Retrospective Fun

I am back from Nairobi and lots of people are asking how the trip was. My instinct is to immediately say, “great!” because overall I really think it was a great trip. It was productive, interesting, and had fun moments as well. However, I do feel just saying “great” disguises the hard times or the moments where I wanted to go home and wasn’t sure what I was doing there (or crying because I was lonely and didn’t have wifi). As I was pondering this idea I just happened to be listening to two of my favorite podcasters talking to each other, Tim Ferriss and Cheryl Strayed. And like many things in life Cheryl Strayed sums it up perfectly. I stopped quickly to write this down because I want to remember it on every journey or adventure I take. (Also, I love a good poop story).

Tim Ferriss asked Cheryl Strayed what advice she would give someone hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (as she wrote about in Wild) who was a third of the way in and wanted to give-up, she replied:

“It is not just long distance hiking…any kind of journey/trip you are going to take, to remember that usually it is not going to be fun all the time, and sometimes it is not going to be fun a lot of the time. Almost always when we are about to go on a trip or a journey…what we are imagining are those postcards scenes that we think we have gone to Bucharest for or the PCT for or whatever and you get there and it is not like that. But…I am a real believer in retrospective fun, and that is the fun that you have remembering the shitty thing that happened you know? If I asked you to tell you about some of your travel experiences I guarantee you the things you remember most acutely are like the time you almost died in Guatemala because you had such terribly diarrhea for a week, the diarrhea stories, they are our best travel stories.”

For the full podcast listen here


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