Monthly Archives: January 2014

Towards the Golden Land of Unknown

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The Chinese New Year is upon me once again. Firecrackers and lanterns abound. The whole country on the move. The biggest human migration. A migration of amazing proportions and a celebration of historic tradition. But now after a few weeks of work and a quick Christmas holiday to see an old friend in South Korea it is time to board the plane yet again. Another adventure, another time to celebrate. This time I am off to see the slowly opening borders of a land of mystery and excitement. A place that has played around in my head for almost two years. Where adventure travel takes on new meaning and I make some new trails. Into the golden land of Burma I go.

When I mention Myanmar(Burma) what comes to mind? For many I believe a simple where or what is there comes to mind? I have been reading and day-dreaming about this place for long enough to know I still know nothing. I see quiet mornings, sprawling temples, slow trains through humid fog, good food, a hard life, an honest life and a story to tell. Burma has finally begun to relax its borders and people can begin to experience parts of this country. After a quick stop in politically unstable Bangkok I will be on my way. I know it will not disappoint.

As I depart on another mini adventure I think about how fortunate I am to pick up and travel to wherever my hearts content. To have the freedom and ability to just go. To be lucky enough to come from a country like Canada where going almost anywhere in the world is a feasible possibility. We take this for granted. After living in countries where leaving is much more complicated than just buying a plane ticket, you can begin to understand. Use your power. The unknown is waiting and anywhere is possible. I’ll be in touch.

When Things get Stale

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There comes a time in everyone’s life when things seem to be spinning on repeat. When the days blend together. December 14th or January 14th, doesn’t matter, it could have been the same day. That old song on the radio. More bad weather on the way. Same old coffee shop. The back end of a sandwich. The ring of the phone and the predictability of the morning break. When the sound of a nearby scratchy cough bothers you profusely. When everything just seems too normal to be real…it’s time to give yourself a shake.

Wake up! Turn off the autopilot. It’s a brand new year. I don’t believe in New Years resolutions as they are always destined to fail like a bad diet. But I do believe in introspective searching if you are looking to make a change. Think back on your year of 2013. What were the highs and lows? How did they make you feel and why? How did your 2013 start and end? If you see yourself only one space ahead of GO, then take a look at why that may be. Think about constructive accomplishments that made you happiest in the last year. Then focus new thoughts and goals on these activities.

One of the hardest things to do is admitting your own faults and short comings. We all want to save face and pretend we have it all together. When the majority of people are lost and have no idea what they are doing, but simply keep moving forward with the crowd. The truth is the majority of us truly have it better than we could ever fully understand. I’m sure the man rowing the boat (above) across the Buriganga River in Bangladesh hundreds of times a day is not completely fulfilled either. All of our wants and desires are indicative of our own personal history and circumstance. Embrace yours. But if you need a change, start telling people about it. The more you vocalize your opinions the closer you come to realizing where you would like to be at the end of 2014. At the end of 2015, and so on. Don’t go for just getting by.

For instance, I have a number of things about myself that I would like to improve over the following year. I would like to talk less and listen more. Ask more questions. Commit wholeheartedly to things and keep simple promises. Be less hard on myself and show more compassion. Give more complements. Exercise more and simply get more out of the day. Just to name a few things. However, these changes are not going to come overnight in some sort of resolution. Realizing my shortcomings is the first step in the process for building upon the outlook I have in my daily life, from actions to inner thoughts. And by consciously realizing where I am lacking I am able to turn these issues around in my life. I can then attack conversations from different angles and think more critically about my personal life.

If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. ~ Jim Rohn

If you can realize your faults and turn them into fuel for the betterment of yourself in the coming year then you are on the right track. If you succeed then you won’t want to stop there. Because being happy with yourself is the greatest feeling. Keep what makes you yourself, what makes you jump out of bed and throw out that other junk. The things that push people away from you. We all crave positive human interaction, but negative attracts the negative. If you dish out negative, expect to get it back in return. No one is perfect, not even close. But if you are able to focus on the aspects of your life which reap positive returns then you will begin to get positive feedback. Trust me.

So here’s to 2014. Not a year of failed resolutions and stagnant hopes. But to one of actualized goals and happiness. To positive change and new experiences. The opportunities are out there, so take a look.

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