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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Relocation Theory: What Could have been (and still may be someday)

April 14th could have been a life changing day for me. Five months ago I was going to be doing a research project entitled, "Relocation Theory" and April 14th was the day I planned on coming home.

This relocation theory was going to be big. My goal in it was to see if I could make it in another country way from everyone I know and everything that is safe.

What was the inspiration behind this? In 2006 while flying over Ireland headed to Madagascar I awoke from a nap and looked down on the darkened Earth. My eyes were drawn to every town and village and I thought, "I wonder what life is like down there, and I wonder if I could survive in a town like that?"

From that one moment of wonder came several years of that question pounding about in my mind. Could I socialize? Would it be easier or harder? What about the culture? Question after question came into my mind and after years of thinking about it we started to piece together the actual project.

The plan was to go to Wittenberg, Germany for 90 days starting on January 1. I was in the process of learning German and I was to find a job that didn't pay, but something that would put into social situations.

I theorized that, because I was away from all things routine and all that was comfortable would new things come into my life? If so, what would happen when I came home? This was going to be an extreme experiment, but I wasn't fearful of it in the least despite most everyone telling me I was crazy.

This didn't seem crazy to me at all. I was excited beyond anything else I have experienced because I was truly thinking I would understand the autism spectrum more and I was hoping that I would be able to make connections with people. I don't fully understand the basis of that hope of connecting, but I felt it nonetheless.

Relocation theory did not get off the ground and and at this point in time it was probably a good thing. Events that would not have happened had I have gone were this blog, speaking to officers, and my job at Touch Point. Is it still something I would like to do? Most certainly, as I want to better understand my concepts I put forth in my book.

Now you may be wondering what the relevancy of this post is, and I have an answer to that question. My sister got me a book last Christmas and she said the person the book was about shared this same sense of adventure. I just read it (in a little under three days!) and was shaken many times during the book. So tomorrow, I will talk about Jon Krakauer's book Into the Wild which is an account of Christopher McCandless' tragic trip into the Alaska bush.

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