Ambition

In 2008 my university lecturer told me that he still had no idea what he wanted to do in life. He must have been in his early sixties. If that wasn’t a wake up call, I don’t know what was.

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In 2017 I can relate to his statement. As I grow older I do not feel like the only person that can relate to this. I also find that more and more people are good at hiding this indecision, which has probably been the case all along.

I have never known what I want to do, apart from things that were above my ability. You know, the typical astronaut/footballer jobs which would require me to be a one-in-a-million individual. The only thing I really enjoyed consistently was the idea of traveling and as long as I have a job that allows me to fund travel I am happy.

I could choose to be in some kind of higher management I guess if I really stuck to it, not promising a fantastic salary but one that would get me by just fine. The problem with this is it will take a great deal of my time up and I worry that will take time away from my desire to blog every day and get a book out there. I worry that becoming more ambitious in a career will jeopardise my ability to express myself and my individual thoughts. How ambitious would that be?! I don’t like the idea of spending my life in a career that will ultimately help someone else get a tan on a private yacht somewhere in the Med, you could argue that this could be us if we put our minds to it, I guess it could. I could also spend my life trying to get there to enjoy a retirement that never comes…

So at the moment, I personally feel a good career move is to go to Australia in September and travel with short term jobs, spend my free time from now until then blogging, engaging with the community and building content for a book as I save as much as I can. This helps me to sit down and focus, not worrying that I must be out eating, drinking and partying if I don’t want to waste time watching my life fly by. I keep these cards close to my chest, I have told people I am travelling but that’s it, for now. I have also learned that the more I keep to myself the more I can focus on work that is purely mine without the inevitable input from others.

Some people are shocked I am leaving my current job. ‘I can’t believe you are leaving a job to go travelling!’ I hear. I advise anyone, don’t let a job get in the way of you enjoying the life you want to live. You probably have the potential to give your own input and talent in one form or another if you seek it, whether it’s in blog form or stand up comedy. We all have to work, often in jobs we didn’t dream of, just make sure you have enough energy to do what you are passionate about around that. Your employer can always replace you, you cannot replace your time on Earth.

Demand

I’m currently in the UK. I don’t want to give the impression that I am not with the images I have uploaded onto my blog, I just don’t want my pictures to go to waste. I simply upload a picture with a thought I have at the time, whatever that thought may be. The location of the picture that fits with the post is just a roll of the dice really. I love knowing a picture I take today may fit perfectly with a post I have months or even years down the line.

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This was my bank holiday yesterday. The only reason these seats were empty was the weather. Isn’t it strange that sunshine has such a big impact on how busy a venue gets? This may just be a British thing. A few clouds didn’t cause temperatures to plummet, a few degrees maybe but not enough to trigger a heart attack. On the other hand, the road to our nearest shopping centre was huge. When there are clouds, go to a bar.

It’s funny how we do things that are in demand, but usually when demand is highest. We pay more for flights when everyone else is travelling too, we pay more for weekend movie tickets when weekdays may be cheaper. We spend hours of a bank holiday in traffic jams for a shopping centre because no one likes a beer on a rainy day. Is it because we like to do what everyone else is doing when they are doing it, or that we just can’t think ahead and predict our behaviors will most likely reflect that of everyone else?

Oh what I would do to be rich and forget all about the concept of times and bank holidays.

Solace.

It is a shame that as I grow older, I feel safer in areas away from people. This should not be the case, it has always been safer to hunt in packs. Now, the busier the venue, the more uncomfortable I feel.

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Shortly after hearing of last nights attack my mum called, as is often expected after such an event. She told me she was about to call my sister and wish her luck as she is going climbing today… and to stay safe. I reassured her that I am much more content with my sister climbing a mountain than walking through a city.

How perceptions change. I do not know if this is a sign of the times or my realisation that humans can be pretty awful, more than I knew in the bubble we all grow up in as children. Nature can be brutal, but it isn’t brutal to intentionally cause suffering. This is why I cannot hate a violent storm or natural disaster, as tragic as they may be I take comfort in knowing that it wasn’t due to evil. Lightening doesn’t strike to scare you and the rain doesn’t pour to bring you down. It may scare you and bring you down but without the sadistic intention. Some people may believe such events are repercussions for human decisions, not that I have time for those people.

I am having a 24-hour withdrawal from social media today and all of the opinions, claims and blames that will no doubt be forming after yesterdays news.

Today, give me a beach, calm waters and a dog and I am happy.

Fear

Before any flight, I have a few drinks at the bar. I am no alcoholic however if I was to have a job requiring frequent air travel, I may well become one.

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I’m not the guy in the above photo, by the way. It is a friend looking pretty relaxed on our way to a festival a couple of summers back. The sunshine didn’t cease, sadly neither did our sunburns. This weather is always a shock to our northern English skin.

I fear flying, I also love flying. I am no good with heights and the fact that -50c temperatures, 600 mph windspeeds and a 35,000 ft drop is right outside the window I’m looking out of, both astounds and terrifies me. The most extreme of extremes right there, with the odd temporary distraction whilst cabin crew hand me an orange juice. I understand that flight is so reliable that this is a pointless worry. It doesn’t help. Despite my concerns I make myself look out of the window. I tell myself that I am one of the first generations of humanity to ever experience what earth looks like above the clouds. I can travel anywhere within a day if I can afford it, to lands that my ancestors didn’t know existed.

For this reason I make myself fly. I want to experience what is unique to modern day humans. At the same time, it is frightening to consider how far behind we are. To consider that I will fly over nations that would have me killed for my opinions. Some nations still burn ‘witches’. Our technology is growing faster than our own intelligence, distance and tolerance need to coincide. With more and more people travelling overseas I can only hope we are forced into a more tolerant mindset, I guess I could advertise blogging to those that are easily offended by a differing culture. It is better to vent anger in words on a blog post than to blow up the interior of an aircraft mid flight.

