I came home and there’s nothing to eat.
So naturally, I looked in the fridge. To my dismay, all the pizza pockets are gone (gasp!) and all that’s left are old frozen spaghetti dinners (from god knows when) and some IKEA meatballs I’d picked up from last time. Without further ado, it was tear off the top of the frozen spaghetti box and dump in half a box of meatballs, then zap it in my dying microwave. Take it out…realize it’s still frozen. Then nuke it again.
Ah, fancy dinner, with extra ketchup added to mask the flavor of my fridge.
The entire thing tasted like ketchup, washed down with late night coffee.
Healthy. Not in the least bit.
And the saddest part is – this isn’t even because I’m on a budget.
Nah, it’s all due to poor planning.
I could’ve made meals had I planned ahead of time, then I would’ve had homemade meals to zap instead. Oh well. This sadness prompts me to do better with food in the future, no matter how much I hate grocery shopping and meal planning. How am I supposed to know what I want or don’t want to eat a week in advance??
Still. This is major adult-ing, I’m doing it wrong.
I run away at every chance I get. (There’s a reason.)
I don’t even care anymore. (There’s a reason.)
It’s by no mistake that I’m more alive when I’m away. (There’s also a reason for that.)
Recently I realized, there’s only so many chances that should be given since your time is limited – if you’re going to write a place off altogether, it’s better to just distance yourself from that place and all of its BS altogether.
Just say ‘no’.
You don’t care. You never did. So why bother pretending you do now.
You’re not on the same reality as those around you, and that’s okay – because there’s a number of people that understands you on the other side of the world. They understand you despite not sharing the same background. You might ask yourself how fucked up is that – but shit happens – what’s more fucked up is not doing anything about it, not seeking it out.
If you see an opportunity, even a glimmer of hope, you should pursue it.
The worst of it would disappointment. Disappointment never killed. But how many people died with their dreams unrealized is probably far too many.
There’s still people that makes you excited and make you smile. That’s a good sign. It means they mean something to you. And for that ‘meaning’ you’re trying to seek, you’re better off seeking it – because ultimately, it means something to you.
So you’ve planned a trip and organized fun activities within that trip…except, oh wait, you’re first hit with cancelled trains, then hit with food poisoning – opps, and essentially lose three days of traveling time.
Time for a serious reality check.
What I’m learning this time is that my plans might’ve been a little bit too ambitious, trying to cram too many cities all in at once is not a smart idea – thinking back, last year, spending a week in each city was much more feasible from a multitude of perspectives, not only would I get to experience the city in a self paced way, I also got to relax. Thinking back, given the time I’m giving myself this year and the a list of things on the bucket list, it’s not exactly a surprise why I’d fallen ill.
Improper rest = busted immune system.
Which is why I might reconsider Amsterdam. While yes, I would like to party all night during New Years, I’m also sane enough to admit that I’m nowhere near that level of health where I could just squander it then recover with two very good nights of 12 hours sleep…I might as well end up having a quiet one this year and just sleep into 2016…
“Why am I so tired.”
I asked my reflection in the mirror the other morning. It was half past nine and I knew I had to get out the door and get to breakfast at the hotel before it closed at 10am and that would open up a new day of crossing things off the list.
Then I realized, that’s not fun. Travel is supposed to be fun isn’t it? And fun means setting your pace and doing things your way. There’s a reason why I had decided to make this trip – to relax and gather some thoughts. Then I realized, I’ve only been on this continent for a week and already I’ve been in France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and now Germany… okay so that average out to almost a country a day – that’s much faster than the traveling I’m used to – for example, I only did 4 cities in the time of a month last year and that was very well executed in my opinion. I got my rest and I got to see things. So this is definitely something to take into consideration for traveling next time round, and of course, to figure out the travel pace you’d prefer.
I do have to say this year was a little rushed. Prior to making the trip, I thought I had an idea of what’s going to happen – except then plans change – especially when you make plans months in advance and you factor in seeing people as a part of your plan as well, then your plan becomes highly variable and improvising becomes key.
Now, I’m just glad I’m here in Berlin for a couple more days and that’ll give me time to rest up, explore the city other than it’s museums, but the party side of things. There are two parties I’m looking into happening on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day here in the city. So that’s that. Have a very Merry Christmas!
I can’t lie. I’m totally looking forward to my day off tomorrow. I’ve logged exactly 60 hours at my ‘day’ job, not including the portion of the paper work which I do not bill for. Needless to say, tomorrow will just be a great big blank out day for me. A day to run errands I so desperately need to run and see friends I need to see before I start my travels again.
But what’s the secret to surviving?
Impeccable organization skills is definitely one, but so is commitment and ironically flexibility, improvising on the spot, and having no expectations at all – as long as if something runs (yes, there’s no standards here) and I realized, this only works in short bursts. Because even the best slip up at times, and because there’s no cushioning time to fix mistakes, it’s very easy for one small mistake to snowball into major problems. On top of that, your health will probably take a hit as well…there’s no time for gym, and you would need to eat whatever you could find because there is no ‘down’ time. Oh and, sleep? What’s that?
So, of course, the secret to surviving is…
Keeping it to a minimal.
Overworking senselessly is unnecessary and detrimental, however in short bursts, if you think it’s worth the sacrifice then do it. Otherwise. Regroup. Replan. Rethink it over. Is there a better way to do this?
“I’m so bored.”
