LION: A movie about hope and never giving up

Since today’s Oscar day, I decided to write my Thoughts post about a movie that is nominated for six Oscars and that I’ve just watched on Friday. It’s a movie called Lion about a little boy that gets lost in India, adopted by a couple in Australia and then decides, 20 years later, to find the family he lost again. Sounds simple, sounds like something you can watch on (at least German) trash TV every week. But it’s more than that. It’s a story that made me cry more than once.

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Decisions: One big trip or one country at a time?

I guess this question doesn’t apply to everyone. The working individual obviously doesn’t have time to take one big 3-6 months trip around Asia. I, for example, probably won’t find the time for it anymore.

So I know this might not be something that is interesting for everyone but when traveling Vietnam and meeting so many people who did one big trip all around Asia it reminded me of my big trip in 2013/2014 and it made me wonder: What way is the better way to travel?

Spoiler: There is no better way. Both ways have their ups and downs. But let’s talk about them.

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Follow to Unfollow? Stop that bullsh**

Today I want to rant about something that’s been on my mind for a little while now and is now, that I had to start all over again on Instagram, annoying me even more: The whole follow to unfollow trend.

There’s so much that annoys me about this that I don’t even know where to start.

But mainly it’s the simple question: why? Sure, you wanna be all insta-famous, because isn’t that what we are all striving for these days (hint: sarcasm), but have you not heard of apps à la Followers that can easily show Instagram users which of their followers are there “for the right reasons”? (I’ve been watching too much Bachelor in Paradise, hence this expression haha)

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This app helps to track unfollowers

I know from experience how it feels like when you follow someone and you just don’t get a follow back. Maybe you think for a second that it’s not fair and that person doesn’t deserve your follow. But this is not what Instagram is about.

Instagram is an app that should inspire you. You are supposed to follow accounts that you get inspiration from – in fashion, travel or life in general. People whose photos you look at and think “wow, I’d love to have that one hanging in my apartment”. And this is sincere admiration for people’s work. Therefore, for me, unfollowing is a way of saying “your photos only matter to me as long as mine matter to you”. And, to take that to a bit of an intense level that shouldn’t be taken too seriously and literally: Would you do that to Monet, Andy Warhol or Karl Lagerfeld? Only loving their art when they love yours? (I know Monet air Warhol are dead. But I’m sure you get my point.)

 

I guess what I’m trying to say and what I’m also trying to follow as well: follow accounts you like because you like their content. And it’s wonderful if you get a follow back, because that means that that person is inspired by your photos as much as you are by theirs. But even if not: it’s only Instagram. If you don’t have the highest amount of followers, your life will still go on. Inspired by great accounts with amazing photo content.

Minimalism beyond traveling

When you go traveling, you just pack a small amount of things. A backpack full. A few t-shirts, a few shorts, a few sweaters, one or maybe two pairs of shoes, toiletries, your camera, a book and maybe a few other things. Everything else is seen as “luxury pieces” you don’t really need.

I’ve heard of so many people who went traveling for a year. Or longer. And they only lived with what they had and they were all so happy with it and told everyone how that’s all they need and that’s how they’ll continue to live once they are back. Every day as it comes, only a few things in their closet, no materialism anymore. And I always envy those people for being like that.

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The problem with emotions

Have you ever heard people saying that you should stop complaining because your problems are not as bad as those of others?
Anyone who told you that is wrong.

We live in such an advanced time but we still somehow forget (or want to forget) about mental health and everything that’s surrounding it. Because even though your problems might not be as bad as the ones of people that have to flee from war or that just found out they have an incurable disease, they still matter. They all do.

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Think about what we could do

I’m mad about books. I’ve always been. Especially when stories make you think and question yourself.

For easter, my mum gave me a book called An invisible thread by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski. And I’m hooked. And it definitely made me think about life and people’s actions.

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Shortly about the story: Laura Schroff is a successful business woman living in New York in the 80s. One day she gets stopped by a little kid (11 years old) who’s begging for money. She just walks past because it happens daily in New York. But after a few metres, for some reason, she turns around, walks back and invites the little kid to McDonalds. And that’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship between two social classes that wouldn’t happen on a regular basis.

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Cambodian Child by me

And it made me think. Actually it made me think about two things. But I guess I’ll talk about one of them first. Privileged societies. I know, there has been too much written about how important it is to stop for a while and appreciate what you have. And that’s true, it really is. But this book just brings it to the next level. A lot of her friends and colleagues are doubting her and her decision to take on a friendship with the little guy, because his life is just so different to hers. And she just continues because for her, it does feel right.

And it’s so nice to read that for a change. Because yes, so many people out there are talking about how lucky we are, living in a society where we have so much and in countries where there’s so little threats. And how we should try and help others, to be able to enjoy that lifestyle as well. But how many of us really do? How many of us work in a soup kitchen at christmas? How many volunteer at refugee halls?
I think the biggest step most people take out of their happy-society-bubble is to gather all their unnecessary belongings, such as clothes or shoes, pack them into a box and ship them off to Haiti, Nepal or any other country that just suffered a horrible environmental disaster. And don’t get me wrong, I think this is the least we can do. And unfortunately, I have to admit, that it’s all I do most of the time.

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But I really do hope that more people take Laura Schroff as their role model and make the effort to stop for a second, see the misery in someone’s eyes and just, all doubts aside, help to make this person’s life a little bit. Even if it’s just with a smile, a coin or a cookie.

P.S.: I’m not saying I’ve never given a homeless person any money. But I think you get the point. And it also has to be added, that Laura Schroff had a tough childhood herself (which is explained in the book as well) and she might feel more connected to a child in need but that doesn’t make it less of a goal for the people in this world to reach.

This year, I’ll give up chocolate

Lent. It’s the time of the year, where all the Catholic’s give up on certain things they just eat/drink/do too much and they want to stay away from for six weeks preceding Easter to commemorate Christ’s fasting in the wilderness.

I, for my part, did give up sweet things for Lent this year. And a lot of times I get asked: Why? I do believe in God, and I do it partly because of this believe but this is not what I want to talk about today because I think religion is everyone’s own choice and if you don’t want to believe in God or anything at all, that’s fine by me. But I also do it, and this is what I want to talk about, because I believe that staying abstinent from something for a while makes us appreciate things more.

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Galentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is for Lovers. At least that’s what everyone wants you to believe. But for me it’s about Love in general. Which includes the love for my friends and the people in my life. This is why this is an ode to them!

Obviously, the older I get and also the longer I live away from home or places I call home, the more I decrease the number of people I am keeping in touch with regularly. And maybe some friendships fade after a while. But with most of the friend I have at the moment I know for certain that they will stay in my life until I’m old and grey.

Friendship is precious. And friendships need to be nurtured in order to blossom. But I truly believe that this doesn’t have to happen on a weekly basis. It is important for friends to be there for each other whenever something major (or minor) happens in their lives. And it is important that your friends know that you are here for them, no matter if here actually means next door or just a phone call away.

In a time and age where it is so normal to just move to Australia, America, all over Europe for a few months or years, friendships get tougher. It is not a thing of seeing each other every day in school  while planning the afternoon or weekend activities together, like it was when we were all still in High School, friendship is actual work. You have to make an effort in order to keep a friendship alive. And I am more than grateful that I found those people. The people that will always be in my heart, no matter how far away they are. And the people I can call when I am over the moon happy or deeply devastated because they share every emotional rollercoaster ride with me, wherever they are.

Thank you. X

Photocredit: AndreaRenee (flickr.com)