Home is where the heart is…

Home is where the heart is? Then why do I have to pay so much for it?! Truth be told, home is a dream, a reality, a concept that we buy into. Formed by the pictures we see as children, influenced by the physical structures around us and verified by the environment that we grow up in. A home doesn’t have to be a house and house does not have to be a home. In this piece I’m going to share some home truths about living that will make you think twice about living. (Did you read that sentence twice?)

Over the last few years I’ve moved rooms, houses, cities, countries and even continents! Some of these moves were planned, others – let’s say life guided me towards the next step. Actually, there’s a saying that I live by which is ‘God is the best of planners’ and this is where I put my trust whenever life gives me lemons – I’m not a fan of lemonade! So this brings me to an important point, trust. Trusting yourself, your actions, your intentions before that of those around you. You need to trust and believe in your ability to face the challenges that come with uprooting and moving because believe you me its not that easy. “When are you coming back home?”, I’m asked. I am home.

Most often, people go on holiday for a week or two and think they understand what it’s like to live in, for example, Morocco or Turkey or even Dubai. Some home truths, as Brits or anyone coming in from the ‘western’ world you have certain privileges. You can afford (if you choose) health insurance, the exchange rates work in your favour, you get to CHOOSE where you stay for that short period of time. Life is good, you’re exploring, branching out and learning new things (or so you think you are). It’s all good because after you’ve taken your mind off home and your hectic lifestyle you see how lucky you are, you miss home, the food, the routines. You can’t wait for sanity and a system that works! You hop back onto the plane and spend weeks telling stories and looking back at pictures from your holiday. Now you know what it’s like to live somewhere else, you’re more open minded, you are more (maybe) humble and you absolutely loved it. But let’s be honest you couldn’t wait to get home, switch on the tele and order a takeaway after that long journey; you may have even picked up a Greggs whilst you pit stop on the motorway. Ahh, it’s good to be home.

Even if I try to explain how ‘living away from home’ is not the way to think, you’ll never really understand what I’m saying until you declare that you have no home. You are your home. The emotions, the feelings, thoughts and emptiness of not belonging anymore. What? Where will I sleep, if you’ve got this far and are thinking that- you’ve missed the point. Go get yourself a brew and catch up on some Eastenders, love. Back to the point, you are home. That is what I, now, know as home. It’s costs nothing to think- remember that. Sure, I have a house back in England where I can RESIDE and live for the rest of my life but I wouldn’t call it home, anymore. If I am able to buy my dream house one day, I’d still not consider it home, anymore. Home is just an idea. So the next time someone tells you to ‘go back home’, tell them you ARE home, if you have the heart to say it…

‘Sharing is caring’

Hello and Asalaam-u-alaaykum (peace be with you). My name is Mohammed Akram (@MAkram101). I am a teacher by profession, a father, somebody who loves to eat, travel, meet new people and try new things.

Throughout my travels and tiny little interactions with societies and cultures (subcultures, youth cultures, ‘underground’ cultures etc.) I have learnt a great deal. The most important thing I’ve learnt and witnessed is giving. I’m not talking about ‘charity’ per say, I mean the little things that people give on a daily basis such as time, energy, knowledge; a lot of these go unappreciated and unacknowledged. Think of the last time you asked someone for directions. Did you expect them to help you? Did you expect them to know? How did you come to the conclusion that this person was the one to ask over another? How did you know they speak the same language? How did you …Much of these questions are already answered in subconsciousness and within a rapidly short space of time. The ‘outer’ reality becomes what it is based on the ‘inner’ reality, they both have to give and take in order to share the space within your mind.

The mind is always going to be the greatest processor of all time. The naked eye, the best lens, the ears, the best speakers (let’s just assume they work that way) you will ever get. Guess what? They’re absolutely free! Focusing on the mind, you could compare it to a search engine, sifting through stored information whilst processing new information (and linking this new information to that which is already stored) to come to a ‘result’ or in the real world a decision. The more you put in, the greater the database and the more secure you feel in your decision (or response) to what is going on around you. We go through most of our lives living in the present but relying on the subconscious without ever working on our thoughts, allowing them to come and go freely and circumstantially.

Most of the ‘brain training’ should happen during your school years but unfortunately doesn’t. Time goes on and you get into a rut-like thought pattern where all you see is ’cause and effect’ like relationships. You focus on a career/job to survive and that takes up most of your time. Then come the problems. You know that saying, ‘a problem shared is a a problem halved’, it actually works! I’ve worked with many people and I must admit, talking (when you are also prepared to listen) can bring new light to the way you see things in life. A big part of this project is to get people talking and sharing ideas so please do interact with the content and let me know if its beneficial.

Then comes along social media and throws another spanner into the works, emotion. “Why don’t people like me?”, “why don’t they ever comment?”, “ooh, someone in another country started following me!”, “OMG, someone with 15k followers just liked my post!”. This new way of processing, for me, is rather too artificial and way too fast! The impulsive likes, shares and two word comments. I love emojis though, it’s crazy how the whole world can communicate with just facial expressions.

This brings me to videos. It’s amazing how a picture and a few words can influence you to click on a video. Whether you actually watch the whole thing through is a different matter. That’s right, ‘click bait’.- don’t get me started. For anyone starting out on YouTube you’ll know (just check your stats) that people judge you within seconds of seeing and hearing you. In my field, education, YouTube already has some big brands pushing out some high quality videos and resources. Why bother? I’ll tell you why. When you spend time talking to young people (not teaching them, I mean actually talking to them) you’ll realise that it’s more than academics that they need. Share a story or two and you’ll soon get that ‘naughty so and so’ on side. Why? Because it shows that you care. It shows that you care when you spend time listening to others too. My belief is that education does not mean academics. No denying academics, is one aspect of education but if we restrict education to what goes on in school, then that’s all people will learn. Learning is subjective. Schooling on the other hand…hmmm.

So, my aim is to share academic resources, travel advice, life lessons, literally anything that can be of benefit to others. Most of my content answers the questions that I get asked regularly and some general stuff that I find interesting. I share with you my experiences, thoughts, feelings and mistakes. Help me by sharing your ideas, giving me feedback and guidance on how to improve (I’m venturing- it’s not easy). Sharing is caring. I’ll be sharing things with you for the rest of my journey. I’d love for you to share it with me (and others- definitely share with others!). Peace out and God bless.

Let’s Eat!

Thanks for joining me! Let’s eat!

Even whilst in the belly of your mother, you were eating. The day you entered this world, you cried for food. On the day you die, you will most likely have food. No matter how rich or poor, you need food. No matter how tall or short, you need food. No matter what, you need food!

Food is an integral part of culture. When meeting new dishes its always interesting to know where the food originates from, why people use a particular flavour, spice or ingredient. There’s always something to learn.

As a teacher and somebody who loves to travel, I have been very fortunate to learn, eat and experience many foods. I have also picked up other things along the way. Follow my journey(s) and ask me any questions you wish. I’m more than happy to help (if I can).

MEALSS focuses on physical, mental and spiritual nutrition.

Feed your BODY.

Feed your MIND.

Feed your SOUL.

Feed each OTHER.

MEALSS.

A bite of everything.

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