Expectations, the word or more importantly the concept, can be a driving factor of one’s outlook on life. The dictionary defines expectation as, “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case.” We are all guilty of having expectations of ourselves, others and life and then by human nature allow an unfavorable outcome to bring us unhappiness. Shawn Achor writes in the Happiness Advantage, to often we think happiness will occur once we reach a goal or a milestone. I believe at times, our level of happiness can be in direct correlation with the outcome of our expectations related to our beliefs.
When I embarked on this journey I didn’t have a clue of what to expect. My lack of looking forward was hindered by fear that the experience might not happen. (I had previously gone through this process, only to have it cancelled a couple months prior to departure.) Concepts were developed from photos by past participates and stories, but my mind was a blank slate. As I write today, four weeks into this adventure my lack of expectation has turned into a self-awareness of the world.
The world has literally shrunk since I departed 4074 Willow Creek Road. From the food choices, to travel options, to the many origins of people residing in Adelaide, the world is literally just sitting on a string outside my apartment door. Why you might ask? I have my theories, but basically it comes down to the fact that people don’t move to Australia to become Australian. It is okay to maintain your cultural heritage; actually it is celebrated and encouraged.
But more intriguing is the fact that I find myself venturing out into that world. I know I have many friends and family who don’t always “get” my ability to do things alone. Here, I find myself not only journeying out alone, but also trying new things. There is no comfort zone. (Well yes I do have Mother Vine) But from my backpack to my metro card, to visiting museums and sitting in a garden and working on my laptop, these activities are more foreign to me than any country.
And the most surprising outcome that has exceeded any expectation, I LOVE it. Don’t get me wrong; I am not packing my bag once I am home and hitting the open road as a hobo. But the idea of living somewhere else and experiencing new people and places a couple months a year would be truly blissful. Life is a beautiful thing, as long as I hold the string, and trust me that string and I are going to be life long travel partners. And of course my backpack!
“I have learned how to live, how to be IN the world and OF the world, and not just to stand aside and watch.” – Audrey Hepburn, Sabrina
Top 10 Unexpected Delights of Australia
10 – Birds, birds, & more birds (When was the last time you saw a wild Parrot?)
9 – The Amazing Street Performers in Rundle Mall (and they aren’t creepy)
8 – The variety of food choices
7 – The Australian Wine Industry’s collaborative nature
6 – Working on my laptop more often in a park, than at a desk
5 – Adelaide University’s Ivy League Beauty
4 – Australian Fashion
3 – The giving nature of the Wine Professionals who have visited class
2 – How fun it is to teach a variety of majors marketing
1 – My Northface Backpack