It seems to me that nothing ever meets expectations, not a hundred percent, and when you combine those expectations with a community .. things go from one extreme to another. In the end though things need to be looked at as opften as possible from as many different states of mind as can be done.

For example on my first trip to Egypt I was hearding 70 tourists around .. and at least a third of them were a pain in the backside, and when we finally came to the Pyramids of Giza I took a look and my mental reaction was “oh, yeh pyramids .. why did I come here again?”, which may sound laughable considering the Pyramids are a higlight of many peoples trip to Egypt. Anyway three weeks later having sent the group home and then spent time touring Libya (which was fantastic by the way.. visit it now before huge numbers of tourists take away its charm) I was back in Egypt, and with one of my local Guides decided to go out and see the Pyramids again. My reaction the second time around was nothing like the first .. I was floored by the immensity of the constructs, the scale of the operation that would have been required to build it and I was filled with all around awe. I have seen the Pyramids several times since, and for the most part the second feeling is what I come across the most in myself when I am there.

Why though? Well the first time I was there like any traveller I had built up expectations, as well as the fact I was with a group of matyrs that were refusing to enjoy themselves. I’ve been with groups wich have travellers since that many of the group find disturbing but I have since myself learn’t to deal with these sour travellers as best I can … even to the point where I can innoculate the rest of the group in part from them. The fact is though my state of mind between the first and second visits were hgely different, and subsequent visits have brought a familiarity of awe that while it persists isn’t as high as the second visit.

Expectations, Reality, State of Mind and Familiarity. These four things can be applied to almost anything. The first time I went to read David Brin I thought he was a hack, but a few months later in a different frame of mind I not only enjoyed his book but burned my way through eight of them in a two week period. Warcraft has an upcoming expansion, at first i was all hyped “ooh new expansion”, then announced changed came out and I felt like they were taking away my favourite toys .. I expect a month or two into the expansion I’ll be enjoying it and my doubts and fears will be gone.

This is probably better seen in movies, for instance you may have loved “The Never Ending Story” as a Kid, hell I know I did. Watching it again decades on and you wonder what it was that held you enthralled. As I said Expectations, Reality, State of Mind and Familiarity.

So if you are off to see or do something new try to keep your mind open and enjoy the experience for what it is rather than what you had hoped. If you are off to revisit something you haven’t seen or done in a while do the same and hopefully in either event you will enjoy yourself more.