Wow it has been a minute. More like 3 months. Sorry about the hiatus but sometimes you just need it. And I needed it. I guess I’ll treat this as a mini life update for you guys since, kind of, a lot has changed.
At the end of 2018 somewhere around October I made the decision to finally move out of my moms house and into my own space. I lived at home for so long because I was traveling so much that it didn’t make sense to pay rent. But somewhere in the middle of 2018 I started to get really burnt out from traveling. Not the actual act of travel, no I LOVE long haul flights, long layovers, exploring new countries, meeting people- everything about it. But I got burnt out creatively. Travel began to feel like a task, as if I needed to take a trip just to produce or just to share where I was in the world even if the location didn’t totally resonate with who I was. And don’t get me wrong traveling is work for me but there isn’t a reason I shouldn’t be able to enjoy what I do.
I’ve been feeling this shift, with travel, for a while now and at first I was afraid. I was confused. How could my love of travel be dwindling? I thought this was my path? I thought I was doing what I was meant to do? Routine again, I thought I didn’t want that? Hello, universe are you listening? But I took a step back and really thought about every feeling and emotion that I was going through.
When I recognized this I realized traveling the way I’d been traveling had finally served its purpose. I needed to travel nonstop for 2ish years to make the changes, within myself, that needed to be made during that time. The changes and challenges that would ultimately bring me to where I am right now in this journey. I only had one priority during my 2ish years of nonstop travel: myself. I’d never done that before, put myself first. So when I quit my job with only $3,000 in my bank account, you could say I was scared shitless of what was to come. I mentioned a little bit of that in this Instagram post, about the running and self discovery that brought me to where I am today. But, would I trade those moments of fear or change quitting my job when I look back at my 24 year old self? I wouldn’t change a single decision I’ve made, not even quitting my comfy cozy job in public relations.
Am I done traveling? Absolutely not. I will never be done with this big beautiful world. There are way too many places to be experienced with the people I love. I think it’s just another change, another shift. I felt it when I went to India, when I went to Whistler and then to Seattle. Each of those trips made me realize a little bit more that my reasons for traveling are changing, I’m becoming more selfish with the trips I choose to take, becoming more intentional. Only going places that truly light a fire within me. And, in order to coexist with this innate need for routine again my travel habits have to adjust.
I’ve taken the last 3 months to really think about what I want and need moving forward. Aside from a couple of very quick trips to Mexico, I haven’t left Maine and I needed to do that to be sure what I thought I wanted was also what I needed. What I wanted? To settle in, not to settle down. Settle in to a space that was my own, have that independence that I always felt on the road while still having a routine- my own home base, build the relationships I already have into something stronger and create new, strong, and beautiful relationships, and explore more of the mountains and trails here in New England. Turns out, what I wanted was also what I needed. I found my new home in Portland- a city I’ve always loved, I’ve built strong, loving and fulfilling relationships, and I’ve began to explore my new backyard (well as much as possible during a Maine winter). Settling in was just what I needed. My priorities have shifted and honoring that was the best thing I could have done for myself. Not to mention, this mini break from traveling has me more excited than ever (India level of excitement) to get back on the road in April. Three new countries ahead of me: Italy, Belize and the Cook Islands.
Getting to this point in my life and being able to write all of this was something I never thought would happen. It felt like my head was always going to be cloudy, that I was only using travel as a means to run, and that I was constantly lonely. I also didn’t think this sort of self reflection and self growth was possible for me. But damn, was I wrong. I do wish I knew a few things already when going through the last few years instead of having to learn it all on my own. So to honor that, I want to share 27 things I’ve learned during my 27 years of life in the hopes that at least one thing in this list helps you get through whatever you’re growing through.
- All situations and feelings are temporary.
- But when you’re sad, make sure you still find a reason to smile. Even if that’s scrolling through Instagram watching funny dog videos. Don’t let yourself get stuck in the sadness for too long. Honor the sadness and snap out of it.
- Being creative and finding hobbies that you love is important for mental AND physical health.
- It’s ok to admit when you’re unhappy and it’s ok to ask for help.
- When you don’t feel strong enough to do something alone, lean on other people.
- It’s also okay to be independent and not ask for help, even though you might need it.
- Being lost, in all ways, is ok and sometimes leads to quite incredible experience and changes.
- Quarter life crises are SO real. I should know, I quit my job and booked a one way to Australia during mine.
- Your skin changes. And it changes fast. Take care of it. And no, I don’t mean botox. I mean taking care of it from the inside out. Nourish it with healthy foods, supplements and lots of water. Your insides will thank you too.
- Don’t take for granted the time you spend with yourself. And don’t interpret the time you spend with yourself as ‘loneliness.’
- Everyone’s journey is different. Don’t compare yours to others.
- For the love, journal. Try to make a habit out of it and go back to re-read your thoughts and discover how much you’ve grown since writing those words.
- Who you are is not your circumstances – the kind of car you drive, house you live in, your yearly income, your job- who you are is what’s inside and who you surround yourself with.
- Always look to others for advice when you have absolutely no idea what to do. For me, that has always been my sister but especially in the last 4 years- we’ve grown so close. I’m not afraid to admit I lean on her when I have absolutely no idea what the fuck I am doing.
- If it feels right, do it. Whatever that might be. Go with your gut, as the kids say.
- In a such a social world, become more private.
- Passions are ever changing and are always being discovered. So, if you haven’t found something yet, don’t worry. You will get there. Keep exploring.
- Listen first, then speak. Communication is one of the hardest human interactions to master. But when you listen and take a minute to respond, it becomes so much easier and so much more effective.
- If a relationship no longer serves you, you have every right to walk away from it.
- Put yourself first. Plain and simple. At 24, I learned making myself a priority was long overdue so I’ve been a lil selfish ever since.
- Just going to throw it out there because it’s given me the space to grow in ways I never thought possible – travel. As much as you can and as far as you can.
- Love and be vulnerable. Even if it scares the shit out of you because…
- Heartbreak will happen. And it will happen more than once whether it’s in a relationship or friendship.
- These will be the most transformative years of your life because you’re finally becoming who you were always meant to be.
- Don’t waste your 20’s thinking you should achieve any specific thing by a certain age. Just promise yourself you will make the most out of your years and live them out fully.
- You will grow through everything you go through.
- Have patience and don’t be in a hurry. With yourself, your situation and other people. Learn to appreciate the slow and steady pace of this life, everything you are meant to have will come. Just have patience.