The Masks We Wear

GlobeKick's second week in Lisbon was focused entirely on community: how we perceive community, how we are shaped by community and how we are effectively shaping our own community of digital and entrepreneurial nomads. 

Community can be defined as the collection of individuals, like-minded or not, within any given arena. There are familial communities, professional communities, communities centered on a central theme or idea, even communities that hinder rather than help.

GlobeKick adds another element to community, that of sharing and integrating our individual strengths while acknowledging our weaknesses in order to create a stronger and more trusting whole. The community begins with the individual, and the individual wears many masks. We were asked to isolate the singular mask that each of us wears in order to fit in with the various communities we associate in daily. We then were asked to remove those masks and to seek the more truthful versions of ourselves, what we are hoping to get out of this experience and why we decided to travel in the first place.

Many of us offered our stances on work-associated travel, including our interpretations of a “dream job” versus that which we currently do. Are we content? Are we motivated to keep traveling, even after our community disperses? As travelers, are we limited by our work? As employees, are we distracted by travel? How are we able to form a life based on success if we do not work behind a desk? How can we help one another to create a seamless transition from the office to beautiful destinations beyond the sea?

Our community definitely grew this week, both in members and in the overall support we offer one another. New bonds were forged, existing bonds were strengthened. We gathered as a tribe to admit our personal and professional faults. It was an incredibly sobering seven days where we learned about each other’s fears, strengths, past and intended future goals.

The end of the week offered unrelenting beauty with a community trip to the vibrant and ancient town of Sintra. This colorful community dates back to the 4th century prior to the Romanization of the Iberian Peninsula. Stone turrets and towers pierce the sky, wrapped in carved nautical instruments so intricate that, for a moment, the stone seems to move. The grounds and grottos remind some of an elaborate Disneyland ride, while the Initiation Well (a favorite of many GlobeKickers) exposed the beauty and artistry of modern Portuguese architecture. It is a pensive, spiraling ascent from the cave-like bottom to the sun-bathed well at the top… the perfect representation of every human’s climb from demise to the realization of grace.

Nick, GlobeKicker