As we advance in years, particularly in the age of the Internet, it becomes less and less likely to see things that truly surprise or amaze us.
When the 'Net makes it possible to see people doing things with horses that never ever crossed your mind previously, and to turn tools like Perez Hilton into millionaires, there's a good chance that little surprises you anymore. We need to find new and creative ways to tap into that explorer's mindset.
Having seen a lot of new things these past six months, I began to think about how often I still get surprised or amazed. And I invite you to look around more in your own town or on your travels, to try to see things that genuinely still surprise you. Feel free to add them in the comments section below.
Here are a few items that have provided me a genuine sense of "wow" recently:
- Adults who still get sunburned. And are then surprised by it. "Yeah dude, it was the strangest thing...I was sitting outside for a couple of hours on the patio/beach/ski hill/golf course without sunscreen and I totally got burned." Huh, imagine that.
- People who send a text message saying "Call me".
- This army platoon in Malaga. The entire morning's build-up was quite something - veterans arriving via warship, a huge crowd lining a parade route which featured past and current members of the Spanish Legion, an elite unit of the Spanish Army. No disrespect intended, but when they finally passed by, I was, well, surprised.
The world's most fabulous army. Featuring their "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, But You Can Kinda Guess" policy
- The guy in Amsterdam's Vondelpark last week wearing baggy diapers and neon green hightops. And the only people who really looked twice were like "Hey man, nice shoes". (Sorry, my camera was at home).
- Volcanoes in remote countries that erupt and then impact the lives of millions. And the people among those millions who still manage to feel victimized and say "why me?"
Eyjafjallajokull. Or Eyjafjallajo for short.
- Spanish kids on the beach who made a game of hurling themselves into this sand pit, doing twists and flips on the way down. And not a neck brace nor a body cast in sight.
I'll continue to seek out things - people, sights, food, experiences, places - that still manage to provide the element of surprise and newness for as long as I live. I figure this approach will mostly serve me well, although being able to erase "adults in diapers" from my brain would be nice.