Monthly Archives: February 2014

InterView With Ashley From ” A Southern Gypsey”

Ashley a southern gypsey

Ashley a southern gypseyLet’s start off by telling a bit about yourself, where did you grow up, do you remember your main life Goals when you were young and has that changed?

I’m Ashley and the mastermind (ha!) behind A Southern Gypsy.  I was born and raised near Nashville, Tennessee.  For the past 10 years, I’ve obtained my bachelor’s degree in Psychology (don’t run, I promise I don’t over-analyze everything), living in South Carolina and Washington, and traveling as much as I could.  I was always that person who had a hard time “finding myself” and my purpose – went through a lot of random jobs and degree changes with nothing ever feeling right.  My dream was always to write though just never thought it possible.

What were the key factors that persuaded you to leave the comfort of your home?

Well, I haven’t left yet, but I am in October.  The main things that happened that really made me make a decision to start preparing to quit my job and travel full time included: an ACL tear that resulted in complete reconstruction, another bad breakup from a tumultuous relationship, and unhappiness in yet another job.  I need a change was needed.

What were your biggest fears before you left home? , and how do you feel about them now?

 My biggest fear is having to come back to a “normal” life.  I already know I can’t do the typical 9-5, stable routine.  I don’t know what I’d do if I had to come back and return to that.  But, that only fuels my motivation!

How long have you been traveling?

 My entire life, just not consecutively.

Where are you now?

 Nashville, Tennessee.

What are your plans for the upcoming year?

 I will be doing lots of local things in Nashville and the surrounding areas until October.  In May, I head to Memphis for the weekend.  In July (or whenever they decide), I plan on going to TBEX wherever it happens to be.  At the end of October, I fly to LA and plan on spending a few days there and then I head to Bangkok at the beginning of November.  I will be in Southeast Asia well into 2015 – hitting all the Southeast Asian countries and Samoa (one of my best friends lives here).  Will most likely hit Australia since I’ll have to go through there to go to Samoa.

What countries do you consider you felt the safest? And did you feel safer than in your home country?

 I can honestly say I haven’t really felt unsafe before.

What countries do you feel the most on edge (in Danger) ?asoutherngypsey

 I did have a guy follow me for quite some time in Italy and I finally got rid of him by hopping on a bus – I mean he literally followed me up to the bus door.  However, that does not mean I felt unsafe at all in Italy – this kind of crap happens at home too.

Any memorable dealings with government officials, Police or Border Guards?

Nothing to mention.  I always get nervous going through immigration for absolutely no reason.  Kind of like seeing police lights behind you and being nervous even though you know you’re not speeding.

Do you do any work while you travel, such as digital nomad, consulting, or odd jobs?

 I haven’t in the past, but that’s a big plan for my future.  Still searching out options.

Do you see an end to this journey, or do you expect to continue to be on the move, exploring most of your life?

 No, I plan on traveling in some form or another for as long as possible.  I may have to teach English for a year or work in one place for several months, but I plan is to be location independent.

Do you have any tips for others who are trying to get a successful blog up and going?

I’m probably too new to be giving tips and advice, but I will tell you as a new blogger than is nothing more beneficial than networking groups.  Get involved and stay involved as much as you possibly can.

Interview with the guy from flights and frustration

Today I am here Interviewing “The Guy from flightsandfrustration.com”

flights and frustrationLet’s start off by telling us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up, do you remember your main life Goals when you were young and has that changed?

Hi, I grew up in Yorkshire in England. My parents originate from Ireland so I spent most summer holidays on trips back to the Emerald Isle. I still love going back there, it is a beautiful country. As for life goals well yes, they’ve changed considerably! As a child I was brought up in a Catholic family and I felt as though I had a calling for a life in the church. It didn’t quite turn out that way though; I’m now happily married and frequently travel the world on business.

What were the key factors that persuaded you to begin frequent travel?

In the year 2000 my employer at the time offered me a chance to work overseas on a big project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I must admit to being curious about it but didn’t want to over commit. I tried to negotiate for an initial 3 month placement whilst they wanted me to commit for longer. We initially said 5 months and I ended up staying for 17. Whilst Saudi Arabia is very restrictive compared to the West there were a lot of perks to the role. Each month I had an opportunity to take some leisure travel which I utilized as much as possible.