I’m sure we’ve all uttered that dreaded sentence at least once in our life. Boredom equates to a lack of things to do, or in some cases a desire to not to even bother with the many things one must do due to lack of excitement.
Thinking about the problem that is boredom however, I also realized the problem arises when the mind fails to generate ideas that leads to challenges that leads to enjoyable overall experience when problem solving.
In plain term, you are bored and watching TV because the mind is in stasis – it doesn’t have the push to form or generate new thoughts based on the flickering of lights and progression of predictable storyline played out by actors and actresses – what is necessary here is a voluntary nudge from the command centre. That now, perhaps, one should move onto new and more challenging things.
So in other words, despite we often frame ‘challenges’ in a negative light, ‘challenges’ are crucial not only to dealing with boredom, but coming up with new challenges and overcoming them it is also important in ensuring varied and optimum experiences in life.
So the next time you say to yourself, ‘oh I’m so bored,’ – I challenge you to go do something you’ve never tried before – or better yet, something that’s outside of your comfort zone, or something you’ve always wanted to do but had reserves about. The worst thing that could happen is that you try it and you absolutely hate it to the point you won’t try it again – but on the flip side there’s a world of opportunities to be explored thanks to ‘boredom’.
It’s kind of hard to frame that it’d been three months since quitting one of my jobs and moving forward from that, three months since I’ve started something anew – and from that three months mark, I’ve realized that I’m a lot happier now than before, mainly because, I’m no longer in the grind of doing something I don’t want to do day in day out, stuck in a toxic atmosphere where I spend more time thinking about quitting than actually doing my job.
Needless to say, never again, I refuse to put myself in the position again where my overall goals and principles misalign with what I’m putting my time towards.
Now, that said, I do realize that I’ve also been less than efficient in my day to day life due to disorganization –I’ve been working 12 hours days lately and realized that I could actually organize my life around my work and still have enough time to function and work on side projects – yes it’s possible, efficient organization is the key here.
Everything’s just going to be the same until the end of time.
If your base point, if your low point is your lowest – then congratulations, you just found your starting point. You found the firm ground you’re going to be bouncing off from.
It took me a long time to realize this principle: everything don’t have to be the same all the time. All I needed was more effort and focus on building the new reality, while not getting trapped into the gravitational pull of the ground.
It’s easy to stay grounded. In fact, it’s easier to stay grounded, in a static existence, while it seems the world around you changes, constantly. It could feel like you’re the only person standing still – because you don’t know how to make leaps of faith – or maybe, you’re just too scared.
But what’s so scary?
If you’d already decided you’re at your lowest low – then what’s stopping you from reaching your highest height?
Think about it.
One of the biggest reasons people don’t travel is that they think it’ll cost them an enormous amount financially. Now the act of ‘going somewhere’, I have categorized as two types, you’re either going on a ‘vacation’ or you’re ‘traveling’. The former term connotes it’s a time of indulging and pampering (spendthrift vacations) while the latter term suggests a more frugal approach to exploring a destination (of course, this is just my personal observations).
One of the first thing I did this year was finding myself an extremely cheap return flight to Oslo and that in itself is already paid off. What’s left is the 21 Days I get to stay in Europe, namely the 20 Nights I’d have to find somewhere to sleep. And the cost of hotel/hostel is going to be a big portion of cost (sometimes even more than the plane ticket itself). To lower that cost, I highly suggest looking into hostels, AirBnb, friends’ couch, or couchsurf.
How to balance the cost? As Northern Europe is notorious for being pricey? Here are some of my travel tips:
1) Estimate budget say you’re willing to spend $100 / day, for 20 days, then put aside $2000 and work from there. The $100 should include, food, transport, and housing. Of course, I do realize that this might be hard to come by in pricy places such as Scandinavia. Which brings us to: 2) Research ahead of time, or better yet don’t make the same mistake you did last time or last year. (Like last year, I didn’t even need the Welcome Copenhagen Card as all museums were closed around Christmas time so I did free tours outside. It was cozy and fun but a waste of $60 bucks on the card right there.) 3) Look out for deals or see if you could decrease your expenditure and save yourself some money. This is something I highly recommend for winter in Northern Europe, as most people are looking for some sun and fun. In fact when I told most my friends I’m heading to Norway in the middle of Winter, “Are you crazy???” yeah, but hey I see it as perfect museum going time. Plus I’m betting on a snowy (or perhaps rainy) winter wonderland. 4) make sure you have a balance of budget places and more pricy places, because at the end of the day, you still want to enjoy yourself thus don’t penny pinch too much, so one or two night of splurging somewhere nice (because why not) should definitely be a part of the plan. 5) Add it all up then book, make sure you’re happy with the budget and book away. The strategy here is to pay everything off so you don’t have to worry about it at a later date so you can enjoy yourself.
I live in a city with very distinct seasons and with the weather getting colder and daylight hours shorter, I’ve been less and less enthused about going outside for my usual runs.
1) colder temperature
2) rainy weather, or the ground might be wet
3) sidewalks are filled with fallen leaves, it’s gross and potentially slippery
4) add insult to injury the ‘usual’ excuses
So how do you get yourself to run outside after ‘just do it’ doesn’t quite cut it?
1) Update your running playlist: find new running music and put them on your iPod and enjoy while you jog!
2) Run somewhere you have to go to anyways, like the grocery store with a backpack, get your groceries, put them in your backpack then run back.
3) Visualize post-run effect: yes, think about how great you’d feel post run!
NOW GO RUN!