Review: How to be an explorer of the world

How to be an explorer

Yesterday I had this urge to go to the park, and I was pretty excited about it, seeing as I had packed everything (camera, a picnic mat, sunscreen and good walking shoes) that would make for a good afternoon at Lake Gardens, one of the biggest park here in Kuala Lumpur (think of it as a Central Park, only much, much smaller).

My enthusiasm and spirit was high, and it was because Keri Smith’s book was in my hands, dropped off by the postman on Saturday.

How to be an explorer

How to be an explorer of the world is Keri’s fourth book after so many other inspiring creativity-inducing books such as Living Out Loud, Wreck This Journal and The Guerilla Art Kit. I was always interested in the topic of creativity, and its many manifestations throughout my daily life, but Keri brought clarity to my thoughts and inspired me with one of the articles from her blog that first caught my eye: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love.

Like everyone who got caught up in work, life and the stresses that come along with it, I forgot about myself. I was lost in a mass of information that somehow doesn’t make sense, I was looking at many things, but I wasn’t doing anything with the information that kept hitting me face on. I was “off”, and so was my lens for viewing the world.

How to be an explorer

Reading Keri’s blog made me rediscover who I am, and what I have become. My one-month stay in Japan reopened my eyes to discovery, to patterns and things, of people and places. And when I came back, I wondered why I didn’t have that sense of awe of my own place, as much as I did of Kyoto. Was it because I thought it was mundane? Probably. But I think I wasn’t wearing Keri’s Goggles of Enhanced Perception.

The book’s premise is simple enough: let yourself be a scientist/ethnographer and view the world in a different way by collecting and storing items and thoughts derived from analyzing your surroundings. It’s like when we were kids — all we do is explore; and then when we’re all grown up, we forget how — I know I did.

How to be an explorer

The book is deliciously simple but nonetheless thought-provoking. There are 59 exploration tips, and at the back of the book there is a special section for you to jot down your findings and results of your exploration.

Keri lays it out straight and tells you that nothing in the book is new (some of the theories are also found in her earlier books), but rather, the ideas and thoughts were inspired by great thinkers and artists of our times. I love how she lays out her concepts and engages you to try and deviate from the norm when it comes to living your life — living consciously, rather than unconsciously strolling through life.

How to be an explorer

As for me, I never did use that picnic mat that day. I was on my feet, taking pictures and just having a lot of fun with Mr T. I discovered a lot more than patterns and mere findings that day too. I remembered to have fun.

My exploration of organic growth patterns on the barks of various trees.

{You can get a copy of the book on Amazon}

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14 thoughts on “Review: How to be an explorer of the world

  1. What a great book. I will have to investigate further. And I am loving the shedding of bark that’s happening around where I live at the moment. I must photograph it before it’s all blown off by a southerly buster.

  2. It’s easy to be awed by Kyoto. It’s not so easy to be awed by paying your bills, cleaning the pedal bin or dusting the TV, but Keri et.al. are on the right track. The zen of living is seeing the sublime in the mundane is it not?!

  3. Pingback: Inspiring Creativity: 9 tips to be more creative

  4. Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other
    websites? I have a blog based on the same ideas you discuss
    and would love to have you share some stories/information. I
    know my viewers would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to
    shoot me an e-mail.

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