE! Honestly I could take or leave the kindle but having the entire HCLIB in my living room is such an amazing feat of technology.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed – a great mantra. Thanks for saying so. AMEN to the love of Overdrive and HCLIB services. I am such a fan of the public libraries. Can you imagine how many fewer books we’d read if visits to the library were required… And all the money saved too!


  2. Wen says:

    Agreeing with Kat, above! I like that for an every day mantra. Maybe a quote to frame in the future. I also enjoyed the 1 second every day video. Can’t believe you’ve been gone for 306 days!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good idea Wendy! If I ever go to one of those paint on wood nights, I’ll have to remember these words. Thanks for watching the video. Agreed, time is a very funny thing.


  3. Linda Woessner says:

    Love the video, again. Love, too, the reflection on body language and lastly what a great side benefit to traveling – time to read. Impressive list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks mom for reading and sharing your thoughts. Always appreciated!


  4. Maggy says:

    Daring Greatly has been on my list for awhile. I love hearing the video almost as much as watching it!


    1. Maggy! We will chat about the book then once you read it. The TED Talk was just as good, I thought. I actually re-watched the video just to listen because of your comment. The sounds are just as great.


  5. Trinity says:

    We’ve been reading many of the same books! Catching up on your blog today. I remain impressed with how you’ve navigated this experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love seeing all of the vacation and making you’ve been able to enjoy lately. Can’t wait to know which books you’ve been reading and hear your reactions. Hurrah for both of us that we have reading time. Thank you for the kind compliment too.


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