A little inspiration for this wintery Monday.
As someone that lives in the western world – has a roof over their head, food on the table, the opportunity to go into a career and love the person I want to – it is sometimes very easy to lose perspective at the luckiness I have. In a general, wordly sense.
I know that a large majority of the human beings living on this planet do not enjoy the freedoms and luxuries that I do. I am grateful to know I have clean water and a bed. I try to keep perspective however, it does not detract from the problems I feel that I face as an individual.
Perspective is a good thing, it means that people can stop being wrapped up in the truly insignificant things that don’t really matter. The fact you didn’t get those new shoes for example, or that you have to wait two hours for a table because you didn’t think to book ahead. Perspective however, shouldn’t take away from people’s own achievements, accomplishments and ambitions.
Yes, you are lucky and you are privileged in the ‘grand scheme of things’ but there’s nothing wrong with wanting more and wanting better. It is human instinct, our way of doing the whole survival of the fittest thing without descending into complete dystopia. (I would definitely be the first to die if I were to be a part of The Hunger Games or anything like that).
Some perspective is great. Feeling, or being made to feel, that you can no longer complain because it can be dismissed due to said perspective that a lot of people have it a lot worse is illogical and a good way to bad feelings.
Being aware of others and the world around you is good, it makes a better person. But I don’t appreciate people telling me that that is reason enough for me not to be complaining. I like to rant sometimes (they were obviously not aware of this blog), that doesn’t mean I am dismissing anyone’s struggles or any country’s plights. It just means that I want more for myself, it doesn’t make me selfish.
But if right now, I want to complain about the fact some stupid driver decided to almost crash in my car and then call me every single name under the sun (the bad ones, not random things like Jennifer or Bill – that would be weird) then I can. It doesn’t mean I don’t have perspective, it’s just that I feel I still have important things going on in my life.
There will always be someone worse off. Which means that only one person would be able to vent some anger or frustration at a problem that billions of other people have to. How stupid.
I have perspective. I’m still allowed to moan. Don’t dismiss my grievances. They may not be as awful or as immediately important as other things going on in the world but they are still mine. And they mean something to me.
It’s September 2012. According to the more negative humans of the population, the world should be ending in approximately three months. I realised that I am not prepared for the zombie apocalypse. I always imagined, when I was young and naive, that I would be fully prepared for such a turn in the world’s events. Now that the potential moment, if it isn’t postponed for the 670th time, is almost upon us I realise how wrong I was.
I have no survival skills.
The closest I got to camping was at a music festival last summer where the most dangerous things around were the porta-loos and the risk of having a drunk person collapse on your tent. Riding a bicycle and going down a pothole hurt my ladybits so much that I had to stop. The knots I tie in my shoelaces barely last a 9 – 5 day and that’s when I spend most of my time at a desk. I can’t light a fire without using one of those ready made coal bags that you light and leave. I can’t change a tyre because my arm muscles are so weak and I wouldn’t know where to put that metal thing to bring the car up to loosen those screw things on the tyre to replace the tyre with another. And that’s just the incompetence I can remember off the top of my head.
It isn’t reassuring.
I can run so that’s something if the zombies are slow like in the original 60s zombie films like Dawn of the Dead but if they’re fast like in I am Legend then, frankly, I’m screwed. I also have no idea how to fight, I only learnt how to make a proper fist due to the boy realising I was a bit like a baby when it came to any talent in the defensive arts. On the other end of the spectrum I know no first aid. I mean I know the whole on your side thing; but, honestly, if someone was in need of first aid and I was the only one there – well, it doesn’t bare thinking about. I mean, I know how to use a phone so I could call someone for help, but in the zombie apocalypse I doubt I’d get the best signal.
I am no Ray Mears. I can not make a seven course meal out of a rat, a beetle, two leaves and a twig. I would not be able to make a house with en suite bathrooms in every room out of an overhanging tree and a few planks of wood. I would not be able to make weapons out of flowers to help defend myself.
If the zombie apocalypse comes, I’ll be pinning all hopes of survival on those around me. What an awful thought. Survival skills are important even if the zombie apocalypse is less likely than Leonardo DiCaprio asking me out on a date.
I do think survival skills should be learnt when we’re young. I wasn’t a part of any of those cool little outdoor groups when I was a kid. But as far as I know, the ones that girls are a part of aren’t as big on the whole survival skill thing as the boys one is. This is apparently changing. I hope so since both genders need to survive for the human race to continue, but I guess they didn’t think of that when they were planning classes.
Survival skills should be taught in all schools. Basic things such as first aid should be compulsory rather than something you can opt in for. I know that if I had learnt that as a kid, I’d be sitting a lot more comfortably now.
