Posted by: Waheeda Harris | February 13, 2013

Heading to the unknown

Mexico - Ixtapa pillow design Do you like the feeling of the unknown? Having no idea what’s going to happen?

As travellers, we’re going to be in this situation – but is it one that you enjoy? I admit, I try to act cavalier, let things when they’re out of my control, but there’s always a small knot of fear within me.

But, I don’t fret or shout, freak out or try to take control. I know what comes next is unknown, so I take a deep breath and head into it.

Now I don’t think that this just applies to ‘adventure’ or a physical challenge – sometimes just getting on local transit and going to a neighbourhood unknown to you can be the same feeling.

And I realized that because of work, I’m constantly facing this situation – heading to areas of the city I’ve never really frequented to interview someone or accepting an assignment to go to a city, and not knowing anything about how, when, where, what  – until even hours before I leave.

I remember being sent to Mexico, to the city of Ixtapa, and not knowing where I would be staying. Since the story was related to the ongoing negative news about Canadian tourists in Mexico, the focus was to show an idyllic beach experience.

My contacts in Canada were not comfortable and told me I could back out, since they couldn’t provide me any information about where I would be, or who would be there. I knew that when I arrived, I would have to fill out my custom forms and not be able to put what hotel I was going to, a big no no when travelling to certain countries.

But I went for it, and it somehow all worked out, despite the problems and misunderstandings and the slightly nervous exchange with Mexican customs officials. And then wondering when I reached the airport exit, would I even know where to go? And when I did arrive, there was someone who knew I was coming – and made me feel welcome after all the stress of that travel day.

So no matter you’re reaction to the unknown – whether its an addictive lure or a frightening thought – its part of our daily experience. Go with it, learn from it and know that its not as bad as you think its going to be.

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