Ways To See : Finding The Magic in The Mundane On Your Daily Commute

Through a series of short "Ways to See" posts, I want to challenge you to adjust your observation habits. Inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere. I know that it sounds cliché, but there is solid truth in this notion and I hope that this series will help others tune into it from the most mundane of sources.

E17193F3-8E24-4459-AB04-CD586A295005.jpg

 It happens to us all. 

Routine kicks grinds us down and the habitual familiarity of it all flicks us on autopilot. Some of us go from home to work without looking up from our phones. We know the way so well, that we barely look around us. We may tell ourselves that there are far more interesting things to be seen on our handheld screens than in our surroundings. What really matters is getting there and back again with as little inconvenience as possible. 

IMG_6313.JPG

Boredom can hail a new starting point.

Then it happens. We become complacent. Ambivalent. Uninterested. And inspiration fades. At this point, we may feel uninspired. Uneasy. Restless. Bored. But boredom has its opportunities. It can be the starting point of a fresh way of seeking inspiration and that can start with the way we see our surroundings. Here are some tips on how to bring back your sense of wonder and shake up one of the most mundane parts of our daily lives; the commute to work.

Tips To Help You Find Inspiration in The Mundane On Your Daily Commute:

  • Don't spend every morning or evening commute scrolling and staring at your screen, watching other people's inspiration whilst yours lulls. Why not use your phone to capture something that you may not have noticed before.
  • Walk on the other side of the road. Our habits can blind us at times. Something new might catch our eye when we see things from the opposite side.
  • Take a different route to work or back home. A different path or a different bus. Try a different way altogether, maybe walk or train it. 
  • Get off the bus/train a stop or two earlier and walk the rest of the way. You will still get to where you are headed you just might see something interesting on your way.
  • No time to stop and stare? Make a note of  the location and come back when you do have time.
 Location: Bow, London 

Location: Bow, London 

 Location: Shoreditch, London

Location: Shoreditch, London

 Location: Bow, London

Location: Bow, London

 Location: Bethnal Green, London

Location: Bethnal Green, London

 Location: Hackney Wick, London

Location: Hackney Wick, London

  Location: London Fields, London

 Location: London Fields, London

All the above shots are taken by me on my phone as I go about my daily commutes to the shops, work, nursery and home again. I find them so satisfying to look at for different reasons. The colours, the shadow, patterns, stories, rhythm, all inspire me in one way or another.

The trick to fending off the blinkers to your ordinary life is to keep yourself open to new sights and  fresh perspectives. Soon enough you will notice things that you never did before. There is ALWAYS something new to notice no matter how familiar you believe you are with a place.

We would love to see some newly noticed/appreciated magic that you find on your daily commute. Use #super_ordinarylife on Instagram or send us your pics. 


If you would like to see examples of others enjoying mundane sights, check out #newtopographics on Instagram or #banal on VSCO.