Walking along this bridge and to a place that everyone had told me to visit (Charles Bridge), I drew some conclusions about why I thrive when I travel and why it feels so different.
Initially, I thought that I was justifying a hobby or a feel-good and expensive hobby or childhood wish to be in moving things (I do enjoy the landing of aircraft every time). But I think that I found out why; and you do not have to spend lots of money to find this thing, I get the same effect by taking cold showers.
Traveling outside my area of comfort and auto-pilot existence creates a healthy rush that requires all the capacities of the brain to be awakened as everything in a new place is new and useful. When I landed in Prague, I did not know (and still don’t) how to even say Hello. I was not staying at a Hotel or some template experience that is predictable. I was being picked from the airport by “Martin” in a black VW Passat; who would show up 3 minutes after I texted him. It now feels more adventurous than it did at the time. I got to my AirBnB, later left to find a supermarket to do food shopping, and then returned home to prepare and go dance some salsa for the evening. I did not even have any local currency (I thought they used Euros until 2 days prior to my arrival).
So being in such situations, the body must take-in, understand, and integrate everything it sees. Nothing is assured around the corner and you do not even know how to smile. This is like when the freezing 0-degree water hits your head and shoulders in the morning, you want to run but you master the reaction and focus on the mission. Once you are beyond the sensory shock, your body’s systems are open and ready for business. At such times, any thoughts you have are privileged to be using a clear and ready brain. For those who work with computers, it is just like shocking a server by asking for information that it does not have in the edge-cache, not in memory, and does not even have a database view or query-plan for. It has to fire-up all the systems to build and serve the information. Now, once that system is warmed-up end-to-end, anything you tasked it with in the immediate is sure to get processed with the best possible resources.
So, when I travel to new places, my heuristics are not applicable anywhere, and so I must have an open mind even just for my won survival. This is what Flo used to call ‘an exposed person’. Someone who has seen his/her paradigms challenged, or who has seen contradictory facts apply. Someone operating at a higher level of thinking and ability.