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How To Become a Spontaneous Explorer of the World: The 7 Amusing Steps

How To Become a Spontaneous Explorer of the World: The 7 Amusing Steps

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    Ever since I was a little boy, I have always wanted to roam around and explore the world. It’s still fresh in my memory like it just happened yesterday. I was reading my social studies book and looking at the pictures of all nations of the world and the pertinent information about them. A thorough description of their culture, the products they produce, their form of government, their predominant religion, their history, what they are known for in the global community, and other interesting facts. Because of my childish curiosity, on impulse, I developed an extreme desire to explore the world. In an instant, I became a spontaneous explorer. Ahead are the 7 steps to become a spontaneous explorer of the work originally published by Maptia.

    Below is the wonderful post.

    Greetings future explorer of the world! In this post we will be introducing you to Spontaneity and his mischievous cousin Serendipity have faithfully accompanied many great explorers throughout the ages and we can guarantee that befriending these two on the road is bound to lead to unexpected wayward adventures and happy coincidences.

    “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” — Lao Tzu

    * On an intriguing historical note, the word ‘serendipity’ was conceived entirely by accident. Back in 1754, the wonderfully named Mr. Horace Walpole recalled an old fairy tale of the ‘Three Persian Princes of Serendip’. According to Mr. Walpole ‘these brave Princes were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of…’

    Inspired by Guerrilla artist Keri Smith’s delightful book on ‘How To Be An Explorer of the World’ and also some of the wonderfully creative ideas listed in the Lonely Planet ‘Guide to Experimental Travel’, we have compiled a short, illustrated field guide with seven ideas that we hope will encourage you to succumb to your spontaneous urges, adopt a healthy caution against over-preparation, embrace serendipity, shed the heavy cloak of routine, chase down happenstance, and invite chance to be your chaperone as you follow in the of the three aforementioned Princes—Onward! ¡Vamos! Allons-y!

    spin-the-globe
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      1 | Spin the Globe

      Guidelines

      The timeless ‘spin the globe’ technique is one of the most well known methods for inducing spontaneous travel and is wonderfully demonstrated by James McAvoy playing Dr. Nicholas Garrigan in the 2006 film ‘The Last King of Scotland’. Committing to travel the first place your finger lands on takes a whole lot of ‘cojones’, so for first timers we would recommend giving yourself three strikes— spins if you will—before committing yourself to actually to the country that your finger lands on.

      For added panache, we would suggest first pouring a glass of single malt whisky and spinning one of the rather hand-painted globes from the talented team at Bellerby & Co based in London, England.

      Tweet step #1 ‘Spin the Globe’

      trust-in

        2 | Put your trust in a furry companion

        Guidelines

        If you live in an urban area, either take your own dog or ask to borrow one from a friend. If however you are living in central Asia, perhaps you might consider commandeering a yak. In Western Africa? Try a camel. In the Australian bush? Jump on a kangaroo… you get the picture. Whichever your mammalian companion of choice—turn the tables and let it take you for a walk, you never know where you might end up!

        Tweet #2 ‘Put Your Trust in a Furry Companion’

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        memory-lane

          3 | Flip a Coin and Take a Trip Down Memory Lane

          Guidelines

          This is one for the whole family and perhaps your elderly too. Politely ask them to dig around for an old coin (or equivalent out-dated coin depending on your homeland), perhaps a vintage travel guide (such as one) and if you really want to commit yourself, a vintage bicycle or Penny Farthing from an antique store—complete with a set of retro trouser clips.Once your intergenerational team has rounded itself up, set off down your local road at a moderate pace and at each junction take it in turns to flip your coin. Heads = go left. Tails = go right. Repeat this process for an afternoon and along the way ask each other about memories from each place or junction—what did these places look like 10 or even 20 years ago? What has changed and what has remained the same? Enjoy the leisurely ride down memory lane.

          Tweet step #3 ‘Flip a Coin and Take a Trip Down Memory Lane’

          embark-microadventure

            4 | Embark on a microadventure

            Guidelines

            Surely you’ve heard of Al Humphrey’s microadventures by now? His premise is simple—you do not need to fly to the other side of the planet to find wilderness and beauty—adventure is only a state of mind. Anyone can embark on a. Simply put the kettle on, pick up a map and find somewhere rural that you’ve never been to, despite it being close by.

            After work, jump on a train or cycle there. Sleep under the stars on a hilltop, swim in a river, wake up in the sunshine. Return to your desk, a few twigs in your hair but happy to the core.
            Tweet #4 ‘Embark on a Microadventure ’

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            seek-confluence

              5 | Seek points of confluence

              Guidelines

              A point of confluence occurs at the integer degree intersections where a line of latitude meets a line of longitude. There is a confluence within 49 miles (79 km) of you if you’re on the surface of and there are 64,442 latitude and longitude degree intersections in the world (counting each pole as one intersection). Check out confluence.org to find out how many fall in your country.These confluences are interesting because they represent the randomness that emerges from strict order, they are an open defiance of the order our culture imposes on us. As author Tim Vasquez says, ‘[Points of confluence are] curious places that embrace you in their history, character, and ecology, surrounded by people who are locals in every sense of the word.’

