“4 Bud Lights and 4 Mind Erasers…the boys need it.” That was the initially mysterious message sent from a friend a few weekends ago while he was on a tropical vacation and his roommates and I were on our way to a bar. Moments later after we shared a confused laugh during our Uber ride, our vacationing friend Venmo’d one of the roommates $45 and said “enjoy”. The extravagant levels of generosity layered into that very millennial bank transfer sparked unfathomable elation among “the boys” (aka monetarily poor recent post-grads), but what I thought went overlooked was the message behind the entire maneuver. The liberal gesture was completely unprompted but also didn’t seem to be done for show. No, my sun-soaked friend was just mindlessly happy and thinking of his friends as a result. Did a couple of stiff drinks influence his decision to buy a round for a group of people 1000+ miles away? Sure it did. But his gratuitous and thoughtless behavior was still something to be admired amidst a busy weekend .
Weeks have passed and now it’ my turn to embark on a worldly excursion of my own. The vast majority of vacations I’ve gone on in the past have been heavily planned out, but not this one. After the subtle lesson my friend taught me, I’ve decided that the only plans I’m making going into this vacation are my flights in and out of the country that I’m visiting. Other than that, I literally have nothing on my mind. I’m hoping that a lax attitude, a steady heartbeat, and a brain that moves in slow-motion similar to the sound and visual media found in Astronomyy’s “Nothin On My Mind”, I will stay loose, relaxed, and observant. Those traits are essential to taking in a foreign culture, and hopefully I can bring home some sort of replicable experiential learning to a sea of hectic American lives.