My Adventure 

I’m writing this whilst sat on the most beautiful beach that I have discovered. White sand surrounds me and clear blue water laps at my feet. I’m sat under a palm tree on a little towel with only a few other beach goers joining me in this tiny paradise. All sounds so cliche and idilic doesn’t it! 

My adventure is about to come to an end, I have a few days left in Vietnam before I make my journey home. At the beginning of my travels I decided not to put a time span on how long my trip would be, I said that I would come home when I was ready to. A few weeks ago I decided that that time was coming soon so I hopped online and booked some flights! (I have also run out of money, but we shan’t worry about that!)

The truth is, I have realised how amazing my family and friends are. How much I love my home and how much it all means to me. I love routine and a certain amount of stability, so travelling long term, at the moment, is not for me. When I think of home I am filled with an overwhelming feeling of love and happiness, and personally I think that I am incredibly lucky to feel like that. 

Now that is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed travelling. I have had THE best experience of my life. I have gained some very special friends, I have seen some extremely wonderful places, I’ve eaten amazing food, I have stayed in lovely places and I have developed hugely as a person. I have achieved so much more than I expected to and learnt a huge amount about myself and the world, and that is all that I set out to do. 

I have had the privilege of traveling with new friends, old friend and alone. All of which have been amazing experiences. Those of you close to me know that at times I struggled being alone, but on reflection the time I spent alone was probably the most precious. There is something very magical about having the world to yourself. Yes, it brings up problems, but you have to solve those issues and as a result you become stronger. Travelling with others is a much more comfortable and easy experience, and I definitely had the most fun during those times. But I am lucky to have experienced both ways of travelling! 

I am excited to be coming home, a little sad to be drawing an end to this adventure, but I know that there will be so many more to come. I have a bank of incredible memories stored away in my head and that is the most special thing. When people say that travelling is the best thing you’ll ever do, they aren’t lying. You may not ‘find yourself’, but you’ll definitely ‘find out’ a lot. 

Advertisements

Happiness

Happiness is a very personal thing. What works for someone may work terribly for someone else. We all have our own personalised recipe to make happiness for ourselves. However, it can take a little while to find all the ingredients, and those ingredients tend to change over time (Blimey, I always find a way to makes things about food)!

The point that I’m trying to make is that we are all different and have different needs. Finding the things that make you tick is critical to living a good life, and we all want to be happy right? So instead of fighting yourself and stopping yourself from doing things that genuinely make your life light up, embrace what makes you happy.

I’ve really realised this a lot whilst travelling. I struggled with thinking that I should be out drinking and partying, I should be enjoying sharing a room with 6 sweaty human beings I don’t know, I should be loving a rocky boat crossing and I should love being ill multiple times. But in reality I didn’t really enjoy any of those things, but that’s fine because that’s just me! Learning to let go of what you ‘should’ be doing and thinking is hard, but when your happiness is at stake it is an important lesson to learn. The sooner you find out what you do and don’t find joy in, the easier it is to make better choices.

Of course, there are times in life that we have to do certain tasks that we don’t like doing, spend time with people we aren’t that fond of or work in a job we hate. Unfortunately that is part of life. However, we can try our best to limit the amount of time we spend doing these things, or balance them out with things we love. Don’t be afraid to make choices for your own happiness, just be kind to others whilst doing so. 

Embrace what you love, whatever it may be. Respect that we are all unique and enjoy different things. Go out and just have fun doing what you want to do!!

Real Talk

Now before you start reading this is a pretty personal post. It’s not meant to be a ‘hey poor me’ essay, I’m writing this because at least one person out there will be able to relate to it and find comfort in it in one way or another. Or not, you may just think I’m really weird, and I’m totally cool with that, ha!

For such a long time I have been so unkind to myself, always doing what I thought I ‘should’ be doing instead of what my soul really wanted. Desperately seeking comfort and quick gratification I have always turned to food (the fat girl in me dying to get out). Binging until I felt sick, then despising myself, only to regain control and momentarily feel good about myself because I was being so restrictive. The cycle was never ending. There was no balance to that, not a healthy relationship with food at all. I would constantly tear myself apart in the mirror, compare myself to others, compare myself to old pictures of myself, compare myself to what I thought was perfect. And I still do that.

When times were really bad I would cancel plans, I would call in sick to work, I’d tell people that I was ill. Thankfully things haven’t been that bad for a while, but there have still been times in the not so distant past. Along with all of this came anxiety, something that travelling has taught me is still quite a big issue of mine. 

Relationships have failed because of all of this, which in turn made me more self critical. I used sex as a way to make myself feel better about myself, sometimes at the expense of others, and that is something that I can never make ok, or will never be proud of. I would use social media as a little confidence booster, which only lead to further comparisons to be made and more pressure loaded onto myself.

