Moving forward…

Last Friday we both walked out of university having taken the final exam of our degree and are now officially finished! Amid the sighs of relief and much lazing about doing very little of anything that has occupied most of the last week, there has inevitably been some reflection on the past three years and a good amount of pondering the future.

 

Whilst both of us enjoyed our degrees, and in particular enjoyed all the experiences that came with moving away from home, learning independence and getting to know new people, neither of us are planning on pursuing the subject of our degrees into the workplace, which leads to the point of this post: so what now?

 

The honest answer to that question is, well, we don’t really know! We’re leaving for New Zealand in just a few days as the first part of our ambition to travel the world together but once we return the future is somewhat hazier. The only thing we really know very clearly at this point is what we don’t want. What we don’t want is to get to thirty, forty, fifty years old and look back and realise that all we’ve done for the last however many years is work jobs we don’t really like in order to pay rent, mortgages, insurance, run cars and generally just ‘get by’.

 

We don’t want to just get by. We want to live and to experience and to have passion and fulfilment in our lives from this day until the day we die and we fully intend to honour that desire. Quite how we’re going to achieve this however and in what direction we’ll ultimately end up heading is no clearer than anything else that lies ahead.

 

With any kind of luck our futures will involve a great deal more travelling amongst the other things that we’re most passionate about, as well as, in some small way, inspiring other people to live their lives to the full and make the most of the limited time we have to enjoy them.

 

This will probably be our last post before setting off for New Zealand so the next time we speak to you will be after our adventure begins.

 

Take care and be safe.

 

Ben and Jess 🙂

 

Flamenco dancing and unexpected pleasures!

I’d like to share an experience of a lesson learned the easy way. Too often lessons come the hard way and only after suffering for some mistake do we learn them. Thankfully this was a lesson I learned in a very enjoyable way and whilst it was admittedly a simple and fairly un-profound lesson in the grand scheme of things, I hope it will be of some value to people and therefore worth sharing!

When I was in Madrid I spent a couple of evenings in the company of a small group of friends of a friend. On the first evening we ate dinner at what is, according to the Guinness book of records, the oldest restaurant in the world, called Sobrino de Botin, where we dined on their signature dish, an entire roast pig, which we divided between 6 of us. The restaurant, food and company were all absolutely lovely and I enjoyed myself very much indeed.

The second evening I actually enjoyed equally, if not more than the first, but had you told me that this would be the case before hand I would not have believed you. This evening we were to go and watch some Flamenco dancing. The group I was with appeared wholeheartedly set on going to see a performance so I had little choice but to go along with the plan, despite the fact that I was thinking ‘this really won’t be for me’. True to the title of this post however the Flamenco dancing was very much a great and unexpected pleasure (I apologise for only having pictures of the dancing, they really won’t do it justice but they’re the best I’ve got!).

Flamenco

Their feet are a blur because they were moving so fast!

I was completely drawn in by the skill and intensity with which the dancers approached their evening’s performance and despite not expecting to think much of the whole thing I was left, literally, with my mouth wide open and a sense of elated pleasure from having my initial thoughts be proved so utterly wrong!

Flamenco 2

The guy in back was intermittently drumming on the box and playing guitar.

My experience just went to show that I shouldn’t be so quick to judge something as ‘not for me’ and be a little more open-minded to the wide variety of things that quite possibly are ‘for me’! I think the fact is that most people are continually growing and changing in character and personality and over time what you do and do not enjoy will change and develop too. I’m not saying everyone should immediately drop everything and go and see Flamenco dancing 😉 but the experience has taught me not be too confident that I ‘know myself”, as apparently whoever ‘myself’ is has some surprises left for me yet!

This small but pleasant experience has helped me give the benefit of the doubt to more opportunities in life and I would invite you to do the same and with any luck experience your own unexpected pleasures!

Thanks very much for reading and I humbly hope I gave you some food for thought 🙂 Ben.

Is it good to be wrong?

Ben here today, I just wanted to write a smaller post on this question as I had an interesting idea on this the other day (though to be fair the gap between what I find interesting and what most others find interesting tends to be fairly large! Still, let me know you think!).

 

It occurred to me why being wrong, or more specifically realising you’re wrong, on a particular point, idea, theory or perspective can potentially be seen as a good thing. Now obviously there is the fair point that realising your perspective on something was wrong means that… well… you were wrong! This can be slightly embarrassing in my experience but I think if you can get past the embarrassment then a lot of good can actually come from realising your error.

 

My reasoning is that firstly, having realised your mistake, you now have the opportunity to explore a whole new perspective as you try and understand where you went wrong in your previous mind set. Personally I’ve always found huge enjoyment in exploring new ideas and allowing my mind to be opened to possibilities I hadn’t yet considered.

 

Secondly, I think the argument could be made that a certain satisfaction can be had from realising you are wrong. Since the odds of any one person being absolutely right on all issues all the time is rather unlikely, realising and admitting when you’re wrong can therefore be considered part of developing a healthy attitude towards truly trying to understand the truth of things.

 

What do you think? Am I on to something here or just spouting nonsense as usual?! Leave a comment, let me know what you think 🙂