Many people out there live and grow up in the same town that they were born in and never have the intention to leave this town. They are perfectly fine where they are and would not change it for any reason. I completely respect that and accept this different perspective. However, I’d like anybody who have been doing the same thing over and over to consider changing perspective once in a while.
I took a trip to the New England area last week in hopes of experiencing a true fall foliage – the ones that I’ve heard about over and over again from friends who once lived or visited the East Coast during the autumn season. They would gush about how beautiful the scenery gets and the mere fact of just having seasons was satisfying enough to make the East Coast their residence. Here in Southern California, we are blessed to have near perfect weather all the time, so much that we take it for granted at times. I decided I needed to switch perspective and go on a bicycle tour in New England for a few days to change my environment. This is what I learned from the experience.
1. Get In Touch With Your Senses
The first day of my bike tour started in Boston to Worcester, and my expectations of the beautiful fall colors did not disappoint. What surprised me most, was by being in this new environment, appealed not only to my visual senses, but to my other senses as well. I heard the leaves rustle as the wind blew against the trees when we rode through quiet neighborhoods. I smelled the wet ground as we rode through semi-paved roads through a pond. I felt the leaves flying past me and brush against my bare face, and I tasted traditional “fall foods,” like apple crisps or warm apple cider donuts.
Changing perspective doesn’t always mean you have to travel and change your environment (but it doesn’t hurt). Even a different shift in the way you think and react can really help reshape your reality. To take full advantage of that, you should open up your 5 senses and just absorb all the mini moments that will eventually turn into a unforgettabe memory.
2. Have Compassion For Others
Our group used 2 services called Warm Showers and Couch Surfing to accommodate our lodging for the 3 nights we were out touring. The first night was in Worcester, Massachusetts, where my friend Evadne and I enjoyed a delicious dinner and entertaining company from Willa and Greg. The second night, we joined with 6 other friends to camp in the backyard of Michelle and Rick’s home in Providence, Rhode Island. They opened up their homes for everyone to get their showers in and offered us their food and kitchen to use. In exchange, we shared a healthy portion of our stories with them. The third and last night, we made it to Newport, Rhode Island, where we stayed at our Couch Surfing hosts, Katie and Greg’s house. Even though they don’t bike tour, they were so hospitable and allowed us to take showers, indulge in their garden for food, and offered us space in their yard to set up our tents. They let us use their grill to prepare dinner and their kitchen to bake apple crisps. Katie even made us kale chips before she left for work.
Experiences like this, where you are showing compassion for others, comes with the change in perspective. It was my first time experiencing a warm shower host who wasn’t someone I had already known, so my perspective was completely different from anything I’ve ever been through. I am sure each of our host’s perspective was shifted when they met us and openly welcomed all 8 of us into their homes. Compassion is something I believe we truly need in our lives, especially when you are constantly being bombarded by bad news in this world. To experience this first-hand as perspective changes, even as cliché as it sounds, renews your faith in humanity.
3. Foster Personal Growth
I enjoyed every moment with my friends on this bike tour. I sung out loud. I danced liked nobody was watching. I documented my trip for the first time like I’ve never done in the past. I talked to everyone and made individual, personal connections. I was cognizant of not alienating anyone. I acted out of love and respect to my fellow people, whether they were on a bicycle or in a car. I forgave the guy who was honking at us going the opposite direction and flipped me off when I waved at him.
A change in perspective is a healthy way to get you out of your comfort zone. It should push you to want to do something different – something that you’re afraid of doing. You should want to live life and grow within yourself. I certainly did after a quick week away.
Shift Your Perspective
I hope this post inspires you to change perspectives through the constant stimulation of your senses, experience compassion in your life, and continue to personally grow to be a better person. How are you going to change your perspective today to improve your life? Let me know what you’re planning to do in the comments below.
Click here to see more pictures from my trip.