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

The First Taste of Freedom

I still remember the first day I got my car.

I had not even received my red’s yet so without someone to watch me, I wasn’t able to drive. How crazy to come home from school each day by bus watching my car sit there for weeks on end, just admiring from afar. I thought about how cool it would be to drive my friends around, to visit their homes and play games all day and to drive faster than my dad would normally let me around corners.

But I had no idea back then how much something so simple, so common would shape who I am today. It was with that very first car that taught me so much, that there is more out there than what I was seeing day to day which was the family farm, the school, the mall and occasionally the markets. The beach was something I’d start driving to after school and on weekends with friends, mini day trips to places I’d never known existed before. Lunches, dinners and even better midnight Maccas runs and ice cream became a common theme of my late teens. It not only showed me how much more there is out there to see and do but also how nothing is as far as I’d imagined them to be too.

Was it a norm to experience this as we grow up? Surely it was for most of us. A town looking more familiar to us each day, a city being squeezed ever more closely and a world becoming less vast and impossible to tread; in our minds at least. What if the car was only the beginning, what if only by finding a means to cross borders easier and quicker, we can grow, learn and open our minds to experiences outside what we can only see day to day.

Today, my car is still my best friend and travel companion; and although I now drive, sail and fly across the world, it will always remind me of my first taste of real freedom in this world, one that was the beginning of a love and lust to explore and find.

 

 

Thanks for reading ❤

Jayy

A Family Vacation

We used to fit a family of 5 onto a truck which could only hold 3.

I remember vividly my mum telling me to keep my head low and not to move a muscle. 5 years old, scared, cold and huddled beneath the dashboard of the passenger seat. A cotton blanket spread over me not to keep me warm (as I would have liked to believe at the time) but to keep me hidden as we were being smuggled across the city. I didn’t think much of it at the time, I still look back and wonder whether I thought it was “normal” to do something like that. In one of my earliest memories, I know that my parents taught me a valuable lesson; that sometimes you just have to improvise.

I remember my dad, with his body outstretched against the window nervously counting into the breathalyser, the sounds of mumbling, the numbers fumbling. I don’t blame him, how hard it must have been in a foreign country, a foreign language….with foreign laws. What were my parents thinking?! The nerve they had, the carelessness to do something like that. But even through all of this, in a twist of fate I realise that I am still here well and alive, their rebellious plan worked and our family did have a wonderful vacation in the end.

I wouldn’t like to say that the ends justify the means here because promoting this sort of law-breaking would just be wrong not to mention outright dangerous. But hey, sometimes things just work out right? :’)

P.s. Oh, and you’re probably wondering where my older brother, the 5th member of the family was. Well, he was in the back of the truck hidden in-between boxes of vegetables stacked head high. But hey, that’s a story for another day.