Recently I’ve been doing a bit of reflection. I was thinking back to my time in London in the beginning half of this year, and where I want my life to go now that the second half of the year is starting. A few things come to mind when I think of ways I want to be more open, both in mind and heart – new ways to live, to travel, to experience, to love, and to be my truest self. Upon realizing that the more open-minded I am, the happier I am, I wanted to share my thoughts with you all.
I’ve always believed that the key to a happier life is to have an open mind. In the beginning of the year, one of my goals was to do things I may not have normally done and to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone. Meeting new people in foreign cities was like a breath of fresh air, and if I’m being incredibly honest – I still think about my time with those people quite often. In these new cities, I found myself trying so many new things – food, dances, traditions, culture – and I truly believe that my life is richer and more full because of them.
Travelling to new places is one of my favourite things in life. Seeing touristy sights is rather fun, but what I truly love is finding places that are slightly off the beaten path. Maybe it’s a quaint little café, or a bar that the locals of the area are quick to recommend. Maybe it’s a hiking trail, or a hidden beach that not many know about. These charming aspects of new places are sometimes the most incredible part of trips that I’ve taken, and I cannot even begin to tell you about the many little places that have stolen my breath away and captured my heart. Another piece that I’ve recently realized, is that travelling by oneself – whilst it may not be high on one’s list, it is quite high on mine. Now don’t get me wrong, I love travelling with other people as well – but I can recall a trip that I took by myself to clear my head not too long ago, and it turned out to be one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. I got to do exactly what I love the most, and was able to capture some beautiful images in doing so. It truly was an incredible experience.
One of the best ways to truly experience new things is to come in with little-to-no expectations for how one may think it will be. Sometimes expectations can take away from what one can experience. Fear is also another culprit that tends to take away from experiences reaching their full potential. I’ll be honest, there are plenty things in life that I’m afraid of – some of these things are logical fears and some definitely are not (spiders and little crawling bugs, for instance). But one thing that keeps me inspired to beat some of my fears is the knowledge that I wanted to try something for a reason, wanted to know someone for a reason, wanted to feel something for a reason. Even if I’m scared to take the step, the leap of faith, or whatever it may be, I wanted to have the experience and that means that I cannot let my fears keep me from it.
One thing that I’ve learnt recently is that you should never be closed off from the potential of loving something or someone. And I don’t just mean in a materialistic or a romantic sense – maybe it’s a friend that you absolutely adore and cherish, maybe it’s a new city, or a job that you have. Maybe it could be creating content, really it could be anything at all. I’ve recently fallen in love. I’ve fallen in love with a city that’s an entire ocean away, and I’ve fallen in love with my rejuvenated sense of creativity. I’ve met people across that ocean that I treasure and care for so much. There is so much potential to find love in things that you do every single day, being open to it is the key to finding it.
Being my truest self comes from a mix of all of these things. I think that in order to fully be yourself, you need to recognize what makes you happy. In my case, seeing new places and being able to fully experience them makes me happy. Taking photos and turning them into well-received content makes me happy. For you, it may not be these things. For you, it may be something entirely different that makes you happy and your heart sing. But what is important, is being able to recognize what it is that makes you happy – and pursue it.