Travel Flashback: six hours in Switzerland

Geneva main

This post was inspired by the NZBloggers #BlogGreatness challenge. Every week, bloggers are tasked with writing about a predetermined topic. This week’s prompt is ‘Neutral’. You can check out other blogs on the subject here.

In early 2011, when I was on exchange in Lyon, France, I was invited to spend the weekend at the family home of my then-flatmate, Nawel. She was from a beautiful town called Evian-les-Bains – famous for the bottled water – on the shores of Lac Leman.

What I didn’t immediately realise at the time is that Lac Leman is French for Lake Geneva. On Sunday morning Nawel casually suggested we take a drive to Switzerland, in the same way one would suggest going downtown for a cup of coffee or the like. To a young girl from borderless New Zealand, the idea of taking a day trip to a different country was mind-blowingly awesome.

Continue reading

Passions vs pastimes: how to tell the difference

Passions in Life

This week’s post was inspired by the NZBloggers #BlogGreatness challenge. Every week, bloggers are tasked with writing a post about a predetermined topic. This week’s prompt is ‘Passions in Life’. You can check out other blogs on the subject here.

“A passion project doesn’t mean a side business, although it could grow into one. A passion project is often an indulgence of your deep inner desire to create. A drive to bring your ideas to life, whatever form they may take.” – Ernest Barbaric

Continue reading

Tomorrow will not be like yesterday

Gaston Berger postcard

“Demain ne sera pas comme hier. Il sera nouveau et il dépendra de nous. Il est moins a découvrir qu’a inventer.” – Gaston Berger

“Tomorrow will not be like yesterday. It will be new and it will depend on us. It is less about discovery than it is about invention.”

This post was inspired by the NZBloggers #BlogGreatness challenge, where every week bloggers are tasked with writing about a predetermined topic. This week’s subject is tomorrow.

I stumbled across the above quote when I was an exchange student in France. It was printed on a postcard at a tacky tourist stall on the edge of Place Bellecour in Lyon. I immediately fished out some coins from my wallet and purchased it. Some of the best short change I’ve ever spent.

I’ve kept the postcard close by ever since. Whenever I look at it, I’m taken right back to the day I bought it, yet at the same time I feel centred in the present moment and optimistic about the future. It’s about tomorrow – but it’s also about yesterday and today. My very own time travelling postcard.

As soon as I saw this week’s #BlogGreatness challenge topic, I thought of Gaston Berger’s pragmatic advice. Tomorrow: it depends on us. The future is ours to shape and create, not some mystery to discover. What is waiting around the corner is rarely a surprise – it is up to us to put one foot in front of the other. It it up to us to make things happen.

I find this sentiment extremely comforting, because it implies we have at least an element of control over our futures. One of my greatest fears is that I will wake up one morning, many years from now, and wonder where the time went. So this quote about tomorrow actually grounds me firmly in the present moment. It forces me to pay attention to my life, to be vigilant about creating new paths.

It reminds me that you can be grateful for the present moment and still want more from tomorrow.

I am constantly oscillating between immense gratitude for my current life and a strong desire for more. Sometimes these feel like opposing ideals. Shouldn’t I just appreciate what I have? How can I be truly present if my mind is always daydreaming about the future?

This quote helps me to feel at peace for wanting more. It celebrates opportunity and possibility while at the same time acknowledging the beauty of today. And perhaps there is nothing more beautiful about the present moment than knowing we have tomorrow.

I write about this topic a lot, as I grapple with the meaning of life and how to get the most out of every moment.

In the spirit of tomorrow, I thought I’d reshare five previous Mind Nomad posts that touch on the topic.

Enjoy. x

Connecting the dots backwards

About trusting the process.

“Small efforts can reap big rewards, if only you trust in momentum. In putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward, not backwards.” Read more.

One moment at a time

What you do today will never be wasted. It will come in handy, one day from now, one distant tomorrow.

“My colleague swiftly countered my self-depreciation. ‘Learning is never wasted,’ he said. ‘You never know when you might need to draw on that knowledge.’” Read more.

You only get one life: now is the time

Don’t wait for tomorrow to happen to you. Create tomorrow.

“One thing I feel for certain: the time is now. This very moment, the present, this is something I’m never going to get back. Am I using it to take steps towards what I ultimately want out of life?” Read more.

The grass is always greener… or is it?

Coming to terms with the fact that sometimes tomorrow won’t always be better than yesterday. There are ups and downs and this is all part of the process.

“The mind can play tricks on you. The mind is rarely bound by the present moment. It can travel miles, remember years. You’re forever dashing between seemingly perfect memories and visions of the future.” Read more.

So you think you’re not an idealist?

One of the greatest gifts we can take into tomorrow is our belief that things can, and will, be better.

“Idealists are often the punchline of jokes, teased for being a bit green or naiive, because they dream of making the world a better place. But we should be rallying to protect these glorious ideals, to invest hope and energy into creating a better future, because what is the alternative? To accept current systems that are failing us and the environment? To resign future generations to a set of rules that cannot be altered?” Read more.