Two things prompted me to write this article. The first, a diary reflection that Cameron Sims wrote when he was hitchhiking in the South Island after finishing his university degree, and the second an interview with Ben Shewyn an expat Kiwi and owner of Attica restaurant, Melbourne.
In these challenging times it would be easy to argue that a Plan B is a good idea however, the reality is it is more likely to undermine you than be of help.
An extract from Cameron’s musings:……… I love this!
“Remember to enjoy being roadside, seaside, inside, outside, upside, downside, this side or that side. Because soon enough you will hook your catch when you remember to remember the following hitchhiker’s rule of thumb. A hitchhiker always knows he will get to where he’s going yet hasn’t a clue how or when he will arrive. I guess that’s what they mean when they say don’t worry about the destination just enjoy the journey. The fun part is finding out how you got to where you wanted to go. Imagine your destination, commit and enjoy
the rest of the journey. Alternatively, fear the worst and you will get lost.
Lost is depressive, ugly and deadly. F–k that.”
“The hitchhiker’s network – the most important thing they didn’t teach you about at high school. Ask for help and smile and someone once in your shoes will show you the way. There’s lots of people along the way, so ask lots of questions and listen carefully for hitchhikers who’ve already travelled the road you’re headed. Stay curious, gracious and true to whom you meet, you never know how they will affect your future for better or worse.
The trick to successful hitchhiking is the superstitious ritual of enjoying the present moment wherever you find yourself in the world or in life. Naturally this ritual attracts and reciprocates with good people who share the energy you need to find your destination.” Cameron Sims.
Ben Shewyn’ s interview
Revealed the emotional roller coaster of a passionate chef who had managed to buy his own place after 20 years of hard work in a tough industry. Who now, after less than 5 years of ownership. With the Covid pandemic was unable to open his restaurant, financially had his back to the wall, resolved to losing it all. After some dark days, he decided, NO he wasn’t going to let that happen either to him or his staff, somehow he would find a way. In just 4 days he pivoted and completely changed from being a $300 per person, 60 covers a night, always fully booked, fine dining restaurant to providing takeaway meals at middle market prices. Within a few weeks he was back, enough anyway to gift one night a week to being a soup kitchen for displaced hospitality people (those on work visas with no support or income for 2 months) This guy is “a legend!”
Like restaurants and many other businesses throughout NZ, Ben is hurting and working really hard just to survive! But as seen in Cam’s musings, Ben is totally committed to providing jobs for his staff and retaining his business, whatever that takes!
Ben’s plan is certainly very agile and even involved doubling as a cake kitchen for 5 or so days earlier in March.
These two stories are both about people needing to confront their inner boundaries of who they thought they were. This made them challenge themselves, to appreciate the importance of focusing on endurance and how they would endure, how they could manage their emotional state and in finding a way, staying true, trusting and going with it.
They never compromised on their goal and were both totally committed, doing everything that was possible and never once giving up finding the ability to dig deep within themselves and to trust it will happen. In only ever having a Plan A from the start the pivoted and adapted quickly moving to the opportunities in the moment continually focusing on what was next.
A significant part of both their stories was their desire to help others on their journey but to also be open and comfortable to accept help from those that could help them.