Why you must try new things

Old friends, new connections.

I’m here sitting at a café on the last day of my stay here in Berlin. Time passed way too fast here, and you could say this is because I’m having too much fun, but I can also say, after visiting this particular city on 4 particular occasions already, things are way less interesting than the first few times.

There are so many things I’ve seen in the city, and I’ve begun to remember the streets and where everything is. Suddenly, it’s not so interesting anymore. But that is not to say, this city has more charm than others.

And that’s when you need to get out there and seek out new experiences.

Or else, I realized. Any city would be boring.

Berlin is a nice city to be. It is very vibrant. It isn’t like North America where everything are so distant and far and those distances must be conquered by personal cars. Over here, one could easily hop on the many modes of transportation, the U-Bahn (underground), S-Bahn (train), or one of the trams and busses – you’ll get to where you need to be in around 20 minutes or so.

I’ve been lucky enough to stay in the vibrant Center of Berlin, where walking home at 2AM in the morning and you’d still people out on the streets drinking their beers and smoking.

There’s life here that you wouldn’t experience elsewhere.

With that said, through my friends I’ve also met many new connections here, many of whom are incredibly intelligent and inspirational. I’m also incredibly surprised how well I was able to resolve some personal issues as well, rather than focusing on what I can’t change at the moment, I’m gearing myself up for the moment and what could be done.

What can I say. Overall, this trip was therapeutic and productive in its own way. A nice city break.

When you realize life is beautiful.

Ok, as promised, here’s the longer post on the trip thus far.

What can I say: everytime I’m away from home it’s an adventure, an exploration. I always discover new things I would’ve never discovered if I stayed home. I would of course go explore new places, but sometimes, I go back to places where I’ve already been but still discover new things about the place and of course within myself.

As everything stands, each second in this city (and this continent) in general is making every cell in my body alive. I can only say that staring at the cityscapes I’ve missed so much makes all those 12 plus hours working a day worth it. I can’t say much about anything else in life that makes me this happy, being around people I love and in a city that reminds me of my actual home.

Now with that said, I also noticed a harsh truth: no matter where you are, the struggle will be the struggle. The struggle is universal. I can say this from visiting my friends whom more or less are all around my age (millennials) and contrary to popular belief we’re all busy either working or studying or doing both or juggling with our own business ventures – yeah, we’re all busy bettering ourselves and our situations, no matter which city in the world we reside in.

The work is never done. And quite frankly, I find the friends that I’m with would agree with me. There’s always something to do, something to improve upon. And therefore, life might be challenging, but it would never get boring for us.

I would also like to remind myself and those that find themselves in my shoes (because I know this is also common), if you ever wake up angry, frustrated, depressed or just unmotivated – remember that every second of the day that you spend angry or resentful or in a negative state is a second wasted. Sure, I get it. There are times when it’s hard to turn off those emotions – but you must remember and laser focus on your journey and your goal. Remember where you want to be, rather than be distracted by the right now – live for the vision that you have in your mind rather than the circumstances you find yourself in currently. I know I’ll need that reminder for when I get back to my current ‘homebase’ (which I absolutely despise). Make it possible for yourself to find peace, with your vision in mind, push for the reality that you’d imagined. 

 

 

Greetings from Berlin

I’m back in Berlin. Having caught up with a few of my friends in the past three days, it really feels good to be back. The old cobblestones and side street cafés are a nice break from North America’s concrete and franchise chains. I especially love that the cafés play techno music (which is pretty much my workflow music anyways). I have much to update on in the next post and preferably when the laptop isn’t at 16%. This is a quick check in. Greetings from Berlin!

You got to go for it.

Late night studying, no, not these language, but rather computer programming languages (I guess I’ll get to that later). I popped onto Facebook and saw 20+ memories. I just had to click. After another sip of my coffee in the dead of night. I scrolled through all those posts I made years ago.

This song popped up: You got to go – Above & Beyond

Yet another sign isn’t it. How did I know so long ago, just by liking the lyrics?

