So, I Took a Think Week Trip… and I’m Gonna Do It Again

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

I did it. I took a trip by myself for myself. As a young black man, no less. Contrary to my deepest fears… I survived. It scared me sh*tless, but I’m glad that I went and you should too. I’ve boiled the experience down to four reflection points and I hope that you’ll take a trip for yourself soon.

So where did I get the idea for this “Think week”?

Last year, I watched the Documentary on Netflix about Bill Gates and in it, Bill went on what he calls a “think week”. I thought this idea was a unique opportunity to emulate the activities of the successful but also give myself something that I’ve always knew that I needed; a purposeful solo trip in a new city. I needed three things:

  1. A place that I could go to explore & expand
  2. Something(or a lot of things) to do
  3. Something scary & exciting

So, in that order I decided to go to Washington, D.C., created an absolutely overwhelming to-do list, and since I have pretty tame dreams rooted in innovation and practicality I decided to test drive my dream car: an innovative and practical Tesla Model Y.

So… how did it go?

In short, it went well. In a few more words, I’m definitely going to do it again because I gave myself the power to change my own life. I ran through my to-do list like a motivated Usain Bold in Rio. I waltzed through museums with a time-less bliss. Lastly, I test drove that model Y like Doc Brown in Back to the Future. It was great. I already have a dedicated savings account set up to buy one in the near future. This trip was something that I’m going to do for me again and again.

Doc Brown in Back To The Future

I thought you said you had four points?

C’mon, give me some time to give you the whole spiel, will ya? Okay, so the four things that I took away (and that you should too) are:

Do something for yourself by yourself.

This trip’s purpose is to work on the future you, but you also have to do something for who you are the day you take the trip. Take that walk through the city of your dreams, go to the ball game, book that high-rise Airbnb or hotel room, just do the sh*t that makes you feel like a million bucks. Why? Because, it’ll put a smile on your face and that’s all the reason there needs to be.

Become a well- traveled person; exposure leads to expansion

Too many Americans haven’t traveled and seen the greater world outside of their local area or state. I’ve been to only been to 13 states and never out of the country myself. I’m sure that some believe it’s too hard to travel because of costs, but there are many ways around the money barrier when it comes to travel. On the issue of safety, you have to understand that nowhere is safe. True, I have some degree of safety from being kidnapped as a large male, (which is why I suggest going on these trips in smaller groups and planning alone time) but nowhere is safe from natural disasters, police violence, hate crimes, theft, or any other thing that would frighten a traveler. However, I say F**K IT. There’s too many good times on the other side of fear to be worried. One should still do everything in their power to shield themselves from these very real dangers, but the joys on the other side of fear always outweigh the fear itself.

Your mind is your biggest asset. Take some time to feed your mind and generate ideas.

Read, write, meditate, do artsy stuff, do math & science-y things. Whatever. Your brain likely needs some good rest and also a good workout, you’ve gotta make the time to get the cobwebs off! Working on or from your brain is one of the biggest benefits of a think week or any other trip that you might take. Your brain is amazing and it can literally generate change in your life through your thoughts, ideas, and inner voice. According to the two creation concept in Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, everything has a first and second creation. The first creation is the initial thought. The second is the realization of that thought. Take those thoughts that you generate during the trip and write them all down. One of them could realized as the million dollar idea!

Make this trip about you.

For once you should be the center of this trip. No, I’m not encouraging one to indulge in abhorrent narcissism, but I am encouraging good things like self discovery, reflection, care, and inner peace. You cannot be the best you for the world if you are not your best you for yourself first. One can only communicate at their level of self-awareness. One can only love at their level of self-love. One can only reason at their level of self-study. Take this trip to heighten and refine yourself so that you can have the capacity to bring more awesome to the world.

Wrap this thing up, will ya?

In wondrous conclusion, my think week did me well. It’s not perfect for me just yet, but Bill was up to something when he shared this with the world. It’s something we all should do. I imagine a utopia where we’d all have that chance to take that week of tranquility and get some good work done. Maybe this article will convince one person to do so, and in that one its mission will be fulfilled. I’d love to leave you with this quote that I came up with in my dorm room: “Close your eyes and imagine a place that you’ve gotta go to for any reason at all and just go”. Go get that exposure and come back expanded.



Hi! I’m Roderick. I’m a student, traveler, thinker, a novice finance guy and so much more. You can view these articles in video form on YouTube. Thanks!

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Roderick Bishop

Roderick Bishop


Hi! I’m Roderick. I’m a student, traveler, thinker, a novice finance guy and so much more. You can view these articles in video form on YouTube. Thanks!