Exercise has also been something that I have abused. It has saved me from myself in some ways, but has also helped me to become my own worst enemy. After binging I would over exercise to make up for the excessive eating. Over the past few years this has become less of an issue, but I have still regularly pushed my body to the point of complete exhaustion so that I could maintain my shape. Working in the fitness industry has its advantages and disadvantages on your mental state when you have issues with body imagine and food. 

Coming away has made me realise just how hard on myself I am. Being stripped away from my routine, the gym, comfort food and my family has been very hard for me, but has been the best thing that I have ever done, it’s completely pushed me out of my comfort zone. I thought I had my life together, but travelling has shaken that up and made me look at my world from a different perspective. I still have a huge amount to learn, but that’s exciting. Each and every one of us has something that we are dealing with, small or big. We are often way too quick to judge others or compare ourselves to them instead of focusing on what really matters, yourself.

There is nothing appealing about having an unhealthy relationship with yourself for the rest of your life. For so long I have been trying to fix myself with the wrong things, not really addressing the actual issues. I have come a long way for sure, and despite the problems that I have, I have always been happy. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful life and amazing family and friends. But there has always been a niggling voice of doubt in my mind. For me, this is a turning point. Instead of always doing what I think I ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ be doing, I am going to truly be kind to myself and listen to exactly what my heart wants. Obviously this is an ongoing thing, changes don’t just happen overnight, and that is ok. I have so much to be grateful for, now it’s time to really fix my relationship with myself and let go of the past.

Excuse the bathroom selfie but whilst travelling alone it’s hard to get photos of yourself haha!

Week 3

3 weeks into my adventure and I am feeling the happiest I have ever felt. Bali is incredible. After 2 weeks in remote Sumatra, I have finally found my peaceful place and fallen in love with travelling. It sounds cliche, I know, but people aren’t lying when they say that travelling is the best thing that you will ever do. 

Coming away has made me realise and learn so much. We really do not need material things to be content. We do not need to scrutinise ourselves so much. We do not need compare our lives to others. We do not need things to make us happy. It’s the people and experiences that we have in life that decipher how ‘good’ our lives are. Ok, I didn’t need to come half way around the world to realise that, I was aware of all of that at home. However, I did need to put myself in challenging situations and shove myself out of my comfort zone to REALLY understand these things.

We put immense pressure on ourselves in far too many aspects of our lives. Before I came away I was way too hard on myself in terms of diet and exercise, where as here, I am gradually really learning to find balance with that. I have also decided to delete my Instagram account as for me it was a time waster and a fake reflection of my life. Every time I scrolled through the feed I would be subcontiously comparing myself to thousands of people instead of focusing on how good my life already is. 

I’m slowly starting to really connect with what I truly love and enjoy. A simple life is by far a happier life for me. Everyone is different, but realising what matters to you is one of the best feelings in the world. 

I have 3 more weeks left to explore Bali and the surrounding islands and then I am heading to the Philippines. Very grateful and lucky to be on my little adventure! 

Indonesia – Sumatra

Different smells, unusual sounds, breathtaking experiences, amazing people, questionable hygiene, new food, volcano hikes, jungle treks, monkeys, elephants, lizards, bed bugs, long bus journeys, poorly tummies, squat toilets, millions of bottles of water, beautiful boat journeys, sleeping in the middle of the jungle, creepy haunted rooms, 30 minute workouts, loads of fun, tonnes of laughter, and so many mixed emotions. The past two weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind to say the least. Coming away on my own has already opened my eyes to so many things, but I know there is still so much more to come. 

In all honesty I have found the first 14 days pretty challenging. People tell you that travelling is amazing and wonderful, and it is, very much so. However, when you take a girl that’s used to routine, working out daily, eating healthily and being close to her family – it is quite a challenge. Coming away on your own pushes you in ways I didn’t expect, but that is why I decided to go. Nothing can prepare you for certain things, but it is a fantastic experience. 

I’m currently writing this sitting in my hotel room in Jakarta. Sumatra has been such an incredible adventure, but I am very excited about heading to Bali tomorrow. I have a yoga retreat booked and I’m ready to spend a lot of time on the beaches!! I’ve spent the last two weeks with a great bunch of people, and without them it wouldn’t have been the same. 
Time for the next part of my adventure! 



The Beginning 

So my adventure begins!!

I am flying to Medan in Indonesia. Back in March I finally ventured into my local STA travel shop and booked my flights and the first leg of my journey. After deciding I was going alone I thought it would be a good idea to book one of their organised tours that they do (so that I don’t turn up in a new country like a headless chicken and get the first flight back home). I will be meeting a group of 8-10 people (that I don’t know) and we will be travelling through Sumatra and Jakarta, all the way to Bali. So for the first few weeks, I’m not going to be completely on my own, phew!

