There was a book that I brought with me on the Global Scavenger Hunt (I brought more than one book, actually) because I foolishly thought that somewhere along the journey I would have had time to read.
I did not have time to read.
But as soon as I returned to Providence, I retrieved this book from my backpack and promptly couldn’t put it down.
Love Does is the name of it, written by Bob Goff. This is one of those books that inspires its reader because the life Bob describes—the life he lives—is the kind of life that most people want. It’s full of taking chances and going all in, being fully present and changing other people’s lives. The experiences he writes about demonstrate what it means to love, but it’s not just a book of words: it’s a book of actions. Over-the-top, surely he can’t be serious kind of actions.
You should read it. I’ll buy you a copy.*
*true story: a friend posted a picture of this book on Instagram and said, “Everyone should read this book. I’ll even buy you a copy” and Bob Goff saw the picture, re-posted it, and all of a sudden, my friend was receiving a ton of requests. So Bob mailed him a box of his books to give away—because that’s the kind of guy Bob Goff is.
So, I claim little responsibility for my actions because I was under the influence of Bob Goff and weather. Here’s what happened:
I returned from the global trip ready to spend the summer in Rhode Island. Summer is the best time to be here—beach days, patios for drinking, and happiness to be had. But I didn’t realize an exodus was underway: four close friends were about to announce their departure, soon followed by two more. Of those who remained, over half were going to be away in July during my birthday weekend. Then the weather shifted from rain to warmth, and all of a sudden, it felt like, “This is the time of year I go to Greece,” and I panicked.
One other chink in my armor: I had planned to go to Greece in September/October, but unforeseen circumstances took that off the table. So I did what any rationale human being would do and bought tickets to Greece for my birthday.
Yes, it was expensive, and I could only manage one week away from work (the fact that I had any holiday days at all was a miracle—a divine birthday gift!), and at first I was hesitant, but the more I thought about it, the more I had to do it. After spending money with (painful) abandon during the Scavenger Hunt, at least this–I knew– would be worth it.
But it gets better.
I chose to keep it a secret–I didn’t tell anyone I was coming; I wanted it to be a surprise. This was a Bob Goff thing to do: a grand gesture, a surprise element, an opportunity to make an invaluable memory.
I reached out to a couple of trustworthy conspirators so that I would have a place to stay—I even had one of my friends book a room for me at Archodissa for the day of my birthday (when the workshop finishes and the group vacates)–and she requested not just any room, but my room. The only room I’ve ever stayed in at Archodissa: #10.
So, how did this all play out?
Well, as I write this, I’m on the bus from Thassos town to Potos, where my bouzouki-playing friend, Paris, will pick me up on his way to Archodissa, for Live Music Night. My friends from Rhode Island, natives of Kavala, made sure I got from the airport to the ferry. The only thing left to do now is surprise the Writing Workshop—my teachers, particularly Christopher and Joanna—and of course my Greek parea, Dimitris and Yiannis and Tassos of Thassos.
By the time you read this, I will be making my entrance. Please send your best wishes.
Why would I go through all this trouble?
Well, because love doesn’t think too much. It just does.