Tag Archives: personal

Am I Anti-Opinion?

When I haven’t written anything for my blog in a while, I start to wonder what’s stopping me. Sometimes it’s a lack of inspiration, other times a lack of motivation. Often I’ve fallen out of my routine.

Since moving to America, I’ve had a lot going on in my life to think about (and so, a lot to write about.) But still, I’ve found I’d prefer to do other things.

Much of my writing is about my perspective or my experiences. My opinions. But upon moving to America, that’s something I’ve found myself overwhelmed with.

I’ve become tired of opinions.

For anybody thinking of moving here, a piece of advice: don’t move in an election year. You will be bombarded by opinions.

I think this. She thinks that. We think something. They think something else.

You’re wrong. He’s wrong. Everybody is wrong.

You can’t turn on the TV without seeing something foaming at the mouth, shouting about some person or some thing.

Everywhere you look, people are arguing, angry about some topic.

It gets tiring. 

I’m not above it either. I find myself drawn into arguments from time to time, as we all do. Feeling a surge of adrenaline as somebody says something I disagree with, thinking, “I’ll show them how wrong they are.”

I think we can somehow fool ourselves into believing we’re doing something worthy when we argue with others. Like we’ll help them see the light.

When mostly all we want to do is prove them wrong and feel good about ourselves. Often it’s a waste of oxygen. We are all so narrow-minded that rarely do even the most civil discussions lead to useful conclusions.

So mostly I’ve tried to avoid arguments, discussions and whatever else you’d like to call them. If somebody says something I disagree with, I’ll take a breath and just ask myself, “Why bother? I’ll just get frustrated with myself and all that will do is make me feel upset and nothing else.”

Part of me wishes to say that this is purely an American thing. Often it feels like opinion is more important than fact here.

But I’m sure the UK has similar issues  at the moment. These last few years have been especially divisive in the UK and America. Many of us are divided by our opinions. There’s a lot to argue about.

I find it a bit disheartening. I don’t think the world is as black and white as we often want it to be. A person isn’t all bad because they have an opinion we disagree with. We’re all complex in our beliefs, but that’s often the last thing we’ll consider.

I suppose my main issue is that I believe it’s better to find common ground with others, rather than to focus on what divides us. Nothing good comes from division. It’s probably better to bond with a person over your shared love of football than it is to argue with them over their political beliefs that will never change.

I’m starting to sound a bit idealistic and possibly naive. I do think that we should challenge our beliefs and the extreme beliefs of others.

But I don’t necessarily think that our entire lives need to be devoted to our opinions. Which is how it can often feel.

Anyway, what does this have to do with my blog? (And yes, I get the irony of this opinion piece being a direct attack on opinions.)

I guess I’m often just too tired to write about what I think and feel, when I’m surrounded by what others think and feel a lot of the time. My energy for writing has been drained by an atmosphere of constant opinion and outrage.

To sum it up:

I can’t be arsed with opinion.

On Goals and Life Problems

It’s been almost three months since my last blog post.

I’ve been feeling uninspired. Low on energy. Lacking the motivation to write.

A voice in my head speaks:

Uh oh. I know what that means. You’re not doing too good, Dan.

I agree.

Moving to America has (and continues to be) one of the biggest challenges of my life. I thought it would be easy. But I overestimated my resilience to tough situations.

While I was back home in England, I was pretty miserable. Working a job I hated – nothing meaningful on the horizon. I turned 30 and realised more than ever that I was years behind my peers in terms of wealth, status and generally sorting my life out. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been waiting for years for my life to actually start.

When you’re in this position, it’s easy to fall into a trap.

We focus on a goal in our future and we believe it will unlock every problem in our life: Continue reading On Goals and Life Problems

Adjusting to Life in America

Before leaving for a new life in America, I believed that moving here would be easy. Over the last two months I’ve found the adjustment to be anything but.

Numerous people back home told me how envious they were about my moving to America. To them, the idea of living in the USA reminds them of past holidays. Great food, good weather, good beer, cheap shopping. No worries. Continue reading Adjusting to Life in America

Motivating Yourself to Travel

canoeing in vancouver
Canoeing in Vancouver

Seven or so years ago, I was at university and severely depressed. I could barely peel myself out of bed in the morning, I didn’t have the energy for anything. Going to the kitchen to make breakfast was like climbing a mountain, so most days I didn’t bother. It was easier to starve. Eventually, the hunger would become too painful and only then would I stumble to make a sandwich. I was completely unmotivated.

I was completely unmotivated. Continue reading Motivating Yourself to Travel

Our First Week in Australia (On A Working Holiday)

Bike rentals in Melbourne, Australia CBD.
Around a week ago now, our plane took off from Christchurch and we watched as New Zealand disappeared beneath our feet.

After our 11 months in New Zealand, it started to feel a lot like home. However, it seemed like we had explored it all and that it had no more secrets. Like an on old lover, we’d gone through the honeymoon phase and were now completely in the comfort phase. We’d stopped trying so hard to explore the country, preferring to spend our days sitting in our pjyamas with it, being lazy.

We learnt to love New Zealand in the end, but as so often happens we found ourselves falling into a dull routine. It was about the right time to head to Australia. I don’t know if we’ll ever go back to New Zealand, does it have any more to offer us? Maybe we’ll miss it in future on lonely nights. Homesick for a place that’s not even our home.

Now we find ourselves in Australia. A new place. A new home?

Continue reading Our First Week in Australia (On A Working Holiday)