Doesn’t sound like a sitcom anymore 🙁
As I overlook Sergels torg ( a plaza in Stockholm), follow along on a reflective trip to my beloved Copenhagen.
With any anticipated experience, there comes one age-old challenge: how does one make the most of it? It’s difficult no doubt, especially in foreign lands like the ones I find myself in these days. And while I cannot give you a cut and dry answer, I can try to grant you a ticket aboard a train of thought that might take you in the right direction.
Step 1: Reflect
Reflect on the memories you hold most fondly. Why do you hold them so fondly? If you can identify what made past memories so special, you may be able to choose and craft your activities to facilitate the feeling of those feelings.
In practice: In 2021, my family and our best family friends went to Hawaii–a place defined by blue skies, warm waters, and natural beauty. But, despite all those expectations of what the place would be, I remember that trip by being on the beach in the middle of the night with one of my best friends talking about life. No other memory came close. So, I attempted to recreate that experience by going beachside camping. And although it was just me, falling asleep under the Denmark night sky was of the most magical, special nights of my life.
Step 2: Embrace Discomfort
In my young eyes, one of the great fears of any human is leaving the comfort zone. In many ways, it’s leaving safety, which goes against almost all evolutionary-ingrained instincts. But, we now live in a world where leaving this zone is not only possible, but desirable (at least if you ask me)! Departing from this beloved zone will grant you the gift of new likes, dislikes, stories, memories, fun, challenges, and much more!
In practice: This is one of my favorite principles in life, so I’d love to give some personal examples… but I observed one on my trip I feel is perfect for this blog. If you know Copenhagen, you know the power of the bicycle. It was one of the most attractive features of the city for me. However, for many of my colleagues, it was intimidating and unnecessary. So why do it? To exit your comfort zone of course! After the couple weeks of biking, many of them were thankful they hopped on the two-wheel piece of human ingenuity as it allowed them to embrace the local lifestyle and the surrounding area to the max.
Step 3: Be Yourself in a New World
Another one of my favorite life principles applying here. If we’re not careful, it may contradict step 2. To avoid this, I’ll define being yourself as an unwavering commitment to what makes you you.
In practice: The line between getting out of your comfort zone and staying true to yourself can be blurry, so I’ll provide a little example to demonstrate the difference in my mind. Generally speaking, I’m a financial saver (with the exception of fun or new-hobby purchases), but I made the wallet-hurting decision to eat at one restaurant a day while here. The idea of spending that much money on a temporary endeavor does not sit well in my stomach and causes, you guessed it, great discomfort, but I know it doesn’t impinge on who I am and it’s vital in my soaking up of the city.
There is always a discussion to be had about personal redefinition/evolution and how new experiences contribute. In other words, are you being yourself if new experiences cause you to change as they so often do? Unfortunately, I cannot give strong advice here as it’s a question I still grapple with. Though, I do encourage you to continually grapple with it as well and consult a trusted friend or mentor if needed!
Okay, I need to digress!
As always, I hope you were able to gather something from this. I’m going to keep on living life… I hope you do the same! Thank you for reading.