Next up on our visit Down Under- Tasmania. Now, I can honestly say that I have no idea why we put Tasmania on our itinerary. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with Looney Toons and the fact that I grew up associating a large Tornado Rodent with Australia. Either way, it got on our itinerary.
We got the distinct impression that “mainlanders” don’t think much of the inhabitants of the southeastern island. Our tour guide at the Sydney Opera house imitated them with a distinctly harder Aussie drawl (think Crocodile Dundee) and the front desk attendant at our Sydney responded (condescendingly) when I told him we were going to Tasmania “why would you want to go there?”
These impressions left us a bit apprehensive as we flew into Tasmania.
I’ll paint the picture of a smaller sized jet flying into an airport no bigger than my grade school and deplaning in the middle of a runway.
But I’ll describe Tasmania to you in three words. But first I want to you channel Janice from Friends through your mind: Oh. My. Gawd.
Tasmania is a beautiful, humble countryside riddled with livestock, rolling hills, and breathtaking coastlines.
But our trip to Tasmania didn’t go exactly as planned or hoped. We ran into inclement weather (cold, windy, rainy, oh my), lost hotel reservations, and driving in a foreign country with foreign rules. But all of this reminds me of one of the greatest lessons one could learn from traveling. The lesson to be flexible. To embrace challenges. To roll with punches. Learning this principle will help to optimize your life, reduce your stress levels, and create a view of the world beyond your wildest dreams. Basically, what I’m getting at, is to learn how to YOLO.
For those of you who don’t know what YOLO is, and for those of you who think you do, let me explain. YOLO stands for “You Only Live Once.” Most people have a very negative association with the term YOLO. They frequently associate the noun YOLO it with skinny jean wearing, spring breaking, hipster wannabes. But I’m here to introduce the verb YOLO. Changing this word into a verb will change your entire outlook on life. Situations that may have been stressful or frustrating before YOLOing become an opportunity to strike out and learn something about yourself or your world.
To be clear, I certainly do not condone YOLOing when it comes to fundamental principles of safety (don’t YOLO when welding), security (don’t YOLO down a dark alley), narcotics (don’t YOLO in the presence of cocaine), matters of the heart (don’t YOLO when it comes to bad boys), nutrition (don’t ever YOLO in the presence of a Twinkie), or general common sense (if you’re behind on a deadline at work, it is not recommended that you YOLO).
I’m sure I’ve made myself as clear as mud. But let’s apply this to our trip to Tasmania.
What do you do when you’ve rented a car in a country that you’ve inhabited for less than two days who drive on the opposite side of the road?
What do you do when you get to lodge, only to find that they cannot find your reservation? Freak out? Yell? No way. Wait it out for a $400 per night upgrade and…
What do you do when the hike that the park ranger sent you on suddenly becomes a bit overwhelming?
What do you do when you come across a creature that according to the Tasmanian department of transportation can deadlift a car
and has only existed in picture books and on TV?
What do you do when you plan on taking an after dark tour of penguins, only to be confronted with rain, wind, and cold?
What do you do when your plan for a peaceful harbor cruise turns into a storm of Titanic proportions?
What do you do when confronted with a saltwater booger (otherwise known as an Oyster) for consumption, but the thought of it makes you want to puke?
What do you do when you’ve been confronted by one of the most beautiful habitats on earth with no creative photography plans?
And for my canine readers out there, what do you do when you’re on a fishing boat with 15 strangers and no dolphins to chase?
You see, at its core, the principle of YOLOing has nothing to do with the type of jeans you wear, the brightness of your PCB tank top, or even how many Twitter followers you have. YOLOing is not sweating the small stuff. YOLOing is about finding ways to maximize your short time on this planet. And most importantly, YOLOing is learning that life begins outside of your comfort zone.