This is a new series of short articles under the banner ‘What I think about when I’m flying‘, a collection of inspirational thoughts evoked during long distance flights. In this one, we talk about first chances and why we need to take them more seriously.

 

Second chances! We all love them…we all need them. Who wouldn’t want another chance to take a failed exam; to make a failed business venture work; to make it up to that person we hurt so badly; to tell a deceased family member how much we loved them; to spend more time with our children; to get more out of life. Indeed where would we be without life’s second, or third or more chances?

Zanzibar Stone Town | First chances

While on a recent long distance flight, we asked ourselves what our lives would be like if we took and made the most of our first chances. A few recent experiences triggered this thought.

 

Once in a lifetime

We recently visited the south-eastern coast of Zanzibar, home to some of the most pristine, powder soft beaches in the world. To compliment that, when the skies are clear, it is possible to stand on the beaches of Paje, Bwejuu and Jambiani and witness the most spectacular sunrises and lunar events; indeed Africa at its most beautiful.

Zanzibar Hakuna Majiwe | First chances

While chatting to the manager of the beautiful Hakuna Majiwe beach resort, she shared how she missed a recent, once-in-20 year, lunar eclipse despite literally having front row seats to nature’s very own orchestra, an opportunity she rues till this day. A first chance, gone; a second chance to be in the same place at the same time when the next one happens…slim.

 

What if? No! Why Not?!

From Zanzibar, we routed our return journey to London through Dubai. According to the World Atlas, Dubai was the world’s 4th most visited city in 2015. As first time visitors, the city made a significant impression on us. Dubai embodies the bold, fearless spirit of the United Arab Emirates.

Thirty years ago, clearly aware of their depleting oil resources, the rulers of this desert nation took some very strategic decisions about their future. The ultra modern city we saw as we took a scenic tour of the city on a Seawings Dubai Cessna 208 plane is clearly a product of the UAE taking their first chance to create a new future with great success; a success that some other oil-producing countries have failed to reproduce.

Dubai Skyline Seawings 3 | First chances

We can all recount similar episodes of missed first chances. But what if, when faced with a chance to do something big, we didn’t ask ourselves “What if?” and instead asked more questions of the “Why not?” variety? For example, in building the biggest hotel in the world, in Dubai the question wasn’t, “What if we build it and nobody comes?’ Rather, the question was “Why not?” And of course they went ahead and did.

Dubai Skyline Seawings 1 | First chances

Why is it human nature to second guess ourselves, complicate things and talk ourselves out of opportunities?

Of course, not all first chances end up with positive stories to tell. Some may consider taking first chances as hasty, presumptuous or plain stupid. But how would we know the outcome if we didn’t take the chance at all? Life does not always give us a second chance. We’re fast learning that there is no ‘perfect timing’ to do anything. There are only opportunities to take calculated risks.

Zanzibar Zanzi Resort | First chances

 

Take first chances!

Thinking of taking the trip of a life time? Why not? Get your finances in order, choose a destination and book that flight. Thinking of asking that person who makes your heart flutter out for a coffee? Why not? The worst they can say is no and ‘No’ never killed anybody. Holding back on starting a new business because of fears about the economy? Why not? The economic situation will never be perfect but time waits for no one.

Seriously…Why not?

We’ll be sharing more of our experiences in Zanzibar, Doha and Dubai in the coming weeks. Subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to be notified when new posts are published.

 

Co-Founders & Curators at HDYTI

Eulanda & Omo Osagiede are London-based freelance writers and award-winning social influencers who run the popular travel, food, and lifestyle blog HDYTI (Hey! Dip your toes in).