As a kid, I was scared of the whole world. Fear overpowered me. It stopped me from doing so many things in my life and left me frustrated and unsatisfied. It is a long journey, but I am overcoming it. A few years back, I completed a Masters in Mathematics, all ready for my high earning career job. I got as far as applying for one job in an intelligence agency before realising that I was looking for something, something different. I cancelled the interview, and thought of three things that I wanted to do; volunteer, ski, and teach English. I spent a few months in East Africa on a school building project and found it to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. My simple words cannot do it justice. Towards the end of my journey, I ‘lost’ my wallet and was forced to spend several days wandering and sleeping upon the beaches until I started staying at a friend’s place. I was so happy that it didn’t even matter. Then I went to France and spent five months as a ski host, skiing and snowboarding six days a week (minus the ‘brief’ layoff when I ‘broke’ my back). Once again I created memories that will stay with me forever. To complete my trio, I headed to South Korea and taught English for a full year. Originally I thought that I might come back to the UK and work when I had had my fun. But I was hooked. Life had become too good. I visited my family, then spent five months hitchhiking through Europe. Since cancelling that interview, I have travelled many places and lived several lifetimes in the experiences I have had. I wouldn’t change those experiences and I hope for them to grow.
I chose to call this site Great Big Scary World because that is how I saw the world. In many ways, it is still very frightening and I think that many people see it in the same way. We find it much easier to stay within our comfort zones and live life in that grey area that supplies neither happiness nor sadness. Just safety. I truly believe that we can ask for something more in life. On my homepage I highlight three main ideas and I would like to justify why I found it appropriate to highlight these ideas above all others.
- You can have an adventure anywhere in the world. It really doesn’t matter where you are in life or what you are doing, there is an adventure to be had. I started thinking about what an adventure really is and decided that it is something exciting and unusual. By this definition, being the first person to the North pole is an adventure. So too is taking a walk in a new forest. If it is new and exciting, it is an adventure. Anything that makes you feel alive is an adventure and for me, that often involves travelling to new places around the world. If your adventure is getting up on stage for the first time or taking a pen and trying to capture the world, that is an equally valid adventure. Anything that reminds you that you are alive.
- The world is not such a scary place. I used to think very differently about this. The world terrified me and honestly, sometimes it still does. One of the most valuable lessons that I have learned in life, is not to be fearless, but to manage fear. Sometimes you cannot help being scared. You take a deep breath, you step out of your reality, and you consider how you will respond to a situation. After this, you can proceed. It does not happen overnight, but you can learn to manage fear. One of my irrational fears is aeroplanes. For someone who flies a lot, that is rather ridiculous. Just remember, everything is going to be OK.
- You do not need money to have an adventure. This is one of the biggest limitations that people impose upon themselves. This idea does not relate solely to money, but to anything that is a mental barrier. Mental barriers are in the head because they do not exist. If you believe, and you have to truly believe, then whatever you desire can become a reality. I use money as an example that can be overcome by choosing to highlight stories and offer advice that does not require a trust fund or years of saving.
Thus my site, in short, is about overcoming barriers in the search for something more. Call it happiness, call it adventure, call it anything you like because names don’t matter.
I have to ask if you have ever dreamed of doing something a bit different, a bit amazing.. something a bit special.. something more? Then someone told you that it wasn’t realistic and you didn’t do it. Maybe you yourself decided that you were not amazing enough to achieve such a feat. One thing that you must remember is that you are only human and so is everyone else. That means that if something can be achieved by one person, then surely it can be achieved by another. Why not make that person you? I know I have shied away from challenges because I didn’t think that I was up to them. I wanted to overcome my barriers and achieve my dreams, no matter how big or small. It isn’t easy, but it is much closer to easy than impossible. I started doing what I wanted a few years ago and now I am sure of one thing; anything is possible. I want to share that idea.
If your head is full of great adventures but you are worried that you don’t have the time, the money, or the [INSERT PROBLEM HERE] to realise you’re dreams, then you are just like I am trying not to be. It is very easy to see our fears and our problems as obstacles that cannot be overcome. On Great Big Scary World, I would like to tell my stories, show my inspirations, and offer advice to show that anything is possible. Mental, physical, and financial barriers can all be overcome if you want something enough. No dream is too small or too big to be realised. For me, I love travel amongst many things and that is a heavy focus on this site. If your dream is not travel, that doesn’t matter; it’s still a dream and it is still possible.
On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
Who are you?
My name is Jamie. How does one define oneself?