How to keep your sense of awe for life

Yesterday I was in downtown Toronto for a meeting and on my way home, this ordinary moment caught me off guard.  As I walked up the stairs onto the platform, I saw Toronto's Union station in a completely different light.

This time, I looked up, and I saw the blue sky peaking through open roof.
I looked down the train tracks and I could see for miles.
I took a big deep breath in and soaked in the magnificence of this place.

My
 memories of Italy came rushing back. I remembered all of the times in Italy that I stood in awe at their epic train stations. I remember looking up in wonder at the dome-shaped train station in Milan.  People were buzzing everywhere. I felt so lucky back then.

I remember stepping onto those Italian trains feeling so damn lucky to be here. It didn't matter if the train was an old local train taking me from one unremarkable Italian town to another, or if it was the high speed train taking me from Milan to Florence in record time. It was all Italy and it was all magical. 

I would jump onto the train and be so amazed at all of the Italian people going about their daily lives.  For the Italians, it might be 100th time that they were riding the train from home to work, but for me, it was a great adventure. 

I'm kissing a billboard at an arts festival in Italy.  Just because I was in Italy. 

I'm kissing a billboard at an arts festival in Italy.  Just because I was in Italy. 

Life was a grand adventure back then...wait...life IS a grand adventure! 

What if I went through all of life the same sense of awe and wonder that I had in Italy? 

What if I didn't buy into other people's complaints and chose to cherish and make the most of each day?  

My first authentic Italian pizza, circa 2011.

My first authentic Italian pizza, circa 2011.

I would stop and take pictures of random magical moments.

I would look around and smile people riding the GO transit in Toronto.

I would take pictures of the yummy food I get to eat. 

I'll be the first to admit that this isn't easy. I returned to Canada from Singapore almost 1 year ago today. I came back rather disappointed. I wanted to stay in Southeast Asia and I wanted my life to continue being this big "grand adventure."

I found myself complaining about how things weren't working out for me. But somewhere deep inside, my soul knew it was time.

I'd spent 4 years travelling the world and going on epic adventures.  Just as there are only things I could only learn by travelling, perhaps there were things I needed to learn by staying put.  Things like deep gratitude, appreciation, contentment and wisdom. 

"Once a week, go somewhere where the sky meets the horizon and remind yourself that you are infinite." This is me in in the St. Francis Basilica in Assisi, Italy. 

"Once a week, go somewhere where the sky meets the horizon and remind yourself that you are infinite." This is me in in the St. Francis Basilica in Assisi, Italy. 

The point of travel isn't to escape our lives. It's to grow our awareness and consciousness. The real work happens when we come back.

Over the last few months, I have been reading lots, meditating, and growing myself.  I am now so happy to be able to say that I have my sense of awe for life for life back.  My hope is that this blog inspires you to recapture that feeling of love for your life too. 

Today, I can be grateful for every little thing I have to eat, every interaction with a human being and every 'ordinary' building I walk into. 

Rather than judging myself for not being an Instagrammer who posts pics from an airplane every few days, I embrace the fact that no matter where I am, life is beautiful and it's worth stopping to take a picture of.

If you'd like to learn more about how I landed paid jobs and internships that allowed me to travel to 21 countries, check out my free 90-minute training, How To Land Paid Jobs And Internships Abroad. Watch it here free. 

Follow along with my adventures and get more inspiration from me on Instagram at @anitawinglee. 

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