Variety

My great aunt once said that the key to living a long and healthy life was in the variety. She said never to be picky with the foods you eat, that a good variety of all foods in your diet will keep you healthy for many years to come. I must of been no more than 6 years old when she told me this. I believed her, and never stopped believing.

Today, I eat everything and anything, in moderation and in great vast variety. I am never one to turn down an interesting cuisine, an odd dish or a crazy food (yeah, even the creepy crawlies!). In fact, I really enjoy them! It’s one of the reasons why I love travelling for food, for the cultural food experience. I always have that feeling of “give me something your mum would cook you”! and never have I turned back.

To me, food in all it’s forms is a blessing, how lucky I am to have food on the table, to have the meat of another animals sacrifice in which I thank deeply in this circle of life; to have the greens that mother Earth provides. This keep me humble, to not pick and choose, to not chase or fight but just enjoy the goodness that life brings.

Sometimes, I’d like to attribute this to my good health, my strength both body and in mind and my immunity to allergies and intolerences. Ofcourse, I’d never really know if it was really the reason for it, but better not take that chance and let’s keep eating our way through the world.

Thanks for reading ❤

Feature image – In North Korea, myself and four other travellers delve into a classic Korean BBQ. The traditional “Banchan” refers to the variety of up to 12 small dishes which are shared amongst your peers. This was taken somewhere in Pyongyang, North Korea on the 8th of March 2016.

Questions – How do we find purpose in our lives?

How do we find purpose in our lives?

I think the key is being thoughtful about what your real purpose in life is and what really drives you, motivates you and gets you excited about things and making sure that the career choices you make, the kinds of organisations you work for, the kinds of skills you cultivate are aligned with that broader set of interests and not just letting it happen by accident. It’s also simply about just believing that it’s possible, that whatever your purpose in life you’ve found is, that it is achievable against all odds. Always remember, the universe is on your side no matter how much it feels otherwise; like a friend once told me, you just have to ask for it.

Feature image – On one eventful day, a group of strangers dressed in yellow raincoats set out on a mission to share laughter, joy and happiness throughout the city. Taken at St Pauls Cathedral in London, United Kingdom on the 22nd September 2019

Five Years

Is it just me or does everyone hit a point in their lives where they think about where they are in life and how a lot of it, or certain aspects of it are not aligned with their goals and dreams they had in their minds.

Sometimes, even the thought of this reminds me of what sounds quite funny at first at the humble age of 26, but on a serious note, a midlife crisis. But what if this crisis is actually a representation of a modern crisis, one where it is a by-product of a generation that has been raised in the most globally connected, wealthy and “free” time in the history of mankind. We have something that our predesesors didn’t have until they were in their late thirties and that is more knowledge, more freedom and more choices. These choices whenever abundant can give rise to doubt; the what if’s that run through our minds when given options and we choose one over another.

The real big question is how does any of us know they’ve made the right choice? Some might tell you to follow your instincts, others base their decisions on the judgements of their close family and friends and furthermore others would use pure logic and reasoning to judge the right move. Risk over reward, right? Well, everyone has their own take on this and the truth is, no one really has the right answer.

All I know is that for me personally, I am at a crossroad, a point where I’ve still the freedom to change the direction in my life. Maybe that’s one we can all take away though, maybe at any given “present” moment, we can make that change. But for now, I am reaching what people call the 5-year mark, or the 5-year rule; it marks when you have been at a company or role for that amount of time and it’s a good time to change companies, go for that payrise or what I think is becoming more and more relevant in today’s age, change careers.

It was only years ago where we would say that job stability or dare I say life stability came from the amount of years you were employed for in a company. In fact, it’s quite likely we get that from our older colleagues of whom we work with; 10 years, 15 years, 25 years, 30 years! They’re incredibly proud of it and to me, that is one hell of an achievement because I can’t see further than 6 months into my future let alone 10 years!

Times have changed and they’ve changed so rapidly at that, I struggle to believe that staying in one company, in one role, being the “master of one” instead of the “jack of all trades” will be enough to survive in this modern world. This is not because it is not important to be a master, it is because it is increasingly becomming tougher to be a master of any trade. The knowledge that a master holds is becoming increasingly easier to access, you can see that with not just the immensity of the global knowledge held on the internet but the expert driven courses which can be found at your fingertips. Anyone can be an expert in a field so long as they put in the effort and significantly less time than 30 years. But even then, it is not those singular experts that truly move the world and make a difference, I believe it is those whom can bring expertise from a number of fields into one that can make the real change in the world.

So let’s say, we follow the 5-year rule, but the modern one. In 30 year’s you would of had 6 different careers, all spanning a wide range of interests, hobbies, dreams, goals and passions. Maybe one or two of them you really enjoyed and stayed on for longer, and maybe those in which you did not enjoy so much you stayed less.

Now I propose the most important question, one for the readers to think about, who has more expertise after 30 years? Who is more likely to have followed his or her dreams, achieved greater heights and will live to tell more stories?

It’s still a tough question, one that we all still have our own opinions on, but maybe this time after reading this, with just that tiny bit more clarity.

