Spin the Globe with Justin Butner

A world citizen may provide value to society by using knowledge acquired across cultural contexts.

Day 1 – Advice from Jamies

Jamie seemed to do his job out of love. He genuinely seemed excited about the flora and fauna of the park as he pitched the wilderness tours. In his spare time he rescues wombats so that says something. When everyone else was off the bus he asked of my plans and made suggestions. Then without warning, “[You go off and live these grand adventures and you come home and expect everyone’s going to be interested. But they’re not. They’re busy living their own lives. They’ll ask to see pictures but they don’t mean it. Parents will hold out a little bit more but they’re still ultimately concerned with themselves. I was away for three and a half years, came back with a wife and kid. Twenty minutes after picking me up my dad asks, ‘So you know who won the football last week?’ He didn’t care about my stuff.]” “That’s why I’m doing this trip for myself,” was all I could say. His brutal honesty was stark but it wasn’t cold. There was no malice. Just a warning to do things for yourself. “[Seeing the world is the best schooling you can get],” he added. It reminded me of Jamie’s (home Jamie that is) words the night before I left. “[People here are going to have their own lives and those will go on without you. There’ll be parties you miss, inside jokes you don’t get. It isn’t done intentionally. And once you’re gone, people won’t contact you unless something comes up. Sure, family. But friends, not really. It isn’t malicious. It’s just out of sight, out of mind. We’ll all be excited for you and you’ll come up in conversation from time to time, but if you want to hear from us, you’re going to have to be the one to reach out… Yeah, reality’s a bitch.]” And so I write the emails and make the calls for the most part, on top of the blog. And I largely haven’t heard from home except for family (and the random one-off friends). But that’s all fine. Everyone has their own adventure going and they are starring in it. And I have mine.

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This entry was posted on January 18, 2012 by in Australia, Overland Track, Tasmania (Hobart) and tagged .

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