However, this is the first time I have flown alone, first time I have been to Asia and the first time I’ve done anything like this. I made the decision to go by myself because it means that I can do whatever I want, and get the most out of my travels. I will be meeting friends along the way, and that is incredibly exciting, but this trip has always been my time to be selfish. Not in a horrible way, but I want it to be my journey.

The past week has been full of emotions; happy, sad, terrified. I’ve been so excited I could burst and so nervous I could hide away. Basically I’ve been a bit all over the place to say the least. This has been something that I have always wanted to do, but have just been too much of a pansy to actually go and do. I have put it off due to work, relationships and personal doubts, but now is the right time. I am comfortable with myself as a person and I know I can handle most things. However, I also know I have a huge amount of self development to do, and what better way to learn about the world than to go an explore it! 

The unknown is a unnerving thing, but in terms of development, it is crucial. If we stay in our comfort zones our whole life we won’t grow or learn new things. Being away from my family and friends is hugely out of my comfort zone, but knowing I can call or text them makes that a little easier. So her I go! Wish me luck! 

Pre Travel Anxiety

I have suffered with anxiety for as long as I can remember. Growing up I was always a ‘worrier’. Now that I am older I have learnt how to mange stressful times, but it can still get the better of me every now and then. As I’m going to be blogging whilst travelling, I want to keep it all as honest and as real as possible. I am under no illusion that it is going to be magical 100% of the time, so I don’t want to pretend that it is. I want to document my travels and keep the experiences as real and as raw as possible. 

So the first part of travelling, for me, is the anxiety that comes along with it. Quitting your job, getting rid of commitments and deciding to go for however long you fancy is incredible, but it also comes with a huge bucket full of emotions. For the past few weeks I have been buzzing with excitement, but at times the nerves creep in. Particularly in the last 7 days. 

Every bone in my body is overwhelmed with the prospect of what is to come. I know I’m about to have a crazy adventure and have some of the best times of my life. However, I am stepping hugely outside of my comfort zone. That happy bubble I’ve lived in my whole life is about to be shaken up. The past year has been a very interesting one and I’ve learnt to go with the flow a lot more, but, I am a self confessed control freak so packing my life into a backpack and going around the world thrills me, but also scares the shit out of me.

One of the main reasons I am embarking on this little adventure is so that I can learn even more about myself, and face some of my fears. We all have things that we need to tackle head on, and staying in the same routine and place doesn’t always give you the challenges that you need. So, despite the anxiety that I am feeling in the run up to the big day (13th September), I cannot wait to hop on that plane and live my life! Just 2 more nervous weeks to get through and then the adventure can begin. 

Counting Down

I have been rubbish at blogging recently. My travels plans are hurtling towards me, at what seems like rocket speed, and I have been very busy working, training and organising things. It feels very surreal that I will be going on a massive adventure in just over 3 weeks time! 

About a week ago I had a bit of a freak out about everything, not because I didn’t want to go, the nerves just started to get the better of me. A lot of people have been saying that I will never come back, but that has never been the plan. I love my life here, I just want to explore new things and see what opportunities come my way. This is the first time I have completely let go of any expectations or the need to have plans, and it is incredibly refreshing. 

Once you stop thinking about what might/could happen you start to get rid of the worry and the doubt that starts to creep into your mind. I have no idea what my path holds for me next, and I am completely at peace with that. That is what makes life so exciting. Every twist and turn is a new lesson to learn. 

Throughout my travels I will be blogging a lot and posting thousands of pictures (apologies in advance). But for the next couple of weeks I will be finishing work, cramming in plenty of training and spending time with friends and family! But I am so excited I could burst!!!

The Rollercoaster Year

I am all for living in the now, but sometimes looking back isn’t such a bad thing. Especially when it makes you realise just how far you have come. This time last year I was head over heels in love, had moved out from my parents house and had just set up my own business. The perfect life right? I thought so too. The universe had presented me with everything I had ever wanted. However, what I didn’t realise at the time, is that none of these things were perminant, they were all just big HUGE life lessons that I had not yet learnt. And boy, did I need to learn a thing or two. 

Without boring you too much with the nitty gritty details, the path I thought I was heading on, completely changed, and every quickly. My relationship ended and it broke my heart, my business failed because I was in an awful place mentally (yeah I am happy to hold my hands up and admit that) and I am back at home with my parents. But would I change a thing? ABSOLUTELY NOT. 

I have blogged out the law of attraction in the past, but I will reiterate it again. The universe will present you with exactly what you need, when you need it. Whatever you require to help you to grow, you will get. All you need to do is be open to the lessons that come along with it. Getting what you have always wanted isn’t necessarily as wonderful as it sounds. In my case it initially brought me excitement and joy, but it also came along with a huge amount of pain and confusion. Obviously, at the time, it never seems good when things don’t go as planned, or when