As January plunges Toronto into a deep freeze, the hot and sticky memories of Southeast Asia have all but receded to the far corners of my mind, as if hiding from the cold. I take out my shiny new external hard drive (thanks Santa) and begin a long-overdue backup of the precious pictures and words I have collected over the past year. In the process, I am reminded of at least a dozen unfinished stories sitting on my laptop – ideas, passages and sentence fragments waiting patiently to be strung together. Tales of tuk tuk adventures, falling off boats, and of a cook named Rajeesh. Stories of perfectly crafted bowls of Tom Yum, deliciously dark cups of Kopi, and of an elephant named Maebae.
A few weeks ago, I read an article that inspired me. It suggested that, instead of making empty resolutions for the New Year, we pick a word that encompassed our dreams and goals – a mantra, if you will, to which to anchor our year. As I reflected on the year past, its highs and lows and lessons learned, one word floated to the forefront of my consciousness. One, glorious word to encompass my goals and aspirations for 2015.
Freedom to create.
Freedom to fill my days with work that is meaningful to me.
Freedom to make a living independent of my location.
Freedom to spend more time with people I cherish most.
Freedom to continue to explore this big, beautiful globe.
What does this freedom look like, you ask? Let’s just say I’ve got a few things up my sleeve. It will be a busy twelve months, but one that I hope will make room for many more stories, old and new. For now, I leave you with something to combat this Canadian winter – the first of several video clips from our time in Bangkok this summer, edited from hundreds of hours of GoPro footage by my inspiring and equally creative partner, Haseel.
Happy New Year, and may you all find your word!