Things To Bring Home
1. Sense of wonder
There are amazing, genius, beautiful things in your own backyard. Familiarity does not equal normality. Nor does it make the plants, posters, birds and buildings unimportant or any less amazing. Don’t sleepwalk through space and time. Stay alert. Your daily commute is only as uninteresting as where you set your eyes.
The word ‘lucky’ enters my mind and leaves my lips countless times in a day on the road. Carry that feeling, joy and grateful attitude home. Be thankful for your belongings, your roots, your family. You are lucky to have the opportunity to walk down any street, regardless of its proximity to your birthplace. Don’t take people, ability or space for granted.
3. Kindness, openness, friendliness
All over the world, it’s as easy as asking a question and offering a smile. Start a conversation, give a compliment, ask for advice. Take off your headphones. Speaking with strangers can let you travel without moving your feet.
You won’t be a novelty when you return, but you won’t be (as much of) an object, either. Flaunt your flaws and they become your biggest assets. Speak loudly and say no as often as you say yes.
There’s a wealth of beauty, art, creativity, space, and joy all over the world. Don’t become dull to it because you have a routine or are in places that are ‘old’ to you. If the location isn’t new, your perspective can be.
Ideas are great, results are better. Open your notebook and turn your scrawl into something tangible. Start talking, start sketching. Start small. Stop dreaming and start moving. Just start.
Things will work out. The answers are never obvious even when you have them. Take heart that you can get where you need to be without a map or a plan.
Continue to check your perspective. Offer the benefit of the doubt and consider the lessons you learned rather than the time or money lost. Think of the alternatives and remember your privilege. If they took it, they probably need it more.
Things To Leave Behind
Keep these low so your heart and head can go high. Buildup leads to breakdowns. Enter time, places, and events without expectation so that you can make the experience what you want it to be – organically and without pretense.
If they don’t like you because a hair is out of place, they were never going to be yours to begin with. Things aren’t going to go as you want or line up straight. The image in your mind was cultivated from a magazine, not reality. Find joy in quirks, accept detours and embrace what you’ve been taught to shame.
3. Elongated Elation
Some days you just won’t want to chat. Sometimes physical needs overtake. That is okay. Don’t beat yourself up because every moment of every day isn’t lived on a high. Appreciate and embrace low times. They signify balance and connection with your physical self. Pain makes pleasure greater.
More things are optional than necessary. You are as heavy as your belongings. Part with your cargo, privilege function, and keep what serves you. Don’t become trapped by comforts. Your experience expands the more you let go.
It doesn’t really matter. Be kind, be safe, be honest. A delayed bus will come eventually. A missed opportunity wasn’t the one for you. Feeding into constructed pressures and competition only hurts your mind and body.
Creaky boats, shady characters and speeding motorbikes lead me to repeat: “If I die here, it was a good life.” Push yourself to expand your comfort zone. Remember that sometimes it is braver to say no. Listening to your instincts and going for your dreams can be the scariest thing in the world. Balance by overcoming your fear of missing out and fear of taking part.
There is a perceived ‘lack’ when we go through the motions. The illusion of scarcity drives competition, promotes pressure and leads to unhappiness. Striving to keep up, equate, exceed. In reality, there is no shortage of opportunity. Someone else’s win doesn’t result in a loss.
Greatness isn’t associated with a number in your bank account, Instagram followers, or transcript records. Impact can’t always be measured. Goals don’t always have to be tangible. Value is a perspective. Shift yours to create your own.