Last week, I handled about 40 heavy packets of concrete and filled a patch in a backyard.
Not that my purpose of travelling all the way to Auckland was to find work in a construction site, or volunteer in a farm; it was my dad’s landscaping project at his own backyard, after all, and at the very least I could devote part of my month-long escape from London giving him a hand.
In between emptying bags onto the wheelbarrow, blending gravel and water and dumping the cement on wherever my dad wanted it, many thoughts crossed my mind throughout the pensive passtime.
I envisaged how life is like in the poorer districts of Panem; I dreamt of food and experimented with combinations of flavours by sheer mental taste recognitions. Heck, I even pondered the most efficient method of mixing cement.
What I also realised: I think too much.
Perhaps this is the one advantage I have as a traveller. Thinking too much allows me to delve beyond fleeting observations and wander deeper into hidden truths. In turn, travelling has matured my thinking, allowing me to more accurately perceive and interpret things I encounter on the road.
If anything, this over-thinking has made my travels more meaningful.
The Travelling Editor: reconstructed
I met up with two Kiwi girls I first encountered last year, back in Vancouver. Winding down from their whirlwind tour of the world, we filled our lunchtime reunion with delicious tapas and travel tales.
What we also discussed was how much travelling educated us.
When I launched The Travelling Editor, it’s purposed to recount my travels and how much it’s taught me and bettered my life – after all, I’m the ‘editor’ of my own life story. Regardless of budgets, regardless of locations, regardless of the gritty or the glittery, it’s the experience and insight I gain that’ll help me advance in life.
And I want to remain faithful – more faithful – to my vision.
So I’ve decided to regain my focus of this blog, and redefine my niche. All I want on my travels is getting the most out of them, and I want to help you do the same – I want to get beneath the skin of what is dubbed meaningful travel.
The wind of change
With the rebrand, a number of changes will take place on the site.
There’ll be more in-depth pieces on various aspects of travel that deserve better awareness of travellers. Sustainability, green and environment, ethics towards peoples and animals – these will all be issues I’ll cover and offer my humble opinion on.
It was in Spain, where I taught English for a week, that I underwent a learning process myself – from parenting and local cultures to personal philosophies and beliefs; it was throughout my hitchhikes – now over 10,000km – that I came across individuals of various walks of life, and was embedded with their wisdom and received my lesson in hospitality.
I want to tell you more stories, and about the things I’ve learned.
The numerous series will also receive a revamp treatment. Photogenic You will now include captions on how the photographs were taken – my invitation to you to accompany me on my journey to become a better travel photographer. My Best Encounters will be published more frequently, with more colourful anecdotes. The Offline Diaries will also occur more often, as much as I endeavour to disconnect whilst on the road. The new The Sound Of series, with my latest investments in filming equipment, can only get better, musically and visibly.
Speaking of, I’ll also be producing videos of destinations I visit.
These changes will take place over the next month or so. In the meantime, watch this space!