The idea for Vuja De View came to me a few years ago, although I didn’t really know it.

I had just returned to Sydney from traveling Europe and living in London for two years. After years of popping over to a different country for the weekend, exploring London’s theatre scene, constantly booking my next adventure and ticking my favourite artists off my list as I saw them in concert, I worried about how I would settle back into ‘normal’ life at home. And to be honest, it was tough at first – any traveler will understand that I had post-trip depression in a big way.

My little local shopping centre which hadn’t changed in years, and the people who frequented it as if that wasn’t a problem, felt like such an affront to me.

But I decided I wanted to make the most of what I had. Sydney is of course beautiful and exciting in its own right, so it was my perspective that needed changing, not the city.

I realised there was actually so much of the city that I had never explored – from various inner-city suburbs to hidden beaches to the new bars and restaurants that open on a near-daily basis.

I decided to make an effort to visit them, and began with ticking off Time Out’s top 50 list of bars.

Often I felt like I was discovering a bunch of exciting new places, only to find out that the other people frequenting them had known about them for years. But it didn’t matter. They felt new to me. I still got a hint of that buzz I felt when uncovering exciting travel destinations.

My whole view of the city changed. And all I had done was begin to see it with fresh eyes.

I realised, just as the colosseum certainly isn’t new, but travelers have been reveling in it anew every day for decades, your experience of a place is all about your perspective.

It wasn’t until I was watching a TED talk by Tom Kelley of IDEO that I heard the term ‘vuja de’, which really applied to my mindset at the time.

Vuja de is the opposite of deja vu. Where deja vu refers to a strange feeling that what is happening has happened before, vuja de is the opposite – a strange feeling that none of this has happened before.

It’s seeing common places with an uncommon view. Coming at a problem from a whole new angle. Understanding things with a fresh perspective.

I don’t know about you, but that’s a feeling I’m constantly chasing.

As someone who values creativity, innovation and philosophy, it was surprisingly easy to find a lot of avenues for applying this mindset in other parts of my life too.

That mindset is what I try to share here, through stories of travel, perspective, mindfulness, and intriguing philosophical ideas.

I hope sometimes it helps you experience vuja de too.

“The vuja de mentality is the ability to keep shifting opinion and perception. It means shifting our focus from objects or patterns in the foreground to those in the background… It means thinking of things that are usually assumed to be negative as positive, and vice versa. It can means reversing assumptions about cause and effect, or what matters most versus least. It means not traveling through life on automatic pilot.”

Bob Sutton, Weird Ideas That Work

Subscribe to Vuja De View

Follow @Instagram
  • 'Inspiration and imagination go hand in hand'. And this quiet, unassuming foreshore is where my imagination runs free. 
Do you have a place that does that to you?
  • Gazing out over my favourite beach 🌊🏝🙏🏼
  • Stood watching these three mates for ages waiting for them to smile for the camera, only to freak out and leave when they actually looked at me #FearOfBirds 🦅
  • Down a quiet residential road... through a short but climbing bush track... is one of my favourite places in the world. An almost-secluded beach where childhood days were spent splashing, collecting sea shells and jelly fish, and make-believing we were on a deserted island, and grown up days are spent floating in the gentle waves, writing under the shade of the trees, and make-believing I'm the only person in the world who knows about this place. 🌊
  • Does anyone else suffer from 'travel anxiety'? And by that, of course, I mean the inner turmoil caused by the feeling that you've got to get to so many places, in so little time... For every place I tick off my list, I add at least five more. So how do you prioritise? 
Where are you off to next?
  • Despite the blizzard which I was so underprepared for... Despite walking around freezing... Despite drying my socks on a restaurant heater... Budapest is still one of my favourite places ever. Could be something to do with the magical castles, the hot Turkish baths in the snow, the ruins bars where people party around abandoned dentist chairs, the trendy restaurants, the amazing history. Go.