I took this picture as I was trudging towards Chūson-ji (中尊寺), a Buddhist temple in Iwate Prefecture, in the Tohoku region of Japan. The moment was so magical that I just had to capture it.

So while I was far behind the rest and was being hassled along, I broke away and stopped to take this.

And this…


It was a good thing I did. Because when I came by this way again, most of the snow had melted and I never saw this scene again.

The World Won’t Wait.

That was the title of an excellent article (by Andy Jarosz) I read some time ago. It was an epiphany for me because it put in words what I always felt in my heart to be true about world travel.

We all have a million excuses not to travel – at least not now – because the world will wait, we say.

But look at the Berlin Wall, Fidel Castro’s Cuba, the World Trade Center twin towers in New York City, Syria…

“Our lives change and it’s only natural that we fit our travel plans around our more immediate concerns about money, health or relationships. But when we look at the world and plan out our travel dreams into the future, it’s worth remembering that the world can change every bit as quickly as our personal situation,” writes Andy Jarosz. “If you leave your dream destination for too long at the top of your wish list, you can’t guarantee it won’t change by the time you’re ready to see it.”

Even that brief moment I had on that snow-covered path to Chūson-ji (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), I could have hurried on, telling myself I’d capture that scene later on my way back.

If I had listen to my head instead of my heart, I would have lost that moment forever.

I always believe Mother Nature teaches us precious lessons about life.

How often have we let a moment slip by because we were too afraid to say “hello” to someone, although we felt compelled to? Who knows, that someone could’ve been the one we were meant to spend the rest of our life with?

Or we think the one who loves us will always be there, waiting. But people move on, and that precious tiny window of time closes shut, never to open again.

It’s the same with career opportunities. Sometimes, we just need to take a deep breath and take that leap of faith; to risk everything just to seize the moment with both hands.

Because once that moment is gone, it is gone forever.

carpe diem tattoo

“Carpe Diem” is a phrase found in a Latin poem by Horace.

In the poem, the phrase is part of the longer “Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero”. Translated, it means “Seize the day, putting as little trust as possible in the next”.  

The ode tells of how the future is unforeseen; and so we must scale back our hopes to a brief future, and drink our wine!

Foolish. Suicidal. Perhaps.

But one truth I’ve learnt about Life and Love is that everything is transient. Nothing is permanent on this earth.

No, the world won’t wait. Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero!