How to create new experiences despite the daily grind

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Somewhere in Tibet.

We often feel that life on the road is always more exciting. New sounds, sights and smells and totally foreign environments. Our senses are excited and overwhelmed by all the newness and novelty brought upon by traveling to a new country or city.

But for most of us with a job, travelling all the time is simply not possible given the limited annual leave. So, rather than feeling bored and sulking over our mundane daily routine, anticipating our next vacation, how do we energize ourselves and make our life off-the-road more exciting?

There are a few ways to live your life to fullest possible (given your life situation) and experience the magic that comes with it.

Challenge your fear or weakness and have fun with it

Most of us would stay away from doing something we are scared of or something that we suck at. Why? Because for our fear of being judged by others, the fear of looking foolish in front of others. But what if we challenge ourselves to keep doing it despite of our fears and weaknesses?

All my life, I’ve had the biggest fear in public speaking. The idea of talking to an audience, in front of people, more so strangers or acquaintances, gives me butterflies in my stomach. I always thought I would either make a fool out of myself or lost for words when speaking to an audience.

So I decided to challenge myself. What if I turned my weakness or fear into a challenge where I could improve myself while having fun at the same time?
And I did. I signed myself up for an informal public speaking event whereby participants would be given a random theme each week and are required to give a 3-minute speech on your chosen topic. It could be about sharing your personal experiences, conveying a new idea or concept or simply anything under the sun.
When it was my turn to give the speech, my palms were sweaty, my heart was racing, my hands were shaking, I was fidgeting with my hair a lot. But you know what? I still did it. I had fun thinking about the topic, the structure of my speech, the whole experience, mingling with friendly people at the event and the feedback I was given by the audience on things to improve on. I’m still not great with speaking in the public, but it doesn’t really matter, I grew a little and had some fun along the way :)

Being a tourist in your city

When you are not working, do you tend to stay at home watching TV while dreaming about your next vacation? One of the ways that we could lift ourselves out of boredom is by doing something different in our own city!
It could be visiting a neighbourhood that you had never been. It could be taking a detour or new route on your way home. It could be signing up for a day tour in your own city. It could be trying out the new restaurant you read about in an article. The list goes on.

I was on my way home from a yoga lesson last Sunday and was supposed to meet up with a friend for lunch. Unfortunately the meeting was cancelled due to some unforeseen circumstances. I could have gone home and have an afternoon nap.

Instead, I chose to visit Petaling Street and checked out a famous eatery that I came across on the Internet. I ended up joining in the long line and was rewarded with some seriously delicious food. I also randomly stumbled upon a Deepavali ceremony in an Indian temple where I got to witness skilled musicians perform classical Indian music accompanying the ceremony.

That day was totally unplanned but it turned out to be much better than I had expected. I went home feeling refreshed with new experiences and having learnt a little bit more about the city I live in.

Doing an activity with your friends and family or even strangers

We are social creatures, most of us like sharing experiences with people. When I travel I absolutely love signing up for a cooking lesson or a day tour where you get to do some activity with a bunch of fellow travellers. So I thought to myself why not try to recreate that experience and have fun at home?
I recently organised a small lunch party at my apartment with a couple of close friends. I decided on introducing them to Vietnamese dishes like spring rolls and savoury crepes (Banh xeo) as these dishes are simple and interactive where everyone can get their hands on trying to prepare the dish. We ended up making quite a mess in the kitchen but had a lot of fun and ended the day with lots of laughter and a full belly :)
Cooking up a storm in my kitchen!

 

 

The end product – Banh Xeo

In a nutshell

In order to make our daily life more exciting, we should discard our “scarcity mindset” in thinking that life outside of travelling is dull and boring. Rather, we could make full use of our current life situation and create fun and awesome new experiences even in our own city.

Just think outside the box, do a little bit of research on things to do, say yes to stuff, take that first step out of your comfort zone. Who knows, you might see life in your own city in a totally different light.

Photo credits to Gabor.
Thanks Toma for your newsletters which partly inspired this post!

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