It was only when my time on the project came to an end and I returned to the UK that I faced the possibility of not being able to travel so extensively again. However I was very fortunate in that within a couple of months I found a new employer who offered the chance for international travel most months of the year. Admittedly this would be travelling to work at the destinations (the leisure travel from Saudi was just that, leisure). However, I would always return home and kind of get the best of both worlds.

How long have you been traveling?

I suppose my regular routine of international travel began in May 2000 when I first took that flight to Saudi Arabia. I can honestly say that for maybe 9-10 months a year, every single year since then I have been flying abroad somewhere. So 14 years of almost monthly international travel.

Where are you now?

I’m on a business trip in Melbourne Australia. I’m writing this in my hotel room after a day at work.

What are your plans for the upcoming year?

My travel remit with work is pretty much global, 6 continents. Forthcoming trips will include not only domestically in the UK but Norway, India, the US. I’m likely to return to Australia again this year and no doubt will visit many European countries plus Canada and maybe Brazil and Chile. I’ve already been to China this year.

I tend to arrange my work trips 2-3 months in advance so it varies as to where I go.

What countries do you consider you felt the safest? And did you feel safer than in your home country?

I must admit that I feel safe in my own country. I live in a semi-rural area so there are less of the issues you find in big cities.

As for travel I feel safer in the western countries and also China. The culture there tends to be very welcoming and friendly. Whilst you will still get your share of ignorant people you never really see any “gangs” going around nor have I ever really found myself in a difficult situation.

What countries do you feel the most on edge (in Danger) ?

I’m really uncomfortable going to Johannesburg in South Africa. If truth be told I’ve been many times and never once suffered a problem or had anything stolen from me. However I have numerous South African friends and hear from them many tales of gun point robberies, burglaries, car jackings and murders. I’m also warned where not to go, not to go out alone and not to use taxis. At times you feel trapped in your hotel if you haven’t pre-arranged an outing.

Any memorable dealings with government officials, Police or Border Guards?

A few years ago I was doing a joint work trip in The Netherlands and Germany. I had a hire car so drove from one location to the next. Whilst in Germany all the staff in the office smoked (which I hate) and everyday my clothes would stink of cigarette smoke. It was fine in the sense that I changed my clothes everyday yet at the end of the week my leather jacket stunk to high heaven of cigarette smoke.

On leaving I drove all the way back to Amsterdam Schipol airport to catch a flight home. As I was going through security I could tell the officer on duty was looking at me suspiciously. Even though my hand luggage went through the scanner okay he insisted on opening it and rummaged around extensively. He then asked me if I’d been staying in Amsterdam for long and if I’d “visited any cafes”? I quickly explained to him that they had no interest to me; I’m not into drugs and wouldn’t dare go near them.

He then explained that he could smell the cigarette smoke on me and “thought he’d got lucky”. So thanks to my German colleagues I was very suspicious.

Do you do any work while you travel, such as digital nomad, consulting, or odd jobs?

Not in the sense of your typical full time travel blogger. I have a normal office day job. I work for a multinational manufacturing company which is head quartered in the UK. As part of my job I go to visit our various locations and work on various projects with staff there. Being a digital nomad is a hobby for me. Travelling is my job.

Tell us some of the experiences that made your jaw drop, left you in Awe, or were incredibly touching?

Whilst I was working in Saudi we saw the various sides to life in this country. There is a wide contrast in wealth between the haves and have not’s. A lot of the locals don’t work or are lazy workers; in their eyes much work is mundane and beneath them. A lot of foreign workers come into the country and those from Asia tend to be paid a horrifically poor wage, kept in very restrictive conditions and perform the physical jobs such as cleaning etc. Their employers also tend to confiscate their passports so they can’t leave the country or they have to buy their way out.

Anyway, I was in the office one day with another colleague from the UK when one of these cleaners walked into our room and handed me a note. His English was poor so the note helped. It explained that his father at home in Sri Lanka was seriously ill with a heart condition and had maybe only a few days or weeks left to live. This cleaner was desperately going around asking if anyone would donate some money so he could buy a plane ticket home. I explained this to my friend and we agreed to give the guy equivalent to about £40 GBP (£20 each). When I handed the money over the cleaner looked at me, took the money very gratefully then burst into tears. Here was a grown man crying and overwhelming grateful to us both. It turns out that he’d been desperately begging people for ages and had received virtually next to nothing from the locals, since they mainly look down upon the Asian cleaners.

Word soon got around about this cleaner and our project manager sorted it so that our company paid for his plane ticket home. He was able to go home and be with his family before his father died.

