Welcome to the enJoy Life Written Stories library!
Written stories? Well, we could call it our blog, but we think written stories sound nicer. Plus, our stories are all written by real people, not generated by a machine.
You may have already learned the purpose of this website is to inspire you to use less, learn more, live longer, travel deep and enjoy life, by default.
If you like to read, you have landed in the right place. We write stories about…
Think of this as the front window of your favourite bookstore.
You can glance around and see titles about cooking, travelling, biographies, self-improvement, environment, health, happiness and more.
Some of the covers have pretty pictures that catch your eye. Others have titles that pique your curiosity. They are all short stories here, no epic sagas that will consume your entire weekend (my thanks go to J.K. Rowling for providing those opportunities for me in the past though).
Not all of them are about facts, lots are filled with musings and memories, which occasionally drift into fantasy and daydreams.
We live in an increasingly digital age, where social media platforms are pushing creators to make more video content. I mean, who doesn’t love to watch drone footage of Iceland’s stunning landscapes with an acoustic guitar soundtrack.
There are times though, when my brain wants to enjoy the slower mediums of writing and reading versus watching and listening. When it can set the pace.
Being a reader, becoming a writer
As a child, I loved to read. I remember going to the shops with my Mum after school on Fridays and getting the latest book in the series I was engrossed in at the time. Then, spending Sunday mornings curled up in bed reading.
I never dreamed that I would become a writer. English was definitely not my favourite subject at school. I did not like the ambiguity of it. Writing seemed much more aligned with personal preference, and my preference rarely aligned with my teachers.
Now that I have embarked on this adventure, of writing and sharing my stories with you all, I feel a slight sense of anxiety about whether my writing skills will be good enough. I know that unless I start, I will never improve…so here we are.
Note: I just questioned myself about the paragraph above. Does starting a blog make me a writer? I then went and looked up the definition of ‘writer’. According to the Oxford Languages website, a writer is a person who has written something or who writes in a particular way. With that out of the way, let’s move on!
a person who has written something or who writes in a particular way.
Learning to enjoy writing
As mentioned above, writing and I didn’t have the smoothest start. When I studied at university and was forced to write responses for assessment, it was stressful and I took much longer than necessary in an attempt to make my essays perfect.
Fast forward twenty years, and I have finally learned that I do enjoy writing for pleasure and to share my adventures as short stories that my family and friends can read, particularly when I am travelling.
Also, it became apparent that it would be easier than improving my photography skills. Capturing memories by pen and paper which can later be embellished and edited after the moment has passed is much less stressful than rushing to get the shot before the light is gone, and there is no going back and taking that photo of your child’s first steps once they have children of their own.
Photo of Nieuwe Kerk staircase, Delft, The Netherlands, captured by Joy Taylor
Of course I still love to take photos and as I create this blog, I am quickly learning the value of having a nice image to accompany a written story. I love scrolling my gallery when I want to quickly remember a moment.
The saying, ”a picture says a thousand words” is true.
Though those words are all different depending on who is looking and generally without a caption to give context, the picture may lack its intended meaning.
I have no shortage of topics I want to share stories about. The creation of a written story can take minutes, hours or days but it is generally still quicker for me than planning a video story.
Capturing and editing video to create meaningful content takes me a long time. I am working on that, but for now just know that there will be a lot more to read than watch.
My process for story writing
If you choose to venture forward and open one of the titles and start to read, you may notice that my stories are not like your regular blog article. They are generally going to be fairly long, because…well, I like to talk a lot and my writing is really just like me talking with captions on.
I am only going to share stories that I have actually been a part of. You will not find stories about things that do not interest me…for example I am very unlikely to give you tips about applying makeup, and you certainly will not find stories about the best nightclubs at a destination because I am much more of a morning girl.
My goal is to inspire you to enjoy life, and my intention is to give you enough information about the topic to encourage you to consider how you can use less, learn more, live longer or travel deep. Sometimes, that will be accompanied by research, other times it will be purely my opinion.
Either way, my process starts with…
It sounds easy, but I have at least a dozen diaries that have about 3 to 5 entries, usually on the first few days of January, then nothing.
I cannot actually remember now what I found hard about it, but something must have been blocking me.
A few years ago I connected with a group of people who were conscious about living a ‘peak’ life. I resisted for a while, but eventually gave in and signed up to a 30 day reset program which gave me a different task to do each day. At the end of the day, you needed to write or record a reflection about the task. Every day, no exceptions.
Initially, it was really hard. I set a reminder in my phone and forced myself to do it, as I am a ‘compliant’ person who likes to follow the rules. I had agreed to trust the process and do the steps, all of them…so, I did.
The process involved actually thinking about what I had achieved and how the process and the achievement made me feel.
Uncomfortable was the usual response, then after I got past that, the rest just tumbled out, often so quick it didn’t feel like I was thinking at all, I was just writing.
The requirement to capture my thoughts every day for those 30 days was enough to make me realise that I enjoyed it and form the habit. It is now part of my bedtime routine everyday.
Identify the opportunity
Having all those thoughts written there on that piece of paper started to make me think though. Questions like, “what am I doing with my life?”, “did I enjoy what I did today?”, “what does that even mean?” and “why did I do that?” were very common.
What it highlighted, with no holds barred attitude, was that I had a misalignment between what I believed I wanted to achieve and what I was actually doing.
I’ve since learned this is called a values-action gap. My gaps are not limited to the ‘mind the gap’ as you get off the subway width, some are ‘grand canyon’ wide.
