How Watching TV in the 90’s Prepared Me for Traveling
I can’t remember when I got the urge to travel, but it feels like I’ve always had it. Something about seeing new places, and meeting new people has always been an interest of mine, and is something that sounds glamorous, but does come with some challenges and struggles. I’ve traveled a lot, but when we quit our jobs to only travel, it was hard to apply any memories and lessons from former week-long vacations to our new lifestyle. More often than not, I have to use knowledge that I’ve gained in other areas of my life to help us get from place to place as well as keep us funded and keeps us safe.
So for example, here are seven ways watching all the TV in the 1990’s has helped prepare me for long-term traveling:
1. Jamal from Ghostwriter taught me how to blog
I’m not saying that Lenni’s songbook, Alex, both Gaby’s, Héctor, and Tina didn’t also help teach me about writing, but Jamal was the dude with the computer, a rarity in the early 1990’s. He even introduces himself to the computer as one dynamite dude. Thanks to Ghostwriter, blogging and journaling became cool again. I can also learned a little computer hacking from the “Mad Mouse” episodes(thanks Julia Stiles). Every once in awhile I write “Rally D” down on a pad of paper with my kick-ass necklace pen and hope all my friends show up.
2. Carmen Sandiego showed me geography can be cool
First thing I loved about this show was the bonus round, unless kid got the Africa map, which means they wouldn’t get to go on the grand prize trip. And how cool was the grand prize on that show?!? Here kid, write down in the portfolio anywhere in the world you want to go. And if you move enough of these plungers onto the right country, we’ll fly you there. Many times when we’re thinking of where we want to go next, I ask myself “What would you write in your Carmen Sandiego portfolio?”
Plus, we’re in Bali right now, and the first time I ever heard anyone say the word ‘Bali’ was in the theme song by Rockapella. Who by the way still tour!) Hit it Rockapella!
3. Star Trek: The Next Generation taught me diversity is worth exploring
If the crew of the starship Enterprise can live with and learn from Klingons, Ferengi, Cardassians, Androids, and Borgs, than I can live with and learn from Australians, French, Filipinos, Chinese, Jamaican, you name it. Even today I get chills when hearing the mission of this great ship:
“To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”
4. Global Guts showed me that there are good athletes all over the world
Before Global Guts, I just assumed that Americans were the best athletes in the world. I didn’t even know there were professional leagues outside of the U.S. before then. I mean, my Green Bay Packers won the World Championship in 1996 right? But when I started seeing kids from all over the world dominating the American kids in games such as Slam-a-jama, Zero G, and Skyball, I started to realize just how great world competition is. It also sparked the competitiveness and pride of cheering for one’s country in sporting events. It riled me up every time a foreigner raised a piece of the Aggro Crag above their head.
Fast forward 20 years, and I now follow professional sports leagues from all over the world, and it has added a level of fun and excitement to our travels. I can have conversations with people everywhere about what sports and teams they follow. I even went to a cricket game! Don’t be fooled though, I still think the Winter Olympics are a joke.
5. 7th Heaven showed me the importance of family
People who say they didn’t watch 7th Heaven are either lying or didn’t have a TV. What a great show for all ages. I will take the values and lessons that I got from watching this show with me for the rest of my life… well at least from the six or so episodes I can even remember. This show taught me that no matter what happens or how much trouble we get in, I can always call home and get help. Thanks 7th Heaven!
6. Robert Stack from Unsolved Mysteries helped me understand that some things are better unknown
No matter what I was doing, if I heard Robert Stack’s voice, I stopped immediately and listened closely. Even if it meant stopping to watch a 30-minute show about dangerous murderers and scary ghosts that are out on the loose. At the end of every episode, I always prayed that there would be an UPDATE so that Robert could tell me they caught the bad guy. Most times, the show would just end with Robert standing in a dark, scary room and him telling us something like “Was the grey ghost responsible for the deaths of hundreds of little children or was it just a bad case of measles? We may never know.”
That is what the show taught me. We can’t always know, and sometimes it’s better not to. Do I really want to to know that the ice in my beach drink is local water not filtered water? Do I really need to know that the airplane I’m riding in was struck by lighting on it’s last flight? Do I really want to know that I’m sharing a rented villa with cockroaches secretly hiding in the walls? When traveling, I just prefer to not know some things. It keeps the stress level much lower.
7.Weinerville taught me that even my own country can be weird
We’ve all seen pictures and videos of other cultures that make us say “man, those people are weird!”, but it wasn’t until regrettably saw my first episode of Weinerville that I realized that Americans can be just as weird to foreigners as foreigners are to us. This is only getting worse for Americans. While in Australia, we told a group of people we were from the States, and the first reaction was from a guy telling us his two favorite shows about America are Hillbilly Handfishin’ and The Jersey Shore. Great.
What shows taught you the most about life?