How has your traveling affected your relationships with your friends and family?

I was already traveling frequently when I met who is now my wife. She is used to me travelling away. Admittedly it is more difficult for her than it is for me. However she understands that it is a job which I enjoy and when I am at home we do get time together. (I’m not working late in the office every night when I’m in the UK.)

My parents seem okay about it. Every time I’m about to leave my mum always says “You will be careful won’t you?” but she does tend to be a little bit of a worrier. However conversations with my parents often revolve around where I’ve just been and where am I going to next.

I must admit that with my frequent travel it is very difficult to see friends often. Many of my friends are scattered around the UK and you need a planned trip to meet up. They also have busy lives as well so coordinating a free weekend is really difficult. I can now go a year or two before meeting up with some of the closest friends to me. That is really difficult but the friendships seem strong enough to survive this.

Any Regrets? Anything you would like a shot at a do-over?

Not sure they are regrets but if the Saudi project had been made available to me earlier I may have been able to travel more under my own steam. I’ve longed to go to New Zealand and the Antarctic yet haven’t made it yet. With my current circumstances it would take some planning to do this now, whereas the Saudi project would have made it a lot more time and cost affordable.

Do you see an end to this journey, or do you expect to continue to be on the move, exploring most of your life?

I’ve been traveling frequently for 14 years now and can’t see an immediate end in sight. Not only do I get to see the world but from a work perspective it stimulates me. I’d hate to have a job where I am sat at the same desk everyday doing the same mundane task year in year out. With this job I enjoy the actual work I do and get to see some amazing places courtesy of my employer. I suppose I’ll keep doing this job for as long as my health allows.

Any words of encouragement for our readers to get them to leave the couch and hit the road?

You really don’t know what you are missing until you try it. Places may look boring or predictable on the TV but you need to immerse yourself in the culture and see it first-hand. Feel and smell that humid air, see the vibrant colours, taste and smell the local cuisine as it is meant to be rather than being misled by a poor imitation cuisine restaurant on your high street. Observe the local cultures first hand and see what really goes on. You only get one shot at this life, don’t let it be one where you miss the opportunities.

If you are a travel blogger, do you have any tips for others who are trying to get a successful blog up and going?

Have patience and lots of it. Very few people make a success of it overnight. It can take many months or even a couple of years to start getting the reader numbers you’d like.

Whilst you build your blog don’t be afraid to politely connect with other bloggers and build blogging relationships with them. You can learn so much from them and be willing to offer your help for free.

Don’t go into blogging thinking you’ll be able to make lots of money in no time at all. That is the wrong mind set and you’ll more than likely fail.

See your blog as a long term commitment, for years not a few months. Pace yourself and work at a tempo you can maintain long term. Don’t try to do everything at once, you’ll burn out and give up if you do.

Have you written any books or have a blog, that you would like to plug, write out a brief description here?

I run 2 travel related sites. Firstly there is my personal travel blog http://flightsandfrustration.com. I also run a website which interviews travel bloggers (established as well as up and coming) from around the web at http://travelbloggerinterviews.com.

I recently released a book on the kindle format which is available worldwide from Amazon. It is a book about frequent flyer schemes and how you can benefit from them even if you never take a flight. I cover the wide range of ways you can earn frequent flyer miles with or without flying and some of the various things you can redeem the miles for.

I also look at the way these schemes work in terms of tiers and what pitfalls you should look out for. I will then advise you on how to decide which are the right scheme/s you should join for your particular circumstances.

The book is called “A brief introduction to airline frequent flyer schemes and which ones you should join”. You can buy the book from here.

About Me:-

Blog: http://flightsandfrustration.com/ I also run http://travelbloggerinterviews.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheGuyWhoFlies

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FlightsAndFrustration

The Guy has been a long term international business traveler for 14 years. He has covered 6 continents and flies internationally almost every month. He still holds over a million frequent flyer miles in his frequent flyer account. You can keep up to date with his global adventures on his travel blog Flights And Frustration – “The rants, ramblings and ruminations of a frequent traveler.”

Stepping Up and Diving In with Jonny Jenkins

Pedestrian Crossing With Jonny Jenkins

Jonny Jenkins Temply top    Today I am Interviewing Jonny Jenkins of Http://stepupdivein.com

      Let’s start off by telling a bit about yourself, where did you grow up, do you remember your main life Goals when you were young and has that changed?

