What If Your Curiosity Could Change Your Life?

puglia, martina franca, change your life, curiosity, italy, life coach, photography coach,

Photo copyright Carla Coulson

Dearest Peeps,

Sending you big love and wishes for a fabulous 2016. I am back from Australia and re-charged with great Aussie energy, sunshine and sea and ready to go for a bright and beautiful New Year.

I wanted to encourage you in 2016 to be a little more curious. Curiosity is a subject that is dear to my photographer’s heart and is responsible for so many of the great things that have happened in my life.

Are you curious? When you hear of a country for this first time do you have an uncontrollable urge to check out where it is in the world? Do you see a word you don’t know and before you know it you are tapping it into Google to find out what it is? When you see a closed door do you ever have the urge to push it open? When a doctor diagnoses you with something are curious to see if there are any alternatives?

There was a time in my life when I wasn’t that curious. It was the time when I was living my life on automatic, getting up eating breakfast, jumping in my car, going to the office, eating lunch, working and heading home. I had some interests, l loved fashion and interiors and hanging out with my friends but I wasn’t even scratching the surface of life.

When I decided to leave my life at the end of 1999 I started to ask questions. I didn’t know what I wanted to do for the next bit so I made a list of things I thought I could try and hoped that it may lead me to the answer. The things on the list weren’t wild, close to my heart passions but I had a passing interest in them and thought I should check them out.

On the list I wrote, work in the outback, learn Italian, work in sports marketing, take a holiday to Bali and so on. THE FUNNIEST THING PHOTOGRAPHY WASN’T ON MY LIST.

And this is the best part of curiosity. I went and worked in the outback, I fed the chickens, did some farm jobs and taught my host how to use the internet. After a month on a farm in outback Western Australia I started to calm down after living a busy Sydney life but I knew I wanted something else. I thanked my host and moved on.

I kept moving through the things on the list, I worked on a project prior to they Sydney Olympics and though I enjoyed being with new people at the end of it I felt I had ticked the box and that too wasn’t for me. Then I headed to Italy for my Italian course and the night I arrived in Florence it was love at first sight.

When I walked through Piazza Signoria my heart was ‘out of my body’. Something came over me like a big love that I had never felt before for a place.

My curiosity was aroused in Italy. I started to check out things that I didn’t understand, go and do things I would never have done before and of course learning Italian was ‘curiosity on steriods’. Every word was new, every phrase a discovery and the synapses in my brain started popping.

My curiosity took baby steps, it led me into beautiful artisans ateliers, allowed me to meet people from all around the world who were leading different lives to the one I had been living, made me walk down a different street every time I went to school and taste things I would never have dreamed of tasting before.

Scratching the surface made me start to ask bigger questions about me and my life and what I wanted to do. This big love for Italy connected me to a new world and I no longer wanted to return to my old life.

I started asking myself well if I stayed what would I do? I kept digging, scratching, wracking my brains and looking at my life and asking questions. What did I like? What was I passionate about? Well, at that point I could honestly say I wasn’t passionate about anything but I did like photography.

I decided to check it out, keep digging so I signed up for a photography course. And it was in the doing that I hit ‘gold’. It was standing in the darkroom surrounded by hushed voices as though we were in a church and watching an image appear in the developer when I found my ‘goldrush’ that would led me to a whole new life and shape the next 15 years.

If I hadn’t made that list (and you will remember photography wasn’t on it) and headed to the outback then I would never have made it to photography. Ain’t life grand!

So dearest folks if your first reaction is to take the easy way out when you have a question or are unhappy with something by asking someone else,  why not try digging around yourself and see where your curiosity will take you, you might end up on the wrong street but you might meet Mr. Right asking for directions. Even a random Google search can open your world to new things.

You never know it may just change your life!

Sending a big ‘curious’ New Year’s hugs to you all.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Walt Disney


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6 years ago

Love Love LOVE!

Laura Thayer
6 years ago

LOVE this post! I really enjoyed reading more about your journey to Italy and photography. I’m ever so grateful for the curiosity that made me join my mom last minute on a trip to the Amalfi Coast 9 years ago … where I fell in love with a place and the man that is now my husband! I certainly ended up on an expected street (or should I say “staircase”) but I definitely met Mr. Right. It has changed my life completely from what I expected, but in so many good ways!

6 years ago

This is such a timely gift, happening upon this post in such a random way as I roost on the perch of change, overlooking what might be if I let it.
You have come such a long way since Italian Joy was published 🙂

6 years ago

Hi Carla,

I too want to just pack up and head to Italy…it’s been a buring desire for quite some time now..and I can’t seem to get the thought out of my system.

Would really appreciate any advise Carla….everyone here In Oz is saying not to go because the economy is bad,, etc


a dopo, and keep up the great work you are doing..you truly are an inspiration to me…..I thought if you can do it, then just maybe I can too.