Essays

Expand Your Horizons

Words By sheila lam

 

Like a freshly primed canvas awaiting the artist’s brush, the start of the year offers the promise of new beginnings. As the calendar resets, the mind journeys to faraway lands unseen, where adventure and discovery await. Let imagination be the vessel to transport inner horizons beyond the familiar bounds of home.

 
adventure into the unknown

Has a longing taken root in your soul to face the unfamiliar? To challenge comfort zones and push beyond the bounds of the everyday? This year, turn intention into action by adventuring into the unknown.

Picture an expanse of Patagonia’s Torres del Paine, wild and windswept, where raw elemental forces sculpt ancient glaciers fracturing with loud cracks. Embark through this untrammelled landscape guided only by native birds wheeling overhead, following their flight paths into the unknown. In witnessing nature stripped bare at Earth’s edge, uncover dormant dreams concealed within that now take flight, soaring as high and restless as the condor’s spirit.

Wherever your travels take you, let adventure into the unknown unfurl possibilities within. Discover power and grace sleeping in your depths. Allow the courage of this quest to awaken dormant dreams and guide the journey ahead.

 

immerse in cultural understanding

Open your mind and heart to the riches found when immersing in lands and traditions not your own. Witness your horizons expand through cultural understanding.

The winding medinas of Marrakesh beckon the curious to lose oneself in labyrinthine corridors bursting with textiles ablaze in colour. The aroma of exotic spices entices one ever inward to the stall-lined paths at the market’s heart. Linger here over simmering tagines and warming mint tea, practicing fledgling Arabic with friendly merchants. Remove the veil of unfamiliarity by engaging sincerely with locals, allowing their grace to reveal hidden truths within oneself.

Or sail to Easter Island, where towering moai stand sentinel on grassy hillsides. Learn the Rapa Nui people’s age-old rituals and dance by firelight, connecting to this living culture. Trace the intricate designs of tattooed bodies and hear ancient rhythms resonate in ancestral songs.

In opening to new customs and perspectives, find your place within humanity’s mosaic. Discover that even when tongues differ, the language of the heart has a universal power to unite and uplift.

 
reflect and restore on solo journeys

Solitude is a gift. Silence, when embraced, reveals truths that chatter obscures. This year, gift yourself the grace of a solo sojourn.

Escape the din of daily life for the stillness of Slovenia’s Lake Bled’s tranquil waters, its surface smooth as glass. Part the morning mists with quiet oar strokes, attuning ear to nature’s voice so often drowned out by manmade noise. Let expectation fall away and allow this silence to restore perspective. In witnessing your reflection mirrored clearly on the glassy water, recognize the undiscovered country lying just below the surface, awaiting an invitation to emerge.

Or steal away to connect with ancestral roots amid Ireland’s patchwork fields and ageless stone circles. Walk alone but not lonely along the windswept Cliffs of Moher and rocky trails of Connemara. Journal heartfelt intentions for the days ahead, restoring perspective and purpose with each step.

On solo journeys, learn to comfortably sit with yourself. Discover wisdom, strength and peace Previously unseen. Return renewed and ready to live your richest life.

 

give back through travel

Visit places in need and make the privilege of travel a conduit for good. Offer your talents in service and gain a deeper understanding of our shared struggles and triumphs.

The privilege of wanderlust is best honoured when coupled with service. Teach eager students in Vietnam’s cosmopolitan cores, bridging divides language and culture erect over shared humanity. Trek remote hill tribe villages under the cloak of darkness to administer vaccines, carrying hope deeper inland where medical access remains scarce. Hammer nails and trade stories alongside locals rebuilding storm-battered homes in Puerto Rico communities. However one lends hands and heart, embrace the things binding all people under the same mortal sun so that isolation gives way to compassion.
However you choose to donate your time, embrace humanity’s interconnectedness. Trade isolation for compassion.

Witness beauty not in spite of hardship but because of it. Let these experiences guide your own path to purpose.

 

As the new year dawns brimming with possibility, heed the internal call beckoning you to unfamiliar lands both outer and inner. Expand your horizons by venturing to places undiscovered, within and without. Allow these journeys to awaken dormant dreams and bridge divides by connecting to the common current underlying diverse experiences. Wander not in blindness but with eyes wide open. Therein lies the artist’s brush, poised to paint the blank canvas in original and surprising ways. ■

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