From gym goers to Sainsburys advertising crispy aromatic samosas, suited commuters, backpacked tourists, posters for The Cutty Sark and of course the underground....London...I f*cking love you.
(Disclaimer: whilst my title and initial aim may be one topic, I very easily go off tangent - so enjoy the randomness...)
I walk around, quite often music in and bopping away, looking at the awesome, weird and wonderful people that make this amazing city what it is; a multi cultural, mixed race, suduko playing, sushi eating, avocado smashing, coffee drinking, history ridden, artistic canvas - it's awesome!
Despite my wanderlust I realised I can get a lot of what I need here in London, cultural diversity, new experiences, new foods, new people and outdoor adventure. However, I'll still continue to travel further afield, especially considering I've now set myself a target to hit 100 countries before I reach 40. We have the best transport system I've ever seen or experienced (although people don't talk or smile enough), we have a ridiculous amount of shows, exhibitions, plays, pop up bars, eateries, clubs, hidden cocktail gems, food markets that beat most restaurants, epic skylines and beautiful parks, but it doesn't stop there. In just a few hours you can be running across the South Downs, trekking Welsh mountains or enjoying an ice cream around the Brighton Lanes.
"Get off your arse and travel, even if it's just UK bound, turn the phone off and plan an adventure."
I gave a talk recently to a group of students about sustainable travel, cultural diversity and international volunteering. We get so much from travel, it makes us 'feel the world differently', we learn about ourselves, gain a range of wider key skills, that are awesome for employment and university opportunities, we make life long friends, become global citizens and develop as individuals. It was one of the best talks I've ever done, if I'm allowed to say so myself, and it was all about story telling. Sharing experiences that lead to my passion and inspiration to use business as a force for good, which is part of the BCorp ethos.
I started travelling properly when I was about 18 and was never able to stop, people would always tell me to settle down, stay still, stay in a job, stay HERE, but I didn't want to. I still had my call to adventure, I still needed to go out there and find what it was I wanted to do, what my purpose was. I wasn't prepared to settle for anything, another 'job' a '9-5', something that made me crave for the weekend or hate Monday's. I needed something that made me get up with purpose and luckily through my travels I found it.
There were a lot of obstacles, a shit load, to get to where I am and I'm sure they'll be plenty more but it's all part of the journey...right? It's what makes us who we are, it's what challenges us, it's what tests us and what makes us want to succeed in what we do. I recently heard about something called the heroes journey and it's crazy how almost every blockbuster you've seen has followed this method of theology. I've had my call to adventure, I've had my obstacles and I'm certainly on a good road leading somewhere. The thing about the heroes journey is it's a cycle so you keep coming back and you keep giving back. If I can give back some of the knowledge from my experiences, my travels and adventures, to help people develop and become better global citizens then that's my heroes journey.
Firstly...travel...get out there and see the world, experience new cultures, push your boundaries, find things out about yourself you didn't know, spend time alone, gather your thoughts, understand what you want from your life and what you appreciate. Then...apply it!
Apply it to your everyday life, apply it to your thoughts, your mindset, your work, your friends, your family and all the strangers around you, as you'll probably find they're actually not so strange.
From someone that feels they're on the other side, jumped across that threshold to pursue their dream, it's very easy to sit here and say these things in such a positive light but who am I to assume or make judgements on anyone else's situation? I'm not, so I can only talk from my experiences and my situation. BUT, what I can say is there is always a way, yes it may be harder for some or take longer for others but it will be worth every second. My advice would be to break it down, write lists, prioritise them, give them durations, give them deadlines and slowly but surely work through them.
And remember, don't forget London as it has so much to offer and...I'm here...so if there's anything I can help with just 'holla ;-)