“Life is too short and unpredictable to not live it exactly as you please.”

You’ve Only Got One Life, So Love What You Do

In 2014, I walked away from a successful career in investment banking. At that time, I was not happy with the life I was living. My smile had gone.  My passion for life was dead.  I realized that I was spending very little of my days doing the things I loved to do. I had got sucked into a Westerner ideal that I needed a well-paid, professional career to be a success and that I needed a lot of money to be happy. This belief had failed me.

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Life is Mundane Sometimes

The annual exchange of ‘Happy New Year’ emails between my friends has finally ceased.  Most were full of well wishes for the year ahead and hopefulness that 2016 will be the best ever.  When I asked one UK friend how was it to be back at work after the obligatory, half-term, two week Christmas break, his reply was breathtakingly honest –  “It’s a bit depressing, given the weather, etc. All a bit, here we go again…..”. 

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Don’t Risk Your Life On Later

Maybe you’ve wondered why I choose to post a quote on the first day of the traditional working week. It’s because by the end of my corporate career, I absolutely hated Monday mornings. I started to dread them as early as Saturday night. Thoughts of ‘Ugh, only one more day of freedom before I’m back to the daily grind.’

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Learning to Let Go

I come from a family that is highly organised, maybe verging on OCD, one that likes detailed plans, spreadsheets, filing systems, order. (Only last night, my brother was sharing with me his online virtual spreadsheet that calculates the energy he generates from his home’s solar panels against the energy expended each day, complete with details of kilowatts spent and the cost. He was in data heaven). I’m anal in my own way. I plan my day, every day, even on the weekend, to the hour.  Wake at 6.00am. By 7.00am start exercising. 8.00am shower. 8.30 to 10.30 Work. 10.30 to 12.30 run errands.  Post office first, coffee, shopping. And so forth.  Yes, I even determine the order in which the errands should be completed based on ridiculous factors. I run my life like a military boot camp.

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How Do You Build a Community When You’re Single?

Mesa, AZ – I have no home.  The majority of my belongings are stuffed into a 5ft x 7ft x 8ft wooden crate, which I’m told is sitting in a large storage facility somewhere in Croydon, England.  (Croydon is a run down suburb of London.  Zone 5, I think.) My stuff has been there since 3 June 2014. I only have a vague recollection of what is in there.  Clothes.  Kitchen gadgets. Pictures I’ve collected on my travels. And my extensive collection of memory boxes. (That’s a story for another day!).

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How Much Stuff Do We Really Need?

Phoenix, AZ, USA – When I set off as a traveller, I expected that along the way I’d see some spectacular sights, meet some amazing people, and do a few crazy, adrenalin induced activities. When I set out, I don’t think that I expected to come back changed, impacted by what I discovered, but I did. The change is almost imperceptible.Yet, I’ve noticed them as I’ve reintegrated back into ‘life’. Slight alterations on my values, on my outlook on life, on what’s truly important, on what things really are problems. Travelling has made we question my Western way of life. Particularly in the area of stuff and how much we, in our Western and European societies have. How much do we really need anyway?

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Square Peg in a Round Hole

Geneva, Switzerland – It’s another Monday morning, and I’m not headed into the office – thank God! Rather I’m sitting in a bougeoius coffee shop in the heart of Geneva. Eating my Bircher muesli and drinking a creamy flat white, that came with an artfully formed heart stamped into the top. I have a hangover. The after effects of three days of drinking rose in the sweltering heat. My yearly jaunt here in July to celebrate my friend Aud’s birthday always puts a serious dent in my bank balance – which now after a year of not working is non-existent – and eats a hole in my liver. A lives life to the full. Nothing is done by halves. Her birthday is a full-blown affair that always tests my stamina. And compared to her, I have none.

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Heaven is a Place on Earth

Cuenca, Ecuador – During my sophomore year in high school, I enrolled in a class called World History and Geography. It turned out to be one of my favourite school courses ever. It was taught by the charismatic, slightly eccentric, but lovely Mrs Meyer. She had a way of livening up the subject that kept me engaged the full hour. I can’t remember what we were discussing one afternoon, but she piped in that she had a friend in that far distant country. She went on to say that she had friends in dozens of countries around the world. I was in awe. I wanted friends from all around the world too!

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