Then I thought back, to earlier this evening, earlier this week and how many friend I counselled with issues similar to mine. They feel that they’re stuck in the wrong place – or perhaps they’re disappointed with where they are at in life – disappointment is a driving force.

Then I remember a quote from a business book that’s mandatory for class:

“A satisfied need is not a motivator; only needs that remain unsatisfied can influence behaviour.”

You’re unsatisfied? Good.

You know what you want? Even better.

Go get it. You got to. Because you know what’s waiting on the other side if you don’t.

Disappointment only leads to more desire.

Don’t disappoint yourself this time.

Life is not a rehearsal.

And yes, I realize I haven’t been posting much. Between a hectic school schedule, I also manage to sneak work in here and there. My final exams are coming up and I fully intend on seizing the moment! Wish me luck!

What to do when things simply aren’t working out

It’s been 48 hours.

48 hours since I’ve returned and it isn’t a happy reunion.

In the past 48 hours, I’ve had a lot of time – not only to myself but also to visiting friends. Yes – seeing my friends who’s visiting me was great, but after we parted ways, I realized how I was only having fun because my attention was them, and not what was around me.

Again, I don’t care for my own city.

I was due for work – walking out the door, and then realizing I was about to waste an entire day doing nothing I wanted was a complete waste of time.

Sure, I was going to be paid, but that’s not good enough anymore.

I ended up turning back and heading straight home and writing that letter of resignation that contained only 2 lines – Hi, please consider this short email a letter of formal resignation. I quit.

There.

Now that’s done, I’m looking at the countdown on my phone.

87 days until I’m out of here again.

87 days to make it count.

I know full well of what’s at stake.

But I’m not afraid anymore, like I was used to.

If I was to think about this clearly, I was only scared and clinging onto that job I should’ve given up a long time ago because I didn’t want to go deal with the pandora box I’m about to open.

Having a “job” was the safe option, but that option will lead me to nowhere.

I know that.

So.

It is time for a new and exhilarating adventure.

A different kind of thrill.

Search for Meaning

No matter your undertaking, you should be clear as to why you are partaking in your work.

I am very clear, in my case, currently, this is the best way I know how to put food on the table and fulfill my other ambitions, such as traveling and seeing the world.

I am very clear, that aside from the aforementioned, there’s very little meaning in what I do – sure, I do come across the temporary feeling of job done well and pat on the back from accomplishing everything in due time, but that in itself is not meaning, and by no means am I living the dream life I imagined for myself.

The dream I have for myself is living every moment consciously and by choice.

Consciously: awake enough to enjoy every moment – I want to be in the moment and feeling it every moment without a stop.

Choice: making decisions and making them my way – or have more freedom in my life where I call the shots.

Ultimately, I want to live passionately, a life of my own choosing. I want to live daringly, rather than playing it safe. I want to make mistakes I end up being proud of. I want my life to be an adventure. I want my life to be the one on the unconventional road.

And for that reason – I do what I do now, to build the future of my own choosing.

The inspiration behind working anywhere

This is a picture I took at Schloss Schönbrunn of me, well, working. My phone prompted important emails for me to answer and I thought, since I had my laptop with me, why not sit down and type it out – as it’s way faster – so there I was, sitting in front of one of the most important architectural, cultural and historical monuments in Austria and typing away.

How totally North American of me to work on “vacation”, or so my friends would say.

The thing is though, I used to dislike when I was contacted during my personal time, however now I realize that comes with any job – there are going to be emergencies, there are going to be times when there’s no choice but to plop down anywhere and deal with the situation. Instead of shrinking away from the responsibilities, one must be prepared to take care of them no matter where they were.

So if this was already the case, why couldn’t you work for yourself anywhere? The principle is the same. Only you’d be in direct line of communication with clients rather than management etc. and in which case, it might just be easier since emails are not passed on and issues could be dealt with first hand.

Home: things I didn’t know I’d miss until I wandered afar

Familiarity of home was one thing I didn’t think I’d miss all that much when I began to travel.

