Often, when you travel, you get to try a product that hasn’t yet been introduced at home. I got to thinking yesterday morning as I made my Sunday morning donuts pilgrimage to Casey’s with my daughter. A couple of years ago, while traveling from Alice Springs to Uluru, my mom and I stopped at this convenience store along the road to pick up refreshments for the remaining trek to Uluru.
It was a long drive. I was pretty tired because I had been to 4 different countries and had taken multiple flights over the prior couple of weeks without too much rest. I had endured the stress of classwork, the fatigue from flying, and other unpleasant problems associated with travel. I began to wonder if this whole thing was a good idea. I wondered even more when I caught my mom next to a fence talking to some emus. What have I done? Why am I here? Why is my mother talking to farm animals?
So we fueled up, and I picked up something to drink. When I saw the bottle of Coca-Cola with Coffee, I simply had the inclination to consume as much caffeine as possible, but it wasn’t bad. I like coffee and I like Coke. What could go wrong? Well, nothing did go wrong. We made it to our destination refreshed and awake.
But I wondered, would I ever have that experience again? Not just driving in the middle of Australia, but all of the things associated with that moment. Driving on the opposite side of the road, following a trailer train, drinking Coke plus Coffee. I put way too much pressure on myself to really live the moment. It was my ‘stop and smell the emu” moment, in a way, if there were such a thing. I can’t remember if the emu smelled like anything, or imagine I would have even noticed. But, the Coke… The Coke I remember. It was a new taste to the old and familiar. It was different, and it was something that I wouldn’t be bringing home with me.