We had the good fortune of connecting with Cheli Njoku and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cheli, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
Travel inspires me. I know we’re all pulling “short straws”; so while I’m still here I want to live as authentically and fully as possible. I respect my mantra “live well explore often” by immersing myself deeply into moments that bring me happiness and new insight – often. I travel for the emotions the destination offers me. It could be a 7 hr drive to St Pete’s Beach in FL or a full day flight to Morocco in Africa. The distance is not the motivation. It is the emotions. The people. The sights. The sounds. The food. The shopping! Returning from my travels with unique finds from my trip affords me the luxury of “time travel”.
In my bedroom I have a hand crafted mosaic lamp from Morocco, sea shells from St Pete’s Beach, a handcrafted miniature ship from Amelia Island, and a pair of handcrafted Mojari shoes from India. I look at these tangible memories and I instantly time travel to moments past and I’m inspired once again.
Time travel is so relevant to me right now especially as we live in the age of COVID -19 where we don’t currently have the luxury to travel freely.
Speaking of time travel, reading is another one of my affordable and adventurous modes to travel to another place and time without physically leaving my location. Some of my favorite authors are Oscar Wilde, Jhumpa Lahiri, Isabelle Allende, and Azar Nafisi. You know, the most inspiring spots you’ve ever visited can be right next door. Don’t limit yourself waiting for that big international trip for inspiration. I visited The Biltmore gardens last year in Asheville, NC and my friends thought I was in Italy! There’s so much inspiration waiting for you in your own backyard..or library. You just need to know where to look and be open to new possibilities. I place my intentions into the vast ocean of all possibilities and allow the universe to work through me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve had a long career in the Construction Data industry and currently hold the role of an Enterprise Account Manager. I love what I do because I’m able to empower my clients to reach their individual goals with the right resources and implementation plan. Their success, is my success. I love the consultative and discovery process that comes with my role. I’m constantly finding new and creative ways to add value to the experience of my clients with the use of our data and software and my seasoned experience. As a writer, lifestyle blogger, and vision workshop host, I add that same creativity and joy of teaching to my personal brand and website – livewellexploreoften.com. I’m still learning and still growing…and still changing. My brand is constantly evolving but my WHY remains the same. My reason for starting livewellexploreoften.com was to share my take on mindfulness, travel, and how to create an authentic lifestyle by advocating for self mastery. That’s where my live vision workshops come in. Once you learn to master your self and respect your goals, abundance will flow easily to you. I look forward to hosting virtual workshops this year as well as small group parties and collaborations soon. Email me with your Interests! I’m most proud of the civil service work I do by advocating for women and children in various volunteer opportunities. I’ve volunteered both locally and internationally as a member of The Junior League of Atlanta and with Sankalp Volunteer Society – and NGO in India. Every step I’ve taken to address my professional career and pursue my passions has not always been seamless. I believe there is always a cocoon stage in life. A stage where you need to be patient and not force a moment or an agenda. A stage where you need to let go off the old and make room for the new, no matter how comfortable you felt about the old ways. The cocoon stage is uncomfortable, disruptive, and at times lonely and frustrating. Don’t force that stage to hurry along. The butterfly stage (speaking from experience) is so worth the wait. Happiness and suffering are “inter are”. Knowing I cannot experience one without the other is what keeps me grounded and resilient.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Here’s my list of top entertaining spots to visit while in Atlanta 1. The Roof Top on Ponce and Ponce City Market 2. Top Golf in Alpharetta 3. Amicalola Falls 4. Main Street in Duluth 5. The Shops Buckhead, ATL
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give a shout out to my Dad, my Papa, for introducing me to the love of travel and adventure. My Dad was a commercial airline chief pilot and has been almost everywhere on the globe. I’ve been flying before I could walk. Sometimes he will have the air steward bring me or one of my siblings into the cockpit with him during flight. That experience was exhilarating and surreal. Because of my Dad, I’ve had no real fear associated with traveling – by air or by road. As a family, we also did our fair share of road trips growing up in Nigeria and driving to the village to visit grandparents. I remember occasionally getting motion nausea from the bumpy drive combined with the heat. However, the snacks of bananas and peanuts purchased along the way more than made up for it. Thanks to my Dad’s unlimited creativity for travel, I’ve been open to immersing myself to the joy of solo travel with various modes of transportation – Car, Bus, Train, Plane, and Boat! New possibilities here I come! I’d also like to give another shout out to one of my favorite authors Jhumpa Lahiri. Her detailed descriptive writing inspired many time travel moments to places I sincerely felt I had already visited and people I felt I already knew.
Linkedin: Search – Cheli Njoku
Image credits: Cheli Njoku