Have you ever felt you were in a rut? You keep on doing the same things every week and you struggle to do something totally different? Well, Geoff and I were in that place yesterday so we decided that after we had been to 6pm church we would eat out afterwards at our favourite local Asian restaurant.
Since retiring, we often buy take-away from this restaurant but it is an entirely different experience when you ‘eat in’ and are waited on hand and foot. The added benefit comes from ‘people watching’ while you eat.
Geoff and I must be a bored old married couple (of 41 years) because we found ourselves watching a large group of happy people and trying to work out ( a) what they were celebrating and (b) who was who in the pecking order of the family.
Such craziness I know, but it did give us pleasure to observe what we assumed were the extended family of Grandma, Grandpa and two married couples with various aged children as they celebrated not one, but two birthdays .
They used the same birthday cake too. Once one lot of candles were blown out by a teenage girl, they were relighted and a young boy was next in line at blowing them out again. Two for the price of one. What a great idea!
As we observed this family during our meal, it reminded us that sometimes, you do not have to travel long distances to get out of a rut and have a different experience. Afterwards, we felt as if we had been off on a mini adventure.
I thought no more about it until today when I saw the picture from Yemen on A Room With A View, a Facebook page that I follow. I then found an associated article that got me thinking about not waiting to travel to distant places in order to have new experiences. Rather, have them in your own city. I was hooked! The article actually says exactly what was in my mind so I have copied it here:
What is it about travel that gives one that ultimate feeling of freedom? Is it the willingness to do as one wishes? Seeing everything as new? Leaving responsibilities behind?
More importantly, what stops one from having this experience in their own city…once a month… once a week…. once a day? Surely it’s easy to do as you wish, look at a scene with a new pair of eyes. Surely it’s easy to push those everyday worries away?
And yet for most people it isn’t. The best experiences are those you immerse yourself into – a new hobby, a career change or travel. It’s jumping into the pool on a hot day, not wading in slowly.
It’s vibrancy, it’s the whole experience, it’s the right-angled change of direction from normality that we seek. Can you find this each weekend in your home city? Of course you can – you just have to search that little bit harder. (source: www.flickr.com/photos/sadaiche)
So there you have it folks! There are some great questions in there. You don’t have to go Salmon Fishing in the Yemen to have a great adventure at all. I remember an experience Geoff and I had when we returned home after visiting Europe in 2008.
We had become accustomed to speaking our French/Spanish/Italian and Hungarian phrases with the locals as we travelled by train around Europe and now that we were home and back at work, life seemed so dull … especially speaking English all the time.
And the coffee! We missed the strong, rich European coffee that we had loved drinking overseas. So, what did we do? We took ourselves off on Saturday morning to West End (a multicultural and very trendy area in Brisbane) to have a coffee and while we were there we had a nice little adventure that revived us!
An Italian served us coffee as good as any we enjoyed in Italy and a conversation followed. Next we met a girl in a bookshop who was French and we proceeded to chat to her and relive all our wonderful French experiences, even practicing some of our French phrases. We returned home ready to face the world … and our work week … with renewed enthusiasm.
What is the moral of this story dear friends? It may be to get out of your comfort zone and do something a little different this week perhaps? It doesn’t have to be huge, it may simply involve driving 30 minutes to an inner city suburb to have coffee just like we did. What adventures are YOU planning in your city any time soon?