Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~ Mark Twain
Most of us are closet voyeurs at best. A peek here, a daydream there. Then back to work/family/football games, content with regular sunrises and sunsets and football fantasy pools.
But you know that somewhere deep inside you’ve got an exotic idea. An exotic dream. An exotic fantasy.
And most likely it will never see the light of day.
But I wonder — are exotics different when you’re younger?
I used to think it would be awesome to be dropped into the middle of Japan or China and find my way out. Oriental worlds are as foreign to me as the canals on Mars, so I thought getting a real fix on a world where their language is nothing but mixed up sticks would be quite exotic. The trip never materialized, but my curiosity continued.
I am the same person at 62 than I was at 22. And 42. But my idea of exotic has changed through the years. Octopus was high on the list, as was caviar and croissants. Now days, ate that, done that, so exotic has to be a little more … risky. Makeup? Nails? My fascination of those exotics have led to two SEAG blogs (Nails: http://wp.me/s1pIBL-nails, and Tal Peleg, http://wp.me/p1pIBL-19M). How can you not love that devil-may-care look?
My dreams and my pocketbook are miles apart, but that hasn’t stopped me from dreaming about the exotic. How about a weird, wild Ferrari 599 GTB to drive? A vacation to South Island, New Zealand or Tasmania, Australia? I looked up “exotic” in relation to clothes, and too many kinky selections popped up, so I will settle for BoHo for now. How about exotic flowers? I found a great website (http://www.psdeluxe.com/articles/photography/beautiful-exotic-flowers-pictures/) that blew my mind. Exotic for real.
Food is an easy slide into the world of Exotic. Spices like Grains of Paradise (also known as Melegueta pepper) from Western Africa or Furikake Wasabi from Japan. How about pho from Vietnam or pambazos from Mexico or Tim Tam from Australia? Our own American cuisine can be exotic, too, with turtle soup, grits, deep fried Coke, and alligator fritters. Who knew?
One cannot get hung up on words (unless you’re a writer). You have to explore words that dance on your dreams, words that make you say “Oh!” and “Wow!” and “Really?” It doesn’t matter if your version of a word is different than the next person’s. Who cares? Life is for us to explore. To dream about. To play with.
Exotic is just one of those play words. Like Unique. Adventurous. Surreal. Luscious. Savory. Words that make us want to explore more of what’s around us. To open our minds, our palates, our creative space.
What is your definition of exotic, anyway? Do you have fun with the word? With the imagery? Do you let yourself check out the extraordinary? The unique? The far away?
I like the word “exotic”. It makes me think of Mediterranean edibles and temples in Japan and punjambi’s in India. The exploration of words and worlds makes me feel like a kid again.
And there’s nothing wrong with that…