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Published: October 4th 2017
There is a story my dad loves to tell from my childhood. He pulls it out whenever he needs a good laugh or he just wants to remind me that some personality traits have been with us from the very beginning.
When I was 6 years-old I traveled with him to Buffalo, OK for a cattle show. He was there to show some of the Shamrock Farms' Angus cattle and I was there to tag along. I am sure he was concerned about me being able to entertain myself and mind the rules while he was working so he resorted to what is probably the oldest and most effective parenting trick ever: bribery. I was promised, if I behaved myself during this time in Buffalo, I could pick out one item at the store. A pretty big time reward, I am sure.
So after wrapping up the events of the cattle show, we went to downtown Buffalo and visited one of those five-and-dime stores that is notorious of every small town's main street. It was the sort of place you could pick up prescriptions, drink a vanilla coke at the soda fountain and buy whatever was on your shopping
Volland Store Talk
I don't know if I always believe the idea of putting things out into the universe...but earlier this year, I shared the stage with this guy and now it almost feels likes some sort of foreshadowing.
A very big moment for a little girl, a task I took very seriously. Dad assumed we would walk into the drugstore, go straight to the toy section and leave shortly after with some shiny new toy that would entertain me until we returned to Wabaunsee. What he did not realize is that big decisions take more time, contemplation and research than that, even for a 6 year-old.
I led him up and down every aisle. We looked at home goods, hygiene items, stationary supplies, toys and everything else that resided on the shelves of the store. Every item was given equal opportunity to be picked as my reward. Each gadget and trinket was closely studied and given the opportunity to win my heart. Each aisle was given full respect and, according to the deal we had struck, I was allowed to choose any one thing that I wanted.
I can only assume my dad's dislike for shopping and impatience to get on the road was overridden by the curiosity of what would ultimately win my adoration. So after careful consideration and due process, I knew exactly what I wanted. There was no hesitation, no hem-hawing,
Double Humped Art
It is almost like he is telling me I need to go hang out with his family in Mongolia.
I marched straight back to the office supply section and held up the holy grail of this variety store: a set of index cards with an index box.
A bit dumbfounded and a bit amused, dad paid for the item and shook his head the entire drive home as I delightfully played with my treasure.
In many ways my little 6 year-old self is still a big part of me as I have a tendency to contemplate, calculate, consider, research and organize my thoughts or decisions, but I also am very comfortable with what I want. I know what makes me happy, even if it is not what you might expect.
It should probably come as no surprise that when we make the big decision of where to go on an overseas adventure, there is a lot discussion, daydreaming, reading, considering and planning. There is tedious consideration and every option is evaluated. This actually is part of the fun for us. This is pretty much how we do it all the time and how we plan for every adventure.
Well, maybe not this time. And maybe not this adventure.
The adventure I
2017 Encounter with Bactrian Camel
I have always been partial to the Arabian Camels, but maybe this is the year to get to know their Asian counterparts.
find myself on currently is the result a big decision made with very little time and not even a smidge of research. This was an opportunity that spontaneously surfaced and it was get on board or forget about it. Sometimes the once in a lifetime moments don't allow for contemplation, budgeting and planning. Sometimes they just appear and you have to decide if you will regret not doing it. And sometimes you have to decide within a few hours. That calculated little girl would not be too pleased.
But maybe when you spend so many years considering options, making plans and organizing your thoughts, you set yourself up to make snap decisions because you already know what makes you happy and what delivers excitement. And maybe when you spend time on the big decisions, it allows you to develop strong relationships with people who know you don't always have time for index cards.
I am on my way to Mongolia for a camel training expedition. I am traveling solo, but I am doing so because I have supportive people who encouraged the spontaneity of the adventure. Kyle, my dear husband, said "you know you will regret it if
you don't go. We will figure out the money, we will make the details work. Just book it." I know I would not have pulled the trigger if it were not for his support and encouragement. He was able to quiet that little 6 year-old me who said, this can't be done this quickly and out of the norm.
So the spontaneous decision was made and all the details were quickly thrown together and I was able to accept the whirlwind affair because my parents and husband said "Do it. You will love every minute of it."
The planning timeline was short, the packing was quick and before I knew it I was boarding a flight to go live out a dream of existing and working among the Bactrian camels of Mongolia. And there isn't an index card in sight.
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