Nathan Agin came into our lives about 2 weeks ago. Here is what I knew before I decided to open up our place for him to stay: He is a traveler, a foodie, a fellow World Domination Summit (WDS) attendee, and he comes with great cooking skills. He was all of that and then some.
During the past two weeks, we had a pleasure of having him around. He cooked for us, showed us what more we could do with our Vitamix (ultra-blender), how he decides what to eat, not to eat and why. He greatly influenced my thoughts about healthier food choices – now my breakfast is green smoothie instead of bread or cereal. He did this not by telling me what to do but by showing that you can actually make healthy stuff that are delicious.
He was also very kind and always willing to help out. Not only did he give me some tips on how to create a podcast, he was happy to be interviewed by me for my podcast program. We had lots of fun discussing WDS, travel and food. It will be available for the world to listen once the show launches in coming months.
There was also an unexpected event during his stay. One day when he was in our place by himself, he noticed that his stuff on the kitchen counter top is wet with water. He realized that water was leaking from the ceiling, and he went upstairs to see what was going on and talked to the upstairs neighbors. That’s something I would not have done if I was staying at someone’s house by myself, but he did, because he is just that kind of a guy, always looking for a solution, taking action, and goes above and beyond when called for.
For a young, single guy, he is also very good with kids. Our middle son loved to climb on him or sit on his lap and watched him do stuff on his computer. He has been travelling past 2.5 years, and mostly couch-surfed, so he lived at a variety of settings and with different people. When I asked kids what they remember most about Nathan, our oldest said “he didn’t act like a guest. He was like a family or someone in charge, like cooking stuff”. Our middle son said “He loves to hike. And travel”. In short period of time, Nathan had huge impact on our family.
On our last day together, we went to a meditation garden in Encinitas – one of my favorite places. It was a gorgeous day and we were standing at the top of a hill looking over the ocean. We talked about some deep topics such as who we really are if we are not defined by what we do. As we said good-bye in front of Starbucks in Encinitas (omnipresent temporary office for nomadic people), I wondered if he will continue travelling or possibly change course, as he shared (both online and in person) some of his thoughts that came up in considering his next move. I sensed that he is partly afraid of stopping now because of this question: who will he be if he is not travelling?
As I started writing this post, I continued to ponder this question. Who are you if you are not doing all the stuff that are (in your mind) making you an interesting person? And it occurred to me. We tend to think that we are what we do, and people like us because of our ability to do something. But is that really true? Yes, he might not be the “food and travel guy” if he doesn’t travel anymore. But that does not mean he will stop being all the things he already is; kind, intelligent, helpful, upbeat, motivating, fun-loving and adventure-seeking. We are not defined by what we do , but who we are will guide us to choose what we do – or rather, who we are will show up in EVERYTHING we do, even during the process of “trying to figure it out”. I will continue following his path on his blog, and will see him in Portland, OR at the third annual WDS in July. Whether he will continue travelling or not, I will cheer him on his journey as a friend. Thank you, Nathan, for enriching our lives. Until we meet again!