"Life shrinks and expands in direct proportion to your willingness to assume risk."
I mapped out my goals, my timeline in one excel spreadsheet. All I knew was that I had until 22 April 2017 to arrive in Australia. I remember looking at my timeline on my birthday and I had 3 months until I board my one-way flight to Beijing, China.
Life, until this point, was following a golden brick road. This path gave me milestones along the way. Grind it out as an employee, get promoted, grind it out again, get promoted, try to network with people, find a meaningful relationship with a partner, be active, eat healthy, save money, be smart, and most importantly, play it safe.
The path listed above is a standard roadmap for many. But no matter which route you take, life will inevitably kick you in your privates, forcing you to make very difficult decisions in a high stress and very emotional situation. Life will continually pass you by and what I don't want to happen to you is to look back in 5 years or 10 years time and say, "I wish I ..."
Take some time to think about it.
Strive to become a more interesting person by pursuing your favourite hobbies and activities. Strive to become a more interesting person by experiencing new feelings and opening up to others about yourself. All of these will initially make you feel vulnerable, it will allow others to hold information about hidden parts of yourself and it's okay. Part of the process is getting hurt, learning from the mistakes and picking yourself up again.
- When's the last time you had your heart broken?
- When you had a devastating personal failure?
- When was the last time you took a leap of faith in yourself?
- Explored what your values are?
- Confronted the dark sides of your personality?
What you'll come to see after a year, 2 years, 5 years or even 10+ years is seeing how resilient you are and how strong you've become.
Keep on heading up and up!
Look back at your life. It's always the hardest times that made you who you are.
The travel bug bit me at a young age - from when my parents brought me overseas to see my dad's side of the family. I was exposed to a different culture, weird and funny scents, exposure to real 'spiciness' in food, the lives of different people, and how other people defined 'happiness'. I knew then, that I needed to see more. I needed to experience more.
As I navigate through my limited existence on this earth, I wonder about the idea of 'home' and what it means to me and whether it was a physical place or just a safe space in my mind to wander. Sometimes it's both. Travelling has exposed me to a world of vulnerability from physically being away from the comforts of my parents' home, to relying on kind strangers to assist me in trying times and forcing me to create new homes and safe spaces with new people and often, a new (and slightly improved) me.
My idea of travel has changed. How I travel has changed. The experiences I want from travel has changed as well. If you asked me 5 years ago if I'd want to revisit some of the countries I have been to, I'd probably say 'no'. I was in a 'check that one off the list mindset'. But as I reflect more with a mere 6 months settling into a new city and a new life, I have found that life has allowed me to revisit some major themes with a brain muscle that I've never used. Whether I am revisiting places I have been before, managing romantic and personal relationships or working through difficult emotions, I am viewing these experiences with a open mind, a bigger heart, and an extended hand. It has been a work in progress but I am slowly connecting the dots... slowly, but surely.
Through this outlet, I hope to make an impact on you by sharing my experience and the stories of people who I've met along my travels and the funny intricacies of everyday life abroad.