              Tweet step #5 ‘Seek Points of Confluence’

              up-and-away

                6 | Up Up and Away

                Guidelines

                This idea was pioneered by the legendary Larry Walters whose spontaneous misadventures inspired the Pixar classic UP. We do not advise that anyone actually attempts this at home, but Larry’s story is so spectacular that we felt obliged to include it in this compendium. Larry was an American truck driver, who on July 2, 1982 took flight in a homemade airship named ‘Inspiration I’His beautiful ‘flying machine’ consisted of an ordinary patio chair with 45 helium-filled weather balloons attached. It was reported that Inspiration I rose to an altitude of over 15 thousand feet and floated from its take-off spot in San Pedro, California into controlled airspace near Los Angeles International Airport. Slightly safer alternatives to Larry’s method would include or attaching a GPS to a helium balloon and following it with your feet placed firmly on the ground.
                Tweet #6 ‘Up Up and Away’

                lucid-dream

                  7 | Teach yourself to lucid dream

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                  Guidelines

                  Lucid dreaming is simply being conscious that you are dreaming. Tibetan Buddhists have dream yoga for centuries and there is a lot of literature behind the art and science of lucid dreaming—we found the simplest methods outlined in a post here on the 4HWW blog. It requires a lot of practise to master lucid dreaming in the beginning, but once greater control has been developed you can use your normal hours of REM sleep to visit anywhere in the world.

                  Quit your 9-5 job to fly over the Egyptian pyramids on the back of a giant eagle—check. Explore the depths of the ocean reefs without an oxygen tank—check. Base jump from Mt. Everest with Barack Obama—check. As with most things in life the only limits are those imposed by your own imagination—have fun!
                  Tweet #7 ‘Teach Yourself to Lucid Dream’

                  Now, what are you waiting for… get out there and start spontaneously exploring the world!

                  Did you find a place that you didn’t know you were looking for? Did you have interesting conversations which you otherwise weren’t expecting or did you have an experience worth telling your friends about when you returned home? If the answer to any of these questions is a resounding ‘Yes’—then your flirtation with spontaneity was a success. If no then what are you waiting for—don’t plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.

                  Share these ideas with a spontaneous tweet and @mention a friend who might be inspired by these seven serendipity-inducing ideas. Do you have any other ideas for spontaneous travel? If you have tried any of the above, please do share your story with us in the comments below.

                  This post originally appeared over on the Maptia Blog; the team at Maptia have just launched their beautiful platform for telling stories about places. The illustrations were done by Ella Frances Sanders, Illustrator in Residence at Maptia.

                  Seven Steps to Becoming a Spontaneous Explorer of the World |  By Maptia, Co-founder Team 

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                  Last Updated on July 3, 2020

                  How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                  How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                  Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life. To control your thoughts means to influence the way you live your life.

                  Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affects your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality)

                  I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive, and just a general waste of energy.

                  You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                  Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Be someone who can control your thoughts—become the master of your mind.

                  When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                  I currently have a few thoughts that are not of my choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                  Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                  Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in control of your thoughts.

                  If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                  Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create unhealthy and unproductive thoughts.

                  1. The Inner Critic

                  This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                  • Other people’s words—many times your parents
                  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples’ expectations
                  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media
                  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                  The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance, and lack of self-love.

                  Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is youwhy else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                  2. The Worrier

                  This person lives in the future—in the world of “what ifs.”

                  The Worrier is motivated by fear, which is often irrational and has no basis. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                  3. The Reactor or Troublemaker

                  This is the one that triggers anger, frustration, and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                  This person can be set off by words or feelings and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                  The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control. He is run by past programming that no longer serves you—if it ever did.

                  4. The Sleep Depriver

                  This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                  The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity, and generalized anxiety
                  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                  How can you control these squatters?

                  How to Master Your Mind

                  You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You can control your thoughts, but you must pay attention to them so you can identify “who” is running the show—this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                  Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                  There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                  This second option is what is known as peace of mind.

                  The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go-to” thoughts in applicable situations.

                  Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                  1. For the Inner Critic

                  When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                  You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                  For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                  You can also have a dialogue with yourself to discredit the ‘voice’ that created the thought—if you know whose voice it is:

                  “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                  If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready.

                  This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                  • They rile up the Worrier.
                  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                  Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                  Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                  2. For the Worrier

                  Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally, and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                  Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind, and creates anxiety in the body. This may make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts effectively.

                  You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                  • Muscles tense

                  Use the above-stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time, you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                  If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                  Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                  “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                  Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense. Both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                  If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

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                  Now, take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like! Do it until you feel that you’re close to being in control of your thoughts.

                  Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                  For example: If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                  “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place.

                  Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                  Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                  “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                  Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                  3. For the Troublemaker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                  Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers. But until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                  The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain.

                  I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                  Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds—just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                  Breathe in through your nose:

                  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                  • Focus on your belly rising.

                  Breathe out through your nose:

                  • Feel your lungs emptying.
                  • Focus on your belly falling.
                  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                  Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize. Now, you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior, and you’ll be more in control of your thoughts.

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                  One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                  Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                  4. For the Sleep Depriver

                  (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher, and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                  I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                  Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                  2. Then I came up with a replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                  When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and thoughts, and I choose quiet.

                  From the first time I tried this method, I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                  For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (closed, of course). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                  If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                  You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon
                  • Shut down your thinking
                  • Calm your feelings
                  • Simply focus on the present moment

                  The Bottom Line

                  Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or destructive purposes.

                  You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable, and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                  Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. You can be in control of your thoughts. The choice is yours!

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                  Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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