Learning survival skills would serve a reminder that the world has a lot more to offer than awful TV and endless internet websites. It would show people learning these survival skills, that the world is a big place, that it isn’t all controlled by humans (thankfully) and that adventure is still out there in more possible ways than you could have first imagined. Survival skills inspire and they give confidence to those that know they can be independent. They can do it on their own without having to Google it beforehand. That alone is more than enough reason, for me, for survival skills to be a worthy thing to be introduced in schools. Surviving the zombie apocalypse as a result of having said survival skills is just an added bonus.
The only thing that will mean that my survival is slightly prolonged to the ‘Average Joe’ is that I am determined and will not go down without a fight. My inability to admit defeat should serve me well if any brain eating zombies do decide to go on a rampage. In the meantime I’ll start preparing myself for such an invasion, I’m just loading the Rocky music now.
Eat, Learn, Move: an amazing trilogy made by 3 guys who who travelled to 11 countries in 44 days, travelling over 38,000 miles. The videos have been commissioned by STA Travel Australia who have probably now got the best advertisement ever made in the whole history of the entire world. Yes, I am that in love with these films and have been for a little while now.
I know these videos are a little old, but I don’t care. I watch them every time I need a little inspiration, a pick up or some motivation because what this guy did with his two friends is what I dream of doing. It’s what I will do one day.
These videos show true workmanship in their editing, the music and the filming. It’s all so beautiful and I realised I hadn’t included it on the blog: a crime. So here they are, three fabulous films shot by three friends that will make you want to pack your bags and just go where the wind takes you. Eat, Learn and Move. Enjoy.
I have itchy feet. Not the gross, not looked after kind (although my feet are admittedly gross) but the itchy feet you get when you just want to get out there and explore the world. I want to travel so much that it is never far from my thoughts. Plans are already more or less set for me and the boy to go travel the extensive and vibrant continent of South America; we plan on setting off in July 2013 and only returning to little old England at the end of June 2014. But that’s still a long way away and my big dreams and ridiculously huge ambitions (and clearly slightly greedy ways) means I want more.
I’m trying very hard to save money for a trip to New York; I’ve wanted to go there for as long as I can remember. I know cities might not be everyone’s idea of beautiful but there is something about New York. My heart yearns for it. I think I’ll cry when I can finally go. I also want to go to Africa particularly Kenya and Uganda. Africa is such a beautiful continent; the photographs I see of the country are like poetry for the eyes. It almost seems hard to believe when I look at the concrete buildings that make up my university that there is much beauty in the world. I want to go to India, China, Russia, Germany, Barbados, Mexico, Cuba, Alaska, Canada. There are so many places.
I’ve wanted to travel ever since I realised that one could leave the home. That’s according to my mum; I am too young to remember this, all I know is that I’ve always wanted to travel. Which actually helps her story.
The world is a huge place; there is a lot of beauty out there and a lot of ugliness too. I want to see it all. I want to meet new people, see new things, experience new cultures, eat new cuisine, learn new languages. I want to do so much: skydive, build something, plant a tree, go on safari, ride a canoe down the Amazon River, ride an elephant, avoid being spat out by a camel. I want to swim in every ocean, dance at the carnival in Brazil, walk the Great Wall of China, get lost everywhere, have a road trip, see a cowboy, watch whales, see the Northern Lights and dive in the Great Barrier Reef. My list is endless. I want to do it all.
Ignorance is in every society, even those that pride themselves on being ‘advanced’. But travelling is a chance to broaden your mind, seek out adventure and show you how wonderful life and all the different things in it: be it people, animals, plants or land really are.
Travelling is a way of reminding yourself that you and your life with all your ‘problems’ and those material possessions you hold in such high esteem are not as important and as significant as you would like to think. You’re merely a star in the Milky Way.
But that’s not me diminishing how important an individual is, the stars at night are beautiful…the more there are in the sky the more magnificent it is for it to be seen. That’s what everything on this planet is. A little shining light, together we are a sight to behold. So why wouldn’t you want to travel and explore.
At the moment I live through books, films and my cousin who has travelled half the globe already; but I can’t wait until I have the ability to do the same. Since I’ve been with boy we’ve been exploring England a little, not much but a little. The pockets that we’ve seen are exquisite. Sights made for a postcard. The world is a big place. And travelling isn’t as difficult as you may believe. It just takes a little courage.
I feel like if I don’t travel then I’ll never know what’s out there. How can I not want an adventure? How can I not want to explore and see things that I’ve only ever seen on a page or a screen? To not travel for me, would be like sitting in my box and being too afraid to take the risk, open the lid and let myself flourish out there.
But to travel you don’t have to go too far, especially if planes are not your thing. Your own city and your own country are abound in beauty and extraordinary things. There’s no need to go on a sixteen hour flight for an adventure if that’s not your inclination.
All I know is I want to travel, my itchy feet are just going to get worse. I want to see all I can, fill my brain with languages I don’t understand, colours of both the dull and vibrant kind and all the stories and experiences I can hold. Life is just a fleeting thing, like sand through the fingers. I want to make every moment count.