Written by Emma D'Arcy
Having lived the last year of our lives so differently (to put it mildly!), we haven’t been exposed to the many layers of influences that inspire us, our wardrobe, our social lives and beyond. On a normal day, we absorb so many new influences (from style to culture) without even realising it! Typically I admire a well styled outfit in my local coffee shop enroute to work. Or spot a new festival or gallery exhibition on the daily commute. Regularly I hear new bands play live, that I discover whilst meeting friends for drinks.
So how do we stay engaged and curious? How do we continue to be inspired and to learn, as we begin to move forward to a new, more flexible way of life?
Visionaries past and present remind us that our learning journey is lifelong, so my way around it in today’s world of different routines is through creating a new challenge of sorts. Nothing wildly ambitious, given our never ending to-do lists, but simply doable. And very enjoyable! I am aiming to discover something new every week. Whether it’s listening to a new podcast, finding a new music artist, attempting a new recipe, or trialing a new outfit combination. Just because we aren’t moving through our days in the same way currently, it just requires a little flexibility with our approach. It’s amazing what you can find when you put effort into discovering something new.
Where I get my inspiration from varies. It may be something I discover through my favourite travel or lifestyle sites and magazines, (I’m still very much a fan of the luxurious, glossy printed edition. Especially whilst lounging at the weekend.) Or through a conversation with a friend or sibling – one of my brothers currently lives in New Zealand, and last summer mentioned a band whose chilled mellow tunes are always on my playlists, every time I hear their sound it reminds me of him!
I also have countless conversations over the phone (or more recently actually in person) with friends to discuss books, shows and podcasts. I now keep a note on my phone detailing the list of recipes, experiences, courses, fashion, festivals, exhibitions and all sorts of recommendations! That way, when you’re at a loose end or lacking inspiration for what to do, you can order a couple of books, or give that recipe a try.
This week I’ll be giving another family recommendation a whirl – a ‘Sip and Paint Party’ evening. Guests are invited to bring along their own wine or cocktail of choice, and join a group of other experience enthusiasts for an immersive fun filled evening. The combination of Hip Hop & RnB music, (with my selection of Picpoul de Pinet wine), and painting tips from professionals promises to be a uniquely interesting combination – all designed to inspire creativity.
So far summer highlights include (but are not limited to): a rediscovered love of fresh fish and herb dishes during the warmer seasons, a selection of amazingly talented new music artists that are rapidly becoming the soundtrack to my summer, hilarious podcasts that make me laugh out loud on road trips, and I am beginning to embrace a full rainbow of colourful outfit combinations by pairing existing clothes with bold new purchases to mix things up.
If this sounds like fun, then I recommend you give it a try – discovering something new either every week or every month depending on what suits your lifestyle, and pass on top recommendations to friends and family around you. Now that life is gradually opening up again, you may be lucky enough to go one better and try something new together if you can! I should also add that whilst you won’t love everything you try, the fun is in the experimentation (I reminded myself of this when an attempt at one particular dish resembled a squashed potato rather than the culinary heaven I was hoping for. Never mind! On the second attempt it looked far more enticing and tasted delicious regardless.) What will you start with – a new music artist when you hit the road? Styling out that cut-out dress teamed with trainers for the first time?! Explore, experiment, and see what fun you can have too when you discover something new this summer.