One theme that’s been popping back into my head over and over again while I’ve been in Lyon is how I’ll find inspiration in my surroundings once I’m back home. I’ll be moving to Toronto, a brand new city for me, once I’m back and although the newness of the city will be exciting for a few weeks or months, I wonder what will inspire me to continue writing or how the content on my blog will change with being settled in one place.
Blogging while travelling is incredibly easy because each day is a sensory overload: new people, new foods, new cafes, new activities and attractions, new excitement. But when you’re back at home things become routine and finding inspiration can be much harder.
This was one reason I always had trouble maintaining a blog in my previous attempts: I felt stagnant and powerless to continually find inspiration in the city in which I lived. This is also one of the reasons I decided to move out of Vancouver: even if you’re living long-term in a city, the city should continue to inspire you, maybe not each day as places do when you’re travelling, but it should be perpetually inspiring nonetheless. I personally found Vancouver too slow a city, I thought it lacked a pace and a certain soulfulness that all other cities I’ve been to possess. I also think Vancouver is too new a city, and for this reason it’s still cultivating its sense of self.
For those who regularly read my blog you’ll know that I’m on the whole an introverted person; I rely quite heavily on my surroundings to nurture the extroverted side of my personality. This is one of the reasons I loved bartending – I was continually forced to be outgoing, extroverted, and lively. It’s also another reason that, even as a I pursue a ‘big girl job’ in publishing, I’ll still be looking to work as a bartender or server a couple times a week. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories, and although I could never work in the hospitality industry full-time again (it’s such an exhausting job!) I also can’t leave the industry forever. Working in the industry has taught me so many transferable skills, and learning about new people each day is such a valuable aspect of a job for me.
I believe quite strongly that life has no meaning other than the meaning you intentionally give to it. So I guess that goes for writing as well: you have to seek out inspiration, you have to seek out the meaning and value of your surroundings. This is so much easier to do in big cities for me, and Toronto is just so much bigger than Vancouver that this should be fairly easy to do (the population of the Vancouver core is about 500,000, whereas the population of Toronto proper is over 3 million, about the same size as Madrid – can you tell I’m in love with Madrid with all the references I make to it?)
I won’t know until I’m home whether sustaining this blog is for me, but beginning and maintaining the blog and maintaining my writing is something I strongly want to commit to. So long as I’m happy with my surroundings, this should come easily. I guess we’ll see in a couple months while I’m home!
This week also marks my fourth week of travelling. It hasn’t felt like four weeks at all, instead it’s felt like two weeks. I still have another two months until my 90-day visa expires, and although I’ve only planned until about the end of August, leaving all of September empty for now, I know this time will go by so quickly. But even now, with two months left in my trip, I get excited about starting my new life in Toronto. Sometimes when I can’t fall asleep at night I window-shop online at IKEA. I’ve saved enough money that I can furnish my new apartment in Toronto however I like and I’m really hoping I can find an apartment I’ll call home for years (cue the Carrie Bradshaw dreams I wrote about when first starting this blog). The prospect of beginning a whole new chapter in my life after my travelling is so exciting! It makes me so happy to know that I’ve gotten my degree and have already had the experience of moving to a brand-new city and creating a new life. Now I get to do it all again! And in the city I always saw myself living in but thought I’d be too young for at 17.
There are so many thing I have to look forward to right now in my life that if I were to describe my outlook on everything with one word, that word would easily be ‘grateful.’