Why should I miss a familiar place when all I had for it was contempt?

Though now, I do have a different perspective. I’m going to enjoy myself no matter where I am, or how I am.

First day back was easy. I started slow, easing myself into the day, surprisingly though, I’m not experiencing any jet lag after flying for 14 hours and not catching a wink on the plane.

I decided to treat myself today – and treat myself I mean, picking up some fresh fish and cooking it – I’ve been traveling and eating on the go and admittedly, the stuff you’d usually eat might not be available at the destination – or it might be exorbitantly expensive, or ill-fitted for your tastebuds.

For example, I challenge you to try and find fresh seafood in Vienna (possibly difficult feat.)

And of course my diet has been a little atrocious as of late…

Read: Schnitzel, schnitzel, schnitzel, sausage, cake, apfelstrudel, cake schnitzel sandwich, beer, beer, wine, wine…wine…and more wine…

I went a little all out there and ended up missing vegetables and home cooking.

So today, first day back, I decided to cook for myself and the result is – healthy, delicious, home cooked food that I didn’t think I would miss, but really really did miss.

 

The things you take for granted, someone else is wishing for

I didn’t know what I expected when I found myself back in Amsterdam.

Though there were things on my to-do list, I had very little expectations in the process of crossing them off – in the beginning, there wasn’t all that much motivation. Not really, for one reason or another, I was hoping my love for this city would wane over time (wouldn’t that be easier? If I had nothing to try for? ).

However, Amsterdam, a city I’ve had the pleasure of visiting for almost half a dozen time now, looks as gorgeous as ever.

I’m lucky, it didn’t stop being sunny since I got here, my friend tells me. And I reply that I have great timing. Every single time.

Between chic cafe visits and photography, I had time to squeeze in a date on the patio. It was one of the most memorable dates I’ve had, not just as of late, but kind of in the Top 3 category, though I know I shouldn’t really give it too much weight or meaning, even though I just did.

Yes.

And it’s more than just that.

It’s kind of the bits and pieces of everything that comes into the peripheral and into my consciousness. It’s the bits and pieces of everything that remind me how life could be, if not a blurry outline of what I already know I want…

Yes.

It all then became a reaffirmation.

That I was standing in my own way, dithering away, telling myself I shouldn’t, even though everything else points to I should.

I tell myself it’s not a big deal.

I tell myself I don’t want to see you again.

I tell myself a lot of things.

Then in a crowd, I always look for you.

And when my mind’s blank, it always drifts back to you.

Even though I tell myself that’s not what I want.

And it loops.

Amsterdam.

 

How long should you travel for?

“Travel as much as you can, as far as you can, as long as you can. Life`s not meant to be lived in one place.” – Unknown

As I sit in a cafe in Hamburg, Germany I’m wondering, just how long in a city is optimal. It all feels like a whirlwind to me, landing back on this continent on the 14th from Los Angeles, then flying to Hamburg on the 15th from Oslo, Norway. I’ve been here a total of three days and two nights and now I’m waiting next to the ZOB Hamburg (Bus Port Hamburg) ready to move on to my next destination.

But just how far should you travel for, or linger in a city?

I used to think I have a clear idea how long that would be.

A week. 7 days. It’s neither too long nor too short in a city if you want to travel slow and appreciate the city and leave room for more experiences than just marching to all the sights, take two hundred selfies and get out before sundown. For some, that might be the type of travel they prefer, quick and intense, but for me, I prefer slowly exploring a city, often aimless and without much expectations, because often, you’ll never know what you’ll see, you’ll never know who you’ll meet that inspires you in some way.

Nowadays, I find that a couple of days or even a week is insufficient. I’d love to be in a city for a lot longer like a couple of weeks instead of just one, in order to capture the vibe and essence of the city. Or better yet, as I travel I’ve become bolder and more spontaneous in my decision making. So really, in time this question becomes – “How well do you want to know the city? On how many different levels?”