Who knew militant atheism could sound so good?

Preparation

If I wasn’t flying to Sydney in September, I probably wouldn’t go to the gym as often. I wouldn’t blog as much. My work ethic wouldn’t be as high. For me to do these things even when I am not feeling it is because I have an end goal. I need something to look forward to no matter how big or small, so when I lose motivation or inspiration I remember that in the end it always pays off.

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A chess board upon a table in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
If I don’t make fun plans for the weekend, my mid-week motivation to eat healthy just isn’t there. It is important for me to give myself a reason to work hard and keep on top of anything. You may be the same. I now have a deadline, one that I enjoy aiming for. I want to lose a few pounds and gain a few in my wallet, blog every day and give myself enough content for a book that I am currently working on. Without the exciting prospect of travel, I would have a terrible time saving money or making time. How could I feel content staying in when my friends are at a bar or spending money on great food? Knowing I have something in the diary, that’s all I need. Don’t get me wrong I love to blog and keep fit, but my alone time isn’t something I want to avoid as much or feel like it should be something to avoid. I prefer to do these alone as my time can be focused purely on my own work.

I won’t give up after September but it will get the ball rolling. I am sure the ball will keep rolling with new stories to talk of, new opportunities to learn and new people to meet.

Many people I encounter daily don’t have such inspiration yet if they give themselves that date to work towards, there is an excuse to make tomorrow different and escape the pattern that takes the wind from our sails.

So long, procrastination!

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Words.

We are a species with a long way to go to achieve greatness and everyday I look for examples proving this. I don’t think this is a bad thing at all. I would rather see what we could be as it helps us to get there, being content has its perks but that never helps in the gym or in a career, neither should it for society. Pushing forward and seeking problems speeds things up.

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One of our downfalls is language. It is incredible for us to construct languages and hear it vary across the globe, however it is very common for two people to walk up to each other and fail to establish conversation. How crazy is that? Like two apes on their first encounter, or a tribe discovering society outside of the rain forest. It is pretty incredible to realise we live in a time of such discovery and inability to connect with those that live on the outside. This is of course because our travel desire is so much greater than our desire to learn languages however with over 7,000 languages in the world being spoken, leaning them all is an impossibility. The number of extinct languages rise into the thousands and maybe even the tens of thousands, which is also mind boggling. Languages that died with the civilizations they were used by, some etched into history on rocks, the only way we knew they existed in the first place like the fossils of extinct creatures buried alongside them.

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So walking up to the wall above, the fact that I cannot understand what it says is fascinating. The letters I am used to, the order not so much. Thank goodness for technology, Google Translate tells me ‘Punk is born crooked, never straightens’ 

I guess punk is one aspect of life I have to accept can never be improved upon.

Contemplation

We say we are feeling blue when we feel down, yet this is the kind of weather that makes us happy. Who wouldn’t want to feel blue?

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I found some more of my window seat images! And with that a question…

Would you rather live on a small island, free from societies problems and almost all technology other than the basics to live, or live in an advanced society and all of the problems that come with it?

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It does look good down there…

Misdirection

It says the viewpoint, yeah. But is it?

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Is it a viewpoint that they have decided based on their own perceptions? A viewpoint that they deem safer and good enough for you, sacrificing the opportunity for greater views or increased perspective?

Is it a viewpoint that has been preached to everyone, distorting your view behind the masses whilst a deceitful minority look the other way? I worry so much of life is wasted in this way. We rely on others around us to teach us the way, which has been taught to them by others. We are all mislead in life, sometimes by people with a hidden agenda, at times by people that didn’t know better from people with a hidden agenda.

Viewpoints and directions are good, just be aware that there is always the possibility that more is being missed in the process, whether it be truth, beauty or greater satisfaction in whatever took you there in the first place.

Nothing.

I didn’t think I would ever take a photo of the entrance to a car park, then again it is Brazil, there is a photo opportunity around every corner!

 

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This interesting piece is made up of 400+ very boring aspects, I feel almost conned as I take a photo of it. We find the same fascination in almost anything when there are multiples of said thing surrounding it. The pattern reminds me of a hurricane or a flock of Starlings, both incredible when observing from afar. Take one single component from such phenomena and we don’t turn our heads, a bird flying into a strong breeze isn’t a photo opportunity. The beauty of bland or seemingly meaningless pieces of art is that we fill in the gaps, creating our on perception and stories, although I must admit I prefer art that does the work for me. We can do this with music and I am sure many other aspects of life. Our brains are amazing for this, finding beauty where there is little and being able to appreciate beauty when it is apparent.

 

Choices

Long haul flights, window or aisle seat? I guess I have answered the question by scrolling through my camera roll, not one picture of any trip is looking down the aisle of a plane at the sunburnt legs, toilet queues and mothers singing to crying babies. I’d do however, have some lovely shots from the window.


I’m travelling on an Airbus A380 800 from London to Sydney via Singapore for the first time and to get myself in the mood, I logged in and looked at the available seats. There wasn’t many. I did check on this great site called Seat Guru which is a big help finding which the preferred seats in almost all aircraft and airlines and the ones to avoid. I highly recommend a browse before flying, if you care that much


I looked down at the seating map and wondered who I would be sitting next to. The first 13 hours to Singapore will be a window seat. The next 7 hours flight is an aisle seat on the upper deck. It’s fascinating to consider how many awesome people we must sit next to from time to time, conversations wasted as we indulge in our own personal interests that keep us from chatting to our fellow passenger.

Have you ever sat next to someone with an interesting story, or try to start conversation? I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to gain one on this flight.