I grew up in small town Canada, amazing upbringing that I can only look back upon with the fondest of memories. As a kid I was hoping to earn a full ride scholarship to the states for Hockey, get a great education and eventually take over my dad’s Chartered Accounting business.

What were the key factors that persuaded you to leave the comfort of your home?

I was raised by parents that always pushed the value of travel. However, there was one key factor that eventually kicked my butt into gear and get out there… my mom up and moved to Spain and was there over Christmas… thus my sister and I went out to visit her for the holidays, and do a little traveling… the bug was caught and a cure never found.

What were your biggest fears before you left home? , and how do you feel about them now?

I can’t say I had many the first time I left. But about the fourth time I left (age 24) I was fearing that I was starting to miss opportunities in the real world… Now I’ve realized that I add much to my resume with the experiences, such as volunteer, working abroad or learning new languages, that has augmented my resume greatly and should I ever decide to return for a ‘real life’ back in Canada, I’m well aware that I’ve a great set of skills for potential employers, that much more considering the value of diversity is becoming increasingly important.

How long have you been traveling?Jonny Jenkins Tikal

Call it a decade… 6 months a year for a decade at least… but this time I’ve set out to not go back. The last time I was back ‘home’ was about 7 months ago now.

Where are you now?

Kathmandu, Nepal

What are your plans for the upcoming year?

Oh man, loaded question. The year I don’t have too planned out, but the next four months are packed. Specifically because I’m turning 30. Although I don’t put much importance on the number, I set some goals while I was home to get done before my 30th, so I’m just polishing those off now… they are:
– Speak 5 languages fluently – Currently at 3 fluent, 1 written/read, 1 in class every day, 1 other not far, and 3 more in shattered sentences… (total of 9 floating around and bumping into each other.

– Get to 30 Countries – Honestly I’ve never been one to collect stamps, but as I approach 30 years old with just under 30 countries, thought it would be a good benchmark to make and then make sure to get to one new country each year for the rest of my life… 30th country (most likely Tanzania) looks like it will be about 3 days after my birthday

– Be on the top of Kilimanjaro – Recently I’ve figured out that the date makes it a tough climb, so I’m putting this goal back a couple of weeks and hope to summit within a month of the day.

– Finish my book – Again just using the day as a point to have it done… Spending a lot of time writing these days, should be done by the day, though I will have to edit and rewrite much of it, so I’m not pushing to publish by the day.

I also have a 3 month stint for volunteering in Nepal and a 3 month stint volunteering in Ethiopia on the books…

What countries do you consider you felt the safest? And did you feel safer than in your home country?

Long list… Canada is Canada… it’s pretty difficult to feel safer than there. I guess otherwise the safest have been Western Europe and parts of the States.

What countries do you feel the most on edge (in Danger) ?

Jonny Jenkins Ice CreamI’m not one to feel on edge. But, probably at times in Thailand because it was my first 3rd world country.

Any memorable dealings with government officials, Police or Border Guards?

Too many to count… The majority of which happen in between the American/Canadian border. Including getting caught with firewood (apparently you can’t do that), getting caught with a wallet of a wanted narcotics trafficker in the vehicle (though we didn’t know the guy), getting lost looking for my guitar at customs and (by having my alarm clock go off) create a bomb scare… need I add more?

Do you do any work while you travel, such as digital nomad, consulting, or odd jobs?

Certainly, was a Scuba Instructor for awhile, have worked as a drop in English prof, much volunteering… and now looking to create a career on the road in between my writing and environmentally sustainable developments.

Tell us some of the experiences that made your jaw drop, left you in Awe, or were incredibly touching?

Jaw Drop – Scuba diving with a Whale-shark.
Left in Awe – Hiking North Coast Trail in Canada (does that count as traveling?)
Incredibly Touching – The goodbye letter from an indigenous school high in the Andes of Ecuador after spending 4 months volunteering/living there.

How has your traveling affected your relationships with your friends and family?

Friends – I’d say I’ve held onto the major relationships and appreciated them Jonny Jenkins Tajamulcomore… but I’d be lying if I said I don’t neglect these relationships at times.

Family – This one hurts to be honest. I’m really close with my family, and especially now that there’s a younger generation around I feel like I’m missing out on their upbringing… but I’ve become the ‘traveling cousin/uncle/son’ … And I like to think they understand… they certainly tell stories about me, and the younger generation is learning certain geography based on ‘where in the world is Jonny?’

