I Dream of a New Roof.

Close your eyes. Day dream, and where does your mind wander to?

I always said to my Mum, if I could do anything in the world, I would talk to as many people in the world and hear as many life stories as possible. I love hearing about people and how different a life can be, yet how similar we all are and how all of us deep down, have fears and a dream, that we so often ignore and let our fears get in the way of.

We live in a world that is so connected, yet we seem to be losing human connection. Even looking up from our iPhones for five minutes whilst on the tube to have a real life human conversation, is seen as barbaric.

I am lucky enough that recent circumstances have led me to have little ties and the freedom to chase after my dream, and I believe now, more than ever, is a perfect time to chase it and show that we are all human, very similar, yet, with very different fears, hopes and dreams.

I recently interviewed a street seller up in a remote mountain village of Vietnam. Whilst there were a few language barriers, what struck me most of all, is how much is reminded me to be grateful for all of the small things I take for granted.

I hope you enjoy. x

 

Introduce yourself:

My name is Man Mai. I am 68 years old and I live in Thanh Kim Commune.

 

What is your occupation and how long have you been doing it?

I sell embroidery. It takes 3 months to make one clutch bag and 1 year to make trousers. Each row of this hat takes 3 months to make. I have done this all of my life.

 

How much do you earn each day?

I charge 50,000 vnd (£1.64) for the bag and 300,000 vnd (£9.80) for the trousers.

 

Are you happy with your job?

Very happy.

 

What is your biggest fear?

Not being able to work and support my family.

 

What is your biggest dream?

I dream of a new roof on my house.

 

It’s very easy to get sucked into your own world and feel as though there is no other way out. As part of my Happiness Hunter project, I will continue to meet people from all walks of life, and share their stories with you. I hope they will remind you of how there are infinite opportunities in the world, and if one version of your life isn’t working for you, although it’s difficult taking those first leaps of faith, there is always a way out, and that starts with you.

 

 

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  • Road trip across the country to get here successful! Beyond excited to try out two Michelin star restaurant @resnathanoutlaw !! #food #foodie #roadtrip #Iliterallygettooexcitedbyfoodhelpme
  • HAPPY GALENTINES 💖💋✨ love you and miss you more than you know @hiltonella ... what a night!! xo #valentines #galentines #gbea #greatbritishentrepeneurawards
  • Bit nervous to post this but my amazing friends have reassured me that you should never been ashamed of your experiences that got you to where you are now! 
Last year, I achieved a lot of things I’d always dreamt of. Yet, I felt like I was on this never ending rat race wheel, once finally achieving goals, quickly forgetting how far I’d come and looking for the next thing to accomplish. Nothing ever felt enough, my ambition was killing me. My striving for more and more, constantly left me feeling dissatisfied, never living in the now, always looking for the next moment in life, the next best thing, the next pay cheque.

I decided to take a month to explore myself, explore the world, and find out what happiness actually looked like to me, find out what it meant to be content in that given moment, not wishing for the next thing or thinking I could always find a way to improve the now. I headed to India to live with monks without the influence of my ‘normal’ life around me.

It was tough, no internet, no contact, no luxuries but something within me changed. I think I actually started to accept myself for who I am. 
I’m not going to pretend like I had some sort of magical life changing epiphany and don’t still have days where I wonder what the hell is going on, but what I am truly grateful for, is the time it gave me to sit back, consciously evaluate what was important to me, what my values were and the direction I wanted my life to head in.

Off the back of it, I realised the importance of communication and came home and set up my own podcasting company, to help people communicate (which I adore), took a step back from the false reality of social media, learnt how to say no to things I didn’t want to do, and started dedicating more time to loved ones. 
I’m excited (and nervous) to share the full short documentary with you but I hope you, a friend or a family member gain something from it. I’ve learnt it’s ok sometimes to feel lost in life, and life isn’t always a straight line, it’s ups and downs but that’s what makes you alive. 
Thank you to everyone who was a part of this journey, the people 100% made it and I am truly grateful from the bottom of my heart✌🏻
  • That, my friends, is what we call a snow day ❄️
  • Back in my happy place and all wrapped up!! @bbcradiomanchester #TheDeadGoodShow - you know the drill! 👉🏻
  • Hong Kong, I love you 🇭🇰

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