Sometimes, it's incredibly refreshing to leave behind everything you know and immerse yourself in the unknown. This was certainly my experience during my journey to Singapore - a city that was initially just a professional destination, but simultaneously became an experiment in living without context.
What happens when you find yourself in an environment where nobody knows you and has no expectations whatsoever?
What is the impact of exploring the world with a 'beginner's mind'? In other words: What happens when you see your surroundings through a lens where everything is new and must be learned again?
For me, it led to some remarkable insights.
Losing context means gaining individuality
The first hours in Singapore were quite surreal. No one knew my name, my history, or my usual role in life. Leaving behind my context felt incredibly liberating and opened up new possibilities. There was no script, there were no expectations - only the chaos of the unknown.
It allowed me - during the free days I spent alone in the city - to fully focus on: What do I feel like doing right now? What do I need right now? It became a journey of self-discovery: who am I when I'm dropped in a foreign city? Do I retreat to a corner? Do I hide behind my work in the hotel? Or do I venture out without hesitation, letting the city be my guide?
Beginner's mind as a compass
It turned out to be the latter. The concept of a 'beginner's mind' became my compass. Everything in this city was new, from the architecture and art to the scents and flavors. I navigated without the usual routines and familiarity of the known. Every encounter, every experience was an opportunity to learn, to grow. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was full-on. Embracing each moment, exploring, tasting, and experimenting.
The freedom of anonymity
The freedom that arose from the anonymity was remarkable. It was an invitation to see the world with an open mind, without the lens of prejudices or preconceived notions. Without expectations to meet. It was another confirmation that respect and kindness open doors everywhere. I willingly entered when beckoned into a shop, listened attentively to the stories of taxi drivers, allowed myself to be hugged by a shopkeeper who was touched by my story, I eagerly sought advice on local specialties and learned why drinking warm water is essential at temperatures of +30°C.
Reflection on the impact
Looking back on my time in Singapore, I realize that living without context is a powerful catalyst for personal growth. It opens the door to new perspectives, broadens the horizon of possibilities, and challenges you to step outside your comfort zone.
The journey was not just geographical in nature. It showed me how much we can learn when we dare to get lost, when we dare to live without the constraints of expectations and context.
If there's one thing I can share from this experience, it's the power of embracing the unknown. So, dare to challenge yourself, step out of your familiar context, and discover what happens when you allow yourself to live without predictable scripts.
On to the next adventure!