Any Regrets?, Anything you would like a shot at a do-over?

One – Lived in Germany about a decade ago and never learned German. I find regrets a waste of time, so let’s just say that I plan to remedy this.

Do you see an end to this journey, or do you expect to continue to be on the move, exploring most of your life?

I see a point where I will again get into living in Canada 3-6 months a year, having another ‘home/eco project’ 3-6 months a year and exploring for whatever time is remaining.

Any words of encouragement for our readers to get them to leave the couch and hit the road?

Jonny Jenkins Landing in OntarioHmm… At the end of the day, what kind of stories would you like to be able to tell your children/grandchildren? Do you want to have stories that involve you as a protagonist, or rather ones that you heard second hand and are merely retelling someone else’s tales? There’s nothing wrong with learning vicariously and we all have some responsibilities… but the moment you leave your hometown you’ll realize what responsibilities are actually important for you and your happiness and which ones have been but society’s view of who you should be… and really, if you look at your surround society, are you willing to say that they have all the answers?

Do you have any tips for others who are trying to get a successful blog up and going?

Absolutely, it takes time. Get into writing, don’t worry too much about the finicky little things to begin with. Whatever keeps you motivated, focus on that. The way that SEO works, you won’t be able to get ranked too high until you’ve got some longevity to your site… so write what you enjoy.
Furthermore… actually travel. Get to places where others go as that brings search queries but also get to places that others don’t, as that brings intrigue. Start now… even if you aren’t blogging much, having the site up will help you in the long run… And do EVERYTHING you find interesting… others might as well.

With all of this, you should be aware that at first it will be an investment… think of it as around a year (give or take) before your blog starts to give back… so make sure you have enough to live off of for that long.

Have you written any books or have a blog, that you would like to plug?

Http://stepupdivein.com

By using humor, photos, stories and advice, I hope to engage everyone in such a way that, in the very least, it breaks up the monotony of a given working day; and, in the most, inspires others to get out there and see the world for themselves. I’ve always been a storyteller, and try to get very deep into cultures by staying for longer periods of time, learning the local language and finding a role in the society (typically volunteer) so that my relationships with said locals are not just economically driven… and then I come back to that storytelling bit to tell others of the hilarity and ridiculousness in my own mannerisms… I do my best to respect all others whilst being comically self-deprecating and love to hear from anyone/everyone.

The Odyssey – 30 Stories that made me 30 Years old

I won’t plug my book just yet… But the premise is this: Our generation is potentially the first in the history of mankind that has had this gap (in between 20 and 30) open up. The stories of an eccentric traveler are used to exemplify the diversity in which ‘this odyssey’ can be undertaken…Jonny Jenkins Abbot Ridge

Interviewing Fellow travelers.

travel blog interviews

I have been traveling for quite a few years now, and it seems that one thing is universal, that all travelers have an interesting story to tell. So I am making a special category Just for you fellow travelers, with a story to tell.

So Travelers, Travel bloggers , please take the time to respond to the following questions below, feel free to ad a bit of your own ideas, then email them to me and I will get them posted as soon as I can. Just a hint roaminaround.com is a PR3 and I would love to help you out with your rankings, so everybody,,, tell us something interesting….;)

Let’s start off by telling a bit about yourself, where did you grow up, do you remember your main life Goals when you were young and has that changed?

What were the key factors that persuaded you to leave the comfort of your home?

What were your biggest fears before you left home? , and how do you feel about them now?

How long have you been traveling?

Where are you now?

What are your plans for the upcoming year?

What countries do you consider you felt the safest? And did you feel safer than in your home country?

What countries do you feel the most on edge (in Danger) ?

Any memorable dealings with government officials, Police or Border Guards?

Do you do any work while you travel, such as digital nomad, consulting, or odd jobs?

Any major life targets, that you are working on?

Tell us some of the experiences that made your jaw drop, left you in Awe, or were incredibly touching?

How has your traveling affected your relationships with your friends and family?

Any Regrets?, Anything you would like a shot at a do-over?

Do you see an end to this journey, or do you expect to continue to be on the move, exploring most of your life?

Any words of encouragement for our readers to get them to leave the couch and hit the road?

If you are a travel blogger, do you have any tips for others who are trying to get a successful blog up and going?

Have you written any books or have a blog, that you would like to plug, write out a brief description here?

Please include a picture or 2 so that we can show you off.

