They tell me delayed gratification is powerful

Persistence, patience and passion

Stories from the last month of exploration.

We live in a world where we can - more or less - have everything NOW: food, clothes, dates… Boredom can be mitigated by scrolling through your phone, answers come from Google in seconds, and friendships can be maintained with a few quick Whatsapps. This instant gratification feels good, so why should we wait?

I’m sure you’ve heard of the marshmallow test. A Standford University study looked at gratification patterns in four-year-olds, offering one marshmallow now or two after a delay. They discovered, that in the long-term, the ability to resist eating the marshmallow immediately was a good predictor of success in later life.

Patience is potent.

In February, with this in mind, I took on adventures that would help me achieve delayed gratification. I worked hard, became frustrated, got embarrassed, and felt disconnected from my goals, but ultimately these feelings and this determination created a greater sense of achievement when I finally did what I set out to do.

From now on, I’m going to look at the long game more, and focus on getting there instead of reaching for easy wins. It takes willpower, so here’s hoping it pays off!

Adventure roundup: February 2020

Themes: Discovery, self-improvement, commitment

#5 Just German: 48-hours without my mother tongue

Mid-January marked my 3-year Berlin anniversary. Given that I have spent a significant proportion of my adult life here, my German language skills could use improvement. So I attempted to spend 2 full days speaking nothing but German.

My brain hurt, I felt confused, but eventually, something in my brain clicked. I even started cracking a few jokes…

#6 Sauna culture: embracing Germany’s love of sweating

I was planning on writing a nice article about how saunas are good for your health and why they are so important in German society, but something much more powerful happened.

I was terrified at the thought of being naked in front of strangers, probably because I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin. But being surrounded by bodies of all shapes and sizes in a completely non-sexual context was incredibly emotive for me. I felt an appreciation for my physical self that I never have before.

#7 Bar feature: talking Japanese jazz culture with Rhinoçéros

Rhinoçéros is my favourite bar in Berlin: it’s where I go for downtime, with family and for dates. I love the wine, the fireplace and the non-stop playing of great records, so when my Weekly Adventure project began, I knew I had to find out its story.

Owners Bénédict and Martina have styled the joint on Japanese jazz Kissen, but have added their own unique flair. Be sure to stop in for one of their listening sessions, it’s quite the experience.

#8 Indoor surfing: aka a lot of tumbling around underwater

On the tram on our way to our beginners’ lesson, Amy and I excitedly discussed our future careers as surfing pros, fantasising about our lives atop of waves, sipping cocktails from coconuts and just generally being effortlessly cool.

As it transpired, learning to surf is a lot of falling off and trying not to get hit on the head with your surfboard… But, after each fall, every second you stay standing feels like a victory! I’ll be back.

#9 An afternoon in Brandenburg: celebrating old friendships

The cliched saying goes that the journey is the destination. Katherine, Eva, Andrew and I had hoped for a nice afternoon hike through the forest to an eco-village and back again, but ended up hitchhiking to a station where we had to wait 2.5 hours for the train back to Berlin.

We could have cried. But, instead, we danced, did yoga and watched storks fly across fields. I haven’t felt so free in a long time, and it reminded me of the importance of old friends and the relationships we build while we’re still growing up.

Weekly Adventure

Hello! I’m Emily, and I’ve set myself the challenge of creating 52 memorable experiences over 52 weeks. 

The idea of being present and discovering the things on your doorstep resonated with many of my nearest and dearest. So Weekly Adventure was born with the hope that we could share stories and motivate each other to go and explore.

​I plan on trying as much as possible, from stargazing and hiking to getting lost and visiting that new bar, because anything and everything can be an adventure in the making. 

I hope you can find inspiration here, too, and, if you have any questions, feedback or stories to share, please get in touch.

​Emily xo