discovering new worlds

Published on March 25, 2020

There are many worlds for us to discover. We just have to look for them.

If there’s one thing many of us in quarantine are missing, it is the ability to move freely, without feeling guilty about whether you are doing the right thing by going outside (which I have found to be the case even if you need to go out for an essential purpose).

Before the country went on lockdown, I started to embrace more of my adventurous side. I started travelling more, and I was looking to make plans about how I could discover the world around me. I was excited by the fact that there is so much to see in the world that I could embrace.

I am no longer able to make plans to travel, though, even if it is just to another town. After this is all over, I think I will be soured on travelling for quite some time. This has led me to one big realization: there is more than one world for us to discover.

When I used to think about discovering new worlds, I would always think about different places I could go. It was not until recently that I started entertaining the fact that “discovering new worlds” does not have to mean going to new places. It can mean exploring new dimensions of the world in which you already live.

Last week, I purchased myself a box of chocolates. This was the first time I had ever purchased my own box of chocolates (they used to just be gifted to me), and I was excited about eating them. When I took my first bite, though, I realized: there is more to this chocolate than just the immediate pleasure I will receive by eating it.

I had just discovered another world.

As I continued to eat the chocolate bar, I started to think about the taste of the chocolate, its smell. I even closed my eyes as I took new bites, because I wanted to savor the moment as much as possible. In this moment, I had discovered something new: the beauty of chocolate.

I had always known that chocolate tasted good, but it was not until that moment that I fully appreciated its complexity. Since then, I have read a number of articles on chocolate tasting, and I have seen this world open up even more. I now know that there are craft chocolate subscription boxes. I now know how to let the chocolate melt on my tongue for a few seconds before taking a bite, if I am looking to get a better sense of the chocolate’s flavors.

Before I did this research, chocolate was something I saw as a treat. Now I see eating chocolate as an activity, or even an experience. A new world is now open for my exploration. I have so much to learn about chocolate, and I am only at the start of my journey.

I had a similar experience when I visited a museum last month (before our country went on lockdown). As I looked around the museum, I became entranced with every artifact, and there was this voice in the back of my head that constantly reminded me of the importance of everything in the museum.

Each medal, which hung up among hundreds of others in the building, would have been really important to one person in their life. Each painting was the result of hours, days, weeks, or even months of someone’s hard work. In addition, every artifact had its own history for me to learn. In the museum, I had discovered that there were so many new worlds to which I was not accustomed.

My seemingly broad worldview is incredibly limited. This is a fact I am trying to repeat to myself more often. I have explored so many worlds in my life so far -- the world of video games, the world of venture capital -- but I have only scratched the surface. In fact, I’ll never be able to dip my toe into every world. Many will go undiscovered.

This realization has made me reflect on the importance of appreciating everything in my life. The cup of tea I drank in the morning is its own world. Hundreds of people were likely involved in discovering the place where the tea for my morning cup should be harvested. Hundreds more would have been involved in farming. Hundreds more would have been involved in the logistics of getting the tea into my house.

There is no need for me to go travelling, because there are so many worlds right here at home for me to explore. The worlds of how my parents spent their time as kids, or the world of chocolate tasting, are two examples of the new world I am still at the surface of exploring. All I need to do is keep reminding myself of the fact that there are new worlds everywhere. I just need to be open to exploring them when I make a discovery.

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