Yes, I know. I’m guilty of writing only one, meager blog post the past four months of being on exchange. So what the hell have I been doing then??? A lot but I can attribute this lack of content to traveling, schoolwork, going to bars etc. However, these are merely excuses that I’ve created inside myself to justify my laziness with this blog. On the contrary, this lack of content has developed into an epiphany that I’d like to share with you guys:
Bubbles are everywhere
What I mean by bubbles is the idea that almost all humans get stuck in types of routine or action, thus trapping us in the boring cycles of everyday life. These vicious bubbles stop us from fully experiencing everything that life has to offer because we choose to stay inside our comfort zone. For example, when I first arrived in Rotterdam, literally everything about the city, people, buildings seemed amazingly cool to me. I had this thirst for exploration and the extroverted side of my personality was really working hard to meet new people. I was meeting people left and right but as time passed, that fire of excitement had really diminished. My perception of Rotterdam is completely different from the fresh set of eyes I had when I first saw the city of Rotterdam. I don’t attribute this to the people, the city or anything. The blame falls solely on these bubbles that my mind created for myself. I went to the same club/bar every Tuesday. I went to the same place for lunch almost everyday. I bought the same groceries and cooked the same meals. I hung out with the same people. I did the same workout. I’ve been doing the same things every night and day which has stopped me from updating this blog. Doesn’t sound too much different than being at home or at work. When you do the same thing too many times, its only human nature to lose the passion and excitement you once had.
So how do I break these bubbles???
After coming to this realization, I decided to pull out a map and do some research on just how much of Rotterdam I’ve explored.
( the circles refer to places I’ve been too.)
According to tripadvisor.com, Rotterdam has about 120 “things to do” and has been rated a “2014 Traveler Award Destination.” As you can see, I’ve explored maybe about 5% of Rotterdam and I have nobody to blame but these bubbles I’ve created for myself. When I apply this theory to my life in Los Angeles and in the Bay Area, its the exact same situation. There are so many places I’ve yet to explore in San Francisco and Los Angeles and I feel ashamed when people ask me for recommendations for restaurants, clubs, bars in my home cities only to come up empty or with very few options. I see these bubbles as comfort-zone bubbles. Everyday in life we get trapped in familiarity and our comfort zone which stops us from realizing how much joy life has to offer. I think its important to always keep changing it up. When you realize your in a cycle, break it, even on a micro-level. Traveling is awesome at doing this (I had this realization returning from Prague this morning). If you always take the same way to get to school, go a different way. If you always sleep next to the window, move your bed to the other side of the room. If you always cook yourself the same foods, look up some recipes and try something new. If you always hang out with the same people, go to a new bar and talk to someone new. I firmly believe that breaking these bubbles are important in creating enjoyment and continuing interest in life and who knows, you might discover a new passion or hobby. You might discover something amazingly cool that you never knew existed. You might meet someone or something that can drastically change your life. Routines are great for efficient work and productiveness, but always keep changing it up.
I know this post doesn’t talk about all my my amazingly cool stories of being scammed in Istanbul, learning how to drive in Santorini, meeting a French “Heisenberg”, waking up in jail or getting stranded in Geneva. However, I know ya’ll have lives and have shit to take care of so I’ll spare you and myself the time or this blog post would be way too long. Perhaps another time though. If you demand to hear my crazy adventures now though, definitely send me a message and it’ll be my pleasure to share my stories with ya 🙂 I will start updating this weekly. If not, please hold me accountable or think of some crazy shit I can do as punishment and I’ll post it on this blog 🙂
I’d also like to add that a good friend I’ve met here on exchange, Drew Nelson, has an amazingly awesome blog. Definitely check it out http://wanderlustworldwide.blogspot.nl/