If there’s one thing that I can count on, it’s the opening of a window or the unlocking of a door to cheer me up. Ever since I made the stop gap between university and the next stages of graduate life,  I have long felt trapped by my own laziness or even my own lack of ambition. Of course there is work to be done, but it’s not hard to come to the calling of your bed if you’ve no serious commitments or appointments.

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Admittedly, this way of living even if temporary is not healthy. I am left feeling more and more drowsy, less sharp and creatively stunned.  Between work and steady writing jobs, reading, writing or even fixing a cup of tea feel so much more difficult. This cyclical way of thinking is not new to me, and is usually a sign that I should step beyond my self-imposed barriers and go outside.

If you can get past the insistent horns of a metropolitan city, sitting outside for ten minutes is much better than any therapy you could undergo. We are truly blessed with natural sounds that can often elevate the lowest of any mood. Ever since I learnt to walk, if I could take myself somewhere, I’d go. If I wasn’t happy or deeply upset by something, I was known to go away for hours at a time and return when I felt much more neutral. Not only was this a great stress reliever, but allowed me to tune into new channels of thinking and effectively have an internal conversation with myself.

The way I see it, the city was made for walking and the country for sitting. I owe this observation to my itchy feet and curious nature, paralleled with my fear of missing out. As great as it is to be in search, too much looking can leave you feeling underwhelmed. I’m no stranger to scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, living vicariously through all the carefully curated snapshots of nomadic life. I often catch myself looking at specific people wishing I too could travel with them, or at least experience what I see as uncensored freedom.

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Me, M. and B. in Cambridge, 2016. (by Alex McGowan)

It leaves a sour taste in my mouth to think that I don’t trust myself enough. I shouldn’t operate out of jealousy nor should I travel to make others envious. Travelling or exploring should come from a place of self-enrichment and extend to wanting to share your discoveries and positive energies with others. Sometimes these experiences are best  ventured with friends and sometimes it’s a solo project. Whatever it may be, going outside has always been a great solution for the young and creative. Here are some ideas/suggestions/items you may look into for going outside.

A book, a camera, and mp3 player, a notepad and pen, a bus timetable, a plastic bag (for collecting items), an instrument, a blanket, a torch, sunglasses, a neck pillow, loose change, a scarf, a park, a public library, a gallery/museum, a secondhand bookshop, HMV, a local church, an Afro-Caribbean food market.

Lastly, here are some of films about going outside or doing something different when you leave home.

Unmade Beds | Last Life in the Universe | Y Tu Mamá También | Clerks | Nowhere | A Bout de Souffle | My Own Private Idaho | Everybody Street

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