Instructions: Please copy and paste the questions, preferably into a  word document or just an email, feel free to adlib , ad your own questions if you like. And don’t forget the pics. I will go through them as fast as I can and add them to the blog.

Please send interviews to: interviews (at) roaminaround (dot)com

Making a Living as a Digital Nomad

      Of all the dreams I have, there are two things in particular that hold a special place in my heart. They are related to each other and they complement each other. These are: the desire to travel and financial freedom.

If you are reading this travel blog, you will understand how I feel. You know how it itches when you have not traveled at least once or twice a year. You have the urge to travel in your veins.

But if you are still new to the idea of actually taking a vacation to some distant place, I bet there is little need to convince you of its merits, for travel appeals to almost everyone. Not only that it is also the number two industry on the internet, Only surpassed by Porn.

I have always wanted to travel. It’s in my bones. I love visiting exotic places and traveling to far-off destinations that most people only dream about. I believe that a lot of people have the innate desire in their hearts to get up and go, to leave everything behind and travel the world.

     If this is so, what is stopping the masses from doing so? The usual problem besetting would-be travelers is simple: they are cash-strapped. They do not have the finances needed to make their dream vacation. For many who actually have the money, they usually don’t have the time to take away and enjoy traveling. They either have to keep watch over their businesses or otherwise have to stay in their work. And while most jobs and businesses allow for some time off for vacation, there are simply too many people that are not prosperous enough to afford one. Soon, all thoughts of travel vanish in their minds, and they start living as zombies without any hope of fulfilling their dreams.

      Which brings us to my point: financial freedom. And this is where it gets exciting, because I am going to give you some tips on how to finally afford that vacation while not leaving time off in your work.

     The advent of the internet opened a veritable treasure mine of online opportunities for making money. There are so many businesses nowadays that are based mainly online, and there are thousands of work that can be done in cyberspace.

       What I am essentially pointing out to you is that you can start making a living as a digital nomad. As long as you can get a decent online connection, you can work absolutely anywhere in the world. The kinds of work available online include jobs as a virtual assistant; SEO and online writer; blogger; web designer; professional in various types of software; data entry professional; typing jobs; mobile application developer; language tutor; graphic designer; and thousands of other virtual jobs. You can learn these with online help as well, so it is not like you need to earn a college degree to be able to competently perform them.

      In addition, you can also put up online businesses which do not need any real, physical stores and can be accessed anywhere. Your products can be anything you want to sell, from bags and shoes to gadgets and vehicles. You can also sell virtual services.

     It is up to you to choose your online niche. Research it while you are still in your current office job, determine its feasibility, determine the time you will spend on it each week, and start on it if everything works out. Afterwards, you can then quit your job and start making a living as a digital nomad.

       After my Industry was hit with the crisis, I had a little bit of cash saved up and started to travel. and it took me about 5 years to learn many of the tricks of the trade that I know now. Also it helps that I am living in Chiang Mai, Thailand where there are many others in the same position that I am in, and I have been able to learn a lot from local networking with other digital nomads. If you are interested I am would like to help, send me an email at info@roaminaround.com and put in the subject line “how do I become a digital nomad”.

      Whenever I retire after a long day of Wondering the planet, I simply open my laptop and start to work at my leisure. My time belongs to me and I can do my work anywhere.

      Making a living as a digital nomad works, and I would like to share with you this opportunity so that you can do the same and finally live the life you’ve always wanted.

So good luck, God bless and I hope to bump into you wherever in the world you may be!

Live Life To The Point of Tears

Live Life To The Point Of Tears

Awe

“ An experience of such perpetual vastness you literally have to reconfigure your mental models of the world to assimilate it”

I saw this video a few months back and it really struck me. What divides those of us who seek to live our life in awe and those who spend our lives in the supposed safety of routine? What keeps us from doing the small things that can pull us out of routine and fill our lives with a bit of interest, enlightenment, maybe even craziness.  It appears that as human beings we are either to lazy, or unconsciously wrapped up in the security of routine that we are unable to realize it. For those of you who are not like me and would buy a ticket on a relative whim and fly to the amazon to look for gold. there are little things that can be done in order to live life a bit more fully… how about putting on your “Sunday Best” and take a walk in the park. or taking a different route on your way home from work, turn off the radio and absorb a bit of your surroundings.. We are not talking major things here.. Life is so short and this world is so vast, and shall I say it ” AWESOME” ..