The journals are pretty much my database, though they are not easy to run a query on to filter the data in a way that shows trends. That comes from re-reading the content.
The monthly goal setting and reflection pages in Lorna Jane diaries are a great visual reminder to not just write, but learn from what has been written.
Photo of Joy Taylor hiking in the Pirin Mountains, Bulgaria captured by David Masefield.
Where I am at
A fabulous learning was that I have loads of really enjoyable moments in a day and have a lot to be grateful for. Taking time to celebrate those first is always a key part of the story.
Life is a journey. I am here on mine, and you are there on yours. Our paths my run in the same direction, they may twist and turn and occasionally cross over each other. We might be seeking the same outcome or we may have different objectives in life.
All I can do is share from where I am at, on the day that I write the story. I will not be in this place forever, my thoughts and opinions will change as I move along my path.
I may or may not choose to update a story in the future, depending on whether I feel the change is significant enough.
Photo of Tegallalang Rice Terraces. Bali, Indonesia captured by Joy Taylor.
Filling in the gaps
This is the step that can change the direction of the story. I think about how my actions impact me, those around me, those not around me, the planet and future generations. I consider what may need to shift in order to create the outcome that I feel is ‘better’.
Not knowing the truth is where the challenge to close the gap gets a bit complicated. There is so much information and misinformation available, it can be overwhelming to dive into researching a topic.
It also takes time, lots of time. None of us can make time, we can only make choices of how we use the time we have. I cannot do all the research myself, so I have a team that helps me with this part.
Now that I know
Having access to data and information that you trust is the first step. Analysing that and making the conscious decision to change your mind is next. Then, changing your behaviour can begin.
In my story I will attempt to paint a picture of what I will do differently tomorrow, and why I feel that is a ‘better’ option.
Note, I use ‘better’.
All change comes in steps, and better is better. It may not be the best, I may not know what the best even is, but incremental improvement is my goal and that is what I will share in my stories.
Better may be measurable. If it is, and I have had the opportunity to take measurements, I will share that progress as part of my story too. Sometimes, better will be a feeling, and that is also valid.
you may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know
– William Wilberforce
Knowing and acting are often mutually exclusive. For instance, I know that if I eat a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s in one sitting, that I will regret it later when there is none left, not to mention the calories. Yet, I still do it. Thankfully the great people at B&J decided to introduce tiny tubs, so at least when you have trouble stopping, you reach the bottom sooner.
Referencing people and brands with similar values and objectives will also form part of my stories. Occasionally, those people or brands will be mentioned or linked to.
Some of those may offer products or services that you may choose to engage with. Some of those may generate income for us, which helps us keep researching and creating what we hope will be inspiring content that helps you make ‘better’ choices.
Sharing what I have learned
The whole point of these written stories is to inspire the reader (that’s you) to take action to use less, learn more, live longer, travel deep and enjoy life, by default.
I am bothering to do this as I believe that there are people like me, who want to do what they think is important but are stuck in a place in their mind that is preventing them from believing they can do it.
As a climate reality leader, a community builder, and a global citizen, I witness ‘death by indecision’ every day.
This is my way of making a decision to do something. I may get it wrong at times, however, I am okay with that. I would prefer to fail than wonder “what if?”.
Photo of Joy Taylor and friends enjoying life in Pokhara, Nepal.
How to get value from reading stories
When you read one of our stories, find something that triggers you and make a plan for how you can do ‘better’.
Start your own diary or journal or blog. The act of writing helps you to focus on your choices, and is powerful in encouraging you to choose wisely.
When we consciously do an activity enough times, it starts to become the subconscious choice, it starts to become what we do, by default. This is the ultimate goal.
Note: I am not going to teach you how, there are a thousand bloggers already doing that, I am also not going to be your personal coach. Going forward I will be offering some short challenges to help you start to dive a bit deeper into your values-actions gap – stay tuned for more info about those.
If you found some value in a story, share it with your family and friends.
When you make the conscious decision to do something differently, share the steps you took with others who might be looking for suggestions or encouragement (even if they do not know they are looking).
We’d love it if you add #enjoylife or tag us if you choose to share via social media…of course, sharing in person is also highly recommended!
If you enjoyed the story and would like to receive ‘Something to enJoy’ in your inbox occasionally, sign up to our newsletter.
Modern cameras make it so easy to capture memories and share moments. You do not need to be a movie star to star in your own movies.
One of the fun but challenging parts of travel is learning a foreign language. Joy is learning to teach English as a foreign language too.
How do you get your daily dose of happiness? This story is about one very happy day in Joy’s life, and what we can do to be happier every day.
Meet Joy and David, a middle-aged Australian couple, preparing for their first digital nomad experience, and find out what they hope to learn on this adventure.
Losing weight is not easy and it doesn’t happen overnight. Here I share my story of finding joy by sticking to the rules.
Some of the links on this site will take you through to a page with the option to book an experience or buy an item, others may be to another story or general information.
If you do decide to make a purchase at the other end of a link, I may possibly receive a small payment from the company you buy from.
Please do not feel obliged to buy things...always consider if you might be able to borrow it from a friend, or perhaps repurpose something you already own to achieve a similar result.
To date, I have not been paid to write any reviews about places or products, so anything I have mentioned is because I decided to use it.
This might change in the future (I hope one day some places in locations I have yet to explore present me with an opportunity!), however, my comments will always reflect my honest opinion of my experience.