Hey there my lovely Worldette,
How’s August treating you? Here in Hong Kong things are getting pretty hot and sticky.
Now I’m not one to complain (ok, not most of the time!) but going outside without knowing where the next air con stop has become somewhat of a challenge, yet staying indoors all day is as equally frustrating.
Surely this isn’t what summer is about?
Due to various commitments, James and I are not heading off anywhere this summer which sometimes comes as a surprise to people who wonder why, as the founder of Worldette, I’m not always on holiday.
The truth is this is not what I am about. Nor is this what I believe tapping into your ‘Worldette Spirit’ is about.
I mean let’s face it, for most of us, it is not practical to be planning the next big vacation ALL the time.
More important, it’s about appreciating your own surroundings as much as you do when you’re exploring a new place.
But is that easier said than done when you’re seeing the landscape in your neighborhood for the thousandth or millionth time?
I don’t think it has to be.
You see it’s about the shift from your ‘holiday mind’ (your Worldette Spirit) and the one that you’re possibly rushing around with right now.
Let’s make this clear; I’m not talking about donning a sombrero for a month and calling in sick while you abandon all responsibilities in favour of laying outside and getting your best friends to serve you fruit shakes all day.
No. As my friend Catherine Just says it’s about slowing down, concentrating on what is happening in your world at that moment, and appreciating your surroundings.
She described to me how if we took a trip to Italy (for example) we’d pay attention to all the subtle differences and similarities of local life, we’d notice the shifts of weather, the way we apply meaning to what we see, and they way we interact with those we encounter.
Isn’t this what a holiday is all about? So why not just do it now? There’s no need to wait until you’re in a new location. No need at all.
So here’s my summer challenge for you. Next time you head outside I want you to:
- slow down and revel in the way the light and the seasons have changed the area since you last had a good look
- imagine you are seeing your surroundings for the first time
- take a slightly different route and notice things you have never before
- notice what you are drawn to – are you a buildings, landscapes, sky, crowds, clouds, people, signs, colours, shadows, animals or nature kind of person?
- hell, walk backwards if you want a truly new perspective!
I’ll be doing the same. No more worrying about where the next air-conditioned building is because I certainly wouldn’t care about that if I were traveling.
Instead, I’ll ditch the heels and slightly too tight dress (yes, the one that makes my thighs sweat as I totter down the road) in favour of something loose and shoes I can amble along in.
I’ll revel in the buzz that makes Hong Kong such a unique and colourful city during August.
I’ll go out of my way to buy vegetables from local vendors in the narrow and noisy alleyways in Central rather then the nearest supermarket. I’ll notice the smells that change subtly from the aromas of a duck restaurant to the steamy clouds of air coming from a noodle stall or the seafood left out to dry in the streets of Sheung Wan.
I’ll leave early and take a tram, sitting on the top for a rickety bird’s eye journey through the city rather than whizzing on by in taxi while checking my twitter.
Now that’s what summer is about.
And that’s why I don’t always need to be planning the next vacation.
How about you? How are you going to slow down and make your time at home, or wherever you wake up, so special today?
Write below and let me know how your challenge goes, I’m dying to know what you discover about your surroundings.
Ignite your travel life, make a difference, have fun,
PS. If you’re wondering why I was talking to the wonderful Catherine Just this week on how to appreciate your surroundings I’ll let you on a little secret: Catherine is one of my 10 special guests at the Worldette End of Summer Party.
We had such a fun chat discovering that while our mediums are different (Catherine teaches how to uncover fears through photography) we actually teach very similar messages.
Don’t miss our giggly conversation (as well as some nifty tricks on how to use photography as an exploration of yourself as much as the world around you) and get your name on the list here