Thanks for reading my friends, I guess this one was more for me at this point of time in my life. It hasn’t come across because I don’t enjoy my work or I think there’s something better out there for me; it’s more the side of me that seeks to learn more about the world, the undying curiosity and adventure that I seek. Is one life too short to be spending 80% of your time on one thing? I would always, always, always say yes.

Feature image – Represents how slow we should be living life in retrospect to how fast it feels; this was during my wanderings on a little island national park at Yeosu-si, Jeollanam-do, South Korea taken on the 30th August 2017

Opportunity and Luck

Opportunies can be found around any corner of life. Often, it is not about the search to find them, but instead about being able to see them for what they are. They all have one thing in common and that one thing is how they all begin and this beginning, starts with you.

Opportunities don’t always come in the shape of you recieving. In fact, the greatest opportunities in life are those in which you can give. People say that the greatest gift in life is what you can give to others without expecting anything in return. Because what this gives you, despite the expectation, is luck; and what is luck?

Luck is simply opportunity in disguise!

Jason Li

When you share your good fortune with others around you, over the long term, it will come back around and surprise you in so many ways. People who often attribute their successes to luck and just being in the right place at the right time often are understating all the work that has gone on behind the scenes. The truth is that it is not that fortune or luck favours them, it is how they position themselves now to create the opportunities that bring luck in their future! So how can we do this?

Be proactive, get out there, talk to people, interact and engage with them, be genuine always, let them know what makes you excited and make sure they know how your talents might be able to help them with what makes them excited

Jason Li

Have you ever thought about what you can do to create an environment where opportunities flourish around you?

Thanks for reading ❤

Feature image – Disneyland, Tokyo, Japan taken on the 5th December 2018

A Long Walk

A long walk.

There’s something about a day spent walking that brings thoughts to me. A day spent walking feels like a day that stretches as long as the distance is far. It is where the twists and turns that the path reveals with each step feel like those in which life takes you on each and every day. Have you ever wondered how they often seem alike to you?

How a straight path guides you to what you can see clearly and safely up ahead. How one that twists and turns can make you dizzy with wonder at what’s in front of you. How sudden a corner can creep up to you and is there before you even know it. What’s more is the corner in which forks in two directions before you’ve even decided. And what to do with those paths that end with what seemingly feels like nowhere else to go. But i think what’s most unsettling, are those that lead you back to where you began, as if you’d never left the place you stand; but the night falls still, none a wiser to where you’d hoped to go.

There’s something about a day spent walking that brings thoughts to me. How i wonder so often where the path will take me.

❤ Jason

Treasures

It’s interesting what you choose to keep when packing up your whole life.

Rummaging through all this stuff you’ve collected over the years, stuff that just sits there and brings you no joy and no memories.

But then there are those rare moments where through the shadows of all this stuff, you see something that looks and feels like it’s alive. It talks to you not through sound but directly to your heart. “How can this be possible” you ask, and as you hold it in your very hands, you now understand how it can be so; and so you bring it up against your heart, almost as if not to lose something that has always been with you from the very beginning.

Feature image – An unexpected photo for the post written about treasures in a box representing a deeper meaning to the things which play at your very own heart strings. Taken at a family wedding on the 6th of October 2018

Memories – Seoul Fish Markets

A random thought came into me yesterday afternoon as I stood around with my friends. It was a thought that made me smile and giggle out of nowhere. I’m sure we’ve all experienced it, a memory that returns to greet us, most of the time they’re nice and sweet memories of times past, although that’s not always the case.

This time it was me, mum and Ken on our road trip through Korea. We were in Seoul one night and was making our way to the fish markets. Mum felt like a pan fried fish so I suggested we buy some fresh fish from the markets, take it back to our apartment and cook it for dinner. Positive reactions from all around so we went ahead with it.

The fish markets were quite similar to those of Busan’s, except Busan had an awesome market outdoors! You’d have a large warehouse type of building with multiple levels where all sorts of fishes and sea life are flipping around. Each buiding looked the same as the other, each level looked the same as the other and each vendor looked the same as the other. How does one make a purchase decision with those options! furthermore there aren’t really any pricetags attached, it’s kind of just like an asking, then bargaining situation. In the end we settled for a fish, the cost of the fish itself was almost the cost of having the same fish cooked for you in the restaurant! How does that happen? anyways, we still really wanted to take it home and cook it fresh for ourselves; so we did.

Back in our apartment, the fish was being fried. The smell of the fish ran rampant throughout the kitchen and soon throughout the apartment; we were in a smog of fish oil and smoke, fun. You could of easily guessed that mum had left the cooking for me and Ken. Serving the fishes onto the plates, there were parts that were burnt but atleast it was all cooked. I don’t think we were too concerned with the fish itself as much as trying to rid the whole apartment of smelling like fish oil.

In all my mums humbleness she said the fish was nice, even though we knew it was a disapointment. Mum’s always been a bit like that, kind when she knows she needs to be, stern when we boys don’t listen. We sat there with a nice view of Seoul as we ate our home made fish and rice whilst smelling like fish and oil the whole time. A sweet memory of the things that happen that are almost always untold but stay with us for life.

 

Thanks for reading ❤