And I will not suggest that you stop there. The world has so much to experience. Nearly every day in my life there is something that send chills up my spine, or brings a tear to my eye just from interacting with different cultures. People who have nothing according to our limited western views (yet have everything but many of us as westerners are to jaded to see). Will go out of their way to help a stranger in need.  These are the moments in our lives that make the final cut. These are the moments that separate us from routine and bring us to a higher level of understanding into the beauty that is possible in human nature, and forces us to drop our cynicism that so many of us have made such an integral part of our lives.

But what about safety and security, you may ask. What is safety? What is Security? We are traveling on a planet hurling through space at a speed in excess of 18 1/2 miles per second. People live their lives in the security of their jobs, and wait till they come into retirement to maybe go and see a few things. Unless of course they are layed off from their jobs and sit at home in fear of their little bit of saving dwindling away. Are we living a life of trying to make it safely to death? For those of you who are religious you may say, that it does not matter, because your happiness will come in eternity.. Well let me let you in on a little secret ..

….. Eternity is now…..

      Some of us believe that we only have one shot at life on this beautiful planet, and are we going to be so irresponsible to let it slip by and not experience as much as we can? All the while screaming the excuse that I am responsible and have a real job, and do not have the time to go gallivanting around the world, I have responsibilities.. I need to keep the hampsterwheel spinning….

Well I should stop rambling here,, check out this Awesome video, watch it every day till you realize a way to escape your routine and start seeing life in a different way. I have included the transcript below and a brief description… And the next time someone asks “Do you know where your spending eternity..” just remember. ” Yea… I am spending it right now…”

Published on May 22, 2013

Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey has proposed that our ability to awe was biologically selected for by evolution because it imbues our lives with sense of cosmic significance that has resulted in a species that works harder not just to survive but to flourish and thrive.

Join Jason Silva every week as he freestyles his way into the complex systems of society, technology and human existence and discusses the truth and beauty of science in a form of existential jazz. New episodes every Tuesday

Watch More Shots of Awe on TestTube http://testtube.com/shotsofawe

Here is the transcript,, read several times,, 😉

0:12

I think a lot about the contrast between banality and wonder,

0:18

between disengagement and radiant ecstasy,

0:23

between being unaffected by the here and now

0:26

and being absolutely ravished emotionally by it.

0:31

And I think one of the problems for human beings

0:33

is mental habits.

0:35

Once we create a comfort zone, we rarely

0:37

step outside of that comfort zone.

0:38

But the consequence of that is a phenomenon

0:41

known as hedonic adaptation.

0:43

Over stimulation to the same kind of thing,

0:45

the same stimuli again and again and again,

0:47

renders said stimuli invisible.

0:50

Your brain has already mapped it in its own head,

0:52

and you no longer literally have to be engaged by that.

0:55

We have eyes, yet see not, ears that hear not,

0:59

and hearts that neither feel nor understand.

1:01

There’s a great book called The Wondering Brain that

1:04

says that one of the ways that we elicit wonder

1:06

is by scrambling the self temporarily

1:09

so that the world can seep in.

1:11

Henry Miller says even a blade of grass,

1:13

when given proper attention, becomes

1:15

an infinitely magnificent world in itself.

1:18

Darwin said attention, if sudden and close, graduates

1:22

in surprise, and this into astonishment,

1:24

and this into stupefied amazement.

1:27

That’s what rapture is.

1:29

That’s what illumination is.

1:31

That’s what that sort of infinite comprehending

1:34

awe that human beings love so much.

1:37

And so how do we do that?

1:38

How do we mess with our perceptual apparatus

1:41

in order to have the kind of emotional and aesthetic

1:44

experience from life that we render most meaningful?

1:50

Because we all know those moments are there.

1:52

Those are the moments that would make final cut.

1:54

Only in these moments we experience a fresh,

1:57

the hardly bearable ecstasy of different energy

2:01

exploding on our nerve endings.

2:03

This is the rhapsodic, ecstatic, bursting forth

2:08

of awe that expands our perceptual parameters

2:11

beyond all previous limits.

2:13

And we literally have to reconfigure our mental models

2:16

of the world in order to assimilate

2:19

the beauty of that download.

2:21

That is what it means to be inspired.

2:25

The Greek root of the term means to breathe in, to take it in.

2:32

We fit the universe through our brains,

2:34

and it comes out in the form of nothing less than poetry.

2:38

We have a responsibility to awe.