It’s a funny thing, although all too real, how self-made fears manifest while traveling, or moving, to a new country. Funny but its all too real. I say that again, because I take myself as someone who is socially adept if you will. I find myself not bothered with a new location, new people, or new experiences. I’m a go with the flow type of guy. But, I just moved from the sleepiest city on the outskirts of the wildest jungle in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo, to a real life city in Taipei.
And I feel lost.
I’m surrounded by tall buildings and fashionably conscious men and women. This is a far cry from my everyday fit of tank tops and flip flops.
Granted, it’s been less than a week. I know there is plenty of time to fall into my groove, to truly explore all that Taiwan has to offer. I’ll be hitting the mountain biking scene, live music scene, and more in no time. Shit, I don’t even have a place to live yet. I can’t worry too much.
So in the midst of my self made worrisome garbage, I decided to go out to the bars by myself. Usually I won’t do this, I find it awkward, especially when I go talk to someone and have to respond, “Oh yeah, no I’m just here by myself!” Over the loud music. So fun.
I sat at a table for two, solo, for a few drinks, luckily, during the earlier hours of Saturday night in Taipei (basically 9pm) and watched rugby. The place starts to fill up as the time passes. Two beers in and its full, and I’m the asshole drinking alone at a table for two while I am MAKING CONSTANT EYE CONTACT with a couple five feet away, waiting for a place to sit.
I decided to break out of this funk I put myself into and offer my seat to this couple. I couldn’t stand sitting there any longer and watching them look and look and look for a spot to open.
They were a little shocked, sure, but not hesitant to take the table. And for me, it was the best decision I made all night.
Maybe ten minutes passed before they came up, feeling bad themselves (which I didn’t understand) for taking my table and asked to buy me my next one. I told them it really wasn’t a problem, but they insisted and I ended up joining them for more than a few rounds.
We laughed, got to know each other, and drank. I felt normal again. That feeling of being lost was vacated, replaced by my normal state of mind. Holy shit I was social again!
So, I’ve clearly let the Jack Daniels and Carlsberg flow tonight, but I swear there’s a moral to this story. Whenever you find yourself in a big bad world of new, don’t worry. Most of the time these fears you fill your head with are nothing more than just that, filler. That filler is easily replaced, just find it in yourself to get up and break out of that funk. Before you know it that overwhelming feeling of being in a new city, town or country will be replaced with the want to explore more, to look for the opportunities instead of the self made roadblocks.
Get up off that thang, and dance til you feel better!
Ok, that was the shots singing James Brown, but I hope you get the picture.