Things I have learned from travelers and by being a traveler…
Hiya from Boston! I think the last time I wrote a legitimate post was a long time ago while I was in Australia. So sorry for that. I kind of fell off the map (literally). Anyways, over the past year and a half I have had the amazing opportunity to spend time traveling on my own and experiencing plenty of new and different places (and people.) So in honor of the new year…2 weeks late, I thought it would be a good time to share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned that I want to apply going forward into 2014.
1. Say “yes” to opportunities and experiences (once in a lifetime and common)
I know this sounds normal. But I didn’t realize how much I was saying “no” to things or would postpone things until it was too late. I would pass up opportunities that I thought would maybe come around again or that I didn’t seem too interested in. However once I started saying “yes” to even the little things, I found myself feeling that I was much happier and finding new things I liked…sometimes activities that I would usually write off.
2. Try to meet someone new everyday…and have a conversation with them.
Okay, this is more of a goal than an actual revelation but I found it really helpful in allowing myself to really open up to the people around me. I also found myself making new connections and creating relationships with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise talked to. And now I regard some of these people as my closest companions.
3. Everyone has a story. We just need to listen.
Some of the most amazing people I have met have been times where I just allowed myself to listen to the other person. Whether it be at a local pub in London or the dining hall on campus, some of the best connections I have made have been when I stop thinking about “me, me, me” and allow myself to be the sounding board for someone else. By doing this, I have had the opportunity to listen to some pretty inspirational stories of heartbreak/loss and the triumph that comes after it.
4. Embrace the silly and embarrassing
Because in the end they are good memories to laugh about, and I could always have more laughs in my life.
5. There’s no need to try and grow up so quickly
I’ve made friends with people of all different ages and I always thought that the reason my much older friends liked being around me was because I behaved like a mature adult. But I’ve come to realize, I’m still basically a kid inside. I blow bubbles in my chocolate milk, jump in puddles, and still have a very idealistic view of the world. So what was it that allowed our strong bond to form with these people older than myself by several years? They had refused to let go of their inner child as well. And while I’m not a total advocate for Peter Pan syndrome, I’ve learned that approaching life with the mind of a child allows for one to become more open and less critical of the world we life in. It allows us to embrace our world with its corruption and flaws and say “Hey, I’m going to take whatever good there is left and roll with it.” I’ve found I am much happier living moment to moment compared to planning out every step of my life.
6. Trust the good in people, not everyone has a hidden agenda
I was raised by two lovely parents who both had grown up in New York, worked in New York City during the 80s, and do not give out their trust easily. So naturally, I grew up with this idea that it is okay to be kind to people but don’t trust them right away, which is fine and definitely kept me safe as a kid. However, traveling by myself and having to do various things on my own I found that asking for help and trusting people was my best option if I didn’t want to get lost in the middle of a foreign city. The more I put trust into other people, the more I realized that more often than not these people truly wanted to help me out. Now, this doesn’t mean trusting the creepy guy who wants to lead you down an alleyway is a good idea. Intuition is something we all have and if you’re gut says, “No,” don’t go.
7. (Last one!) Trust yourself!
Over this last year and a half, I have realized that one of the most important things I can do is to believe and trust in myself. Having confidence in my abilities as a young woman has allowed me to conquer many battles, from making new friends in college to getting myself from one side of a country to another without missing a plane. I have found that I have more tools in my toolbox than I realized and that I am more of problem solver than I had ever had thought. Trusting myself has allowed me to take on new challenges with a force and find out more about myself as a person than I could ever have imagined.
So happy (belated) new year loves. May this year bring the best of luck and new adventures.