There’s really nothing like visiting an unfamiliar destination, however short of a duration, to give you a boost of creative spark and a new perspective. By the time you’re reading this, I will have already returned to bustling NYC, but as I’m working on this draft, I’m gazing out my large room window, watching passersby strolling lazily under the warm afternoon sun on Rue Sherbrooke Ouest in downtown Montréal, and I’m suddenly reminded of some thoughts that had crossed my mind of which I had made a mental note to share with you all.
The first day I arrived here in Montréal, I sat alone at a corner table in the terrace of Café Myriade, a delightful local coffee-shop, deep in reverie as I sipped on my latte and enjoyed the wafting of the warm breeze. As someone who was lucky enough to have been raised comfortably – and by that, I don’t mean “coddled,” but comfortable enough – I realized once again how important it is to regularly force yourself out of your comfort zone. This is no new notion; I’ve been a firm believer of it for years and constantly try to carve out opportunities to do just that, and this solo trip to Montréal is the perfect example. Unfortunately, it is human nature to fall into the trap of being stuck simply due to comfort. Sure, change is scary, unfamiliarity is even scarier, and I, for one, have this intense fear of venturing alone into the unknown without any sort of solid backup plan. But it is exactly change and unfamiliarity that gradually shapes us into stronger, better people and breaks us free from the claws of mental torpidity and tunnel-vision.
So despite how scary it may seem, try not to get stuck. You only get one life, and the sand in that hourglass won’t ever flow backwards. Move to a new city, travel to someplace new (bigger challenge: travel alone to someplace new), quit a lackluster job and pursue one that awakens your passions and fulfills your dreams. Need to start off with baby steps? Eat alone at a restaurant – I’m not talking about fast-food joints. Strike up an intellectual conversation with a stranger. Take a class you never even imagined you would ever take. Discover a new hobby. Bottom line: just take that leap. Stagnancy in life is one of the worst things that can happen to you.
Hope this sparks some food for thought today! Enjoy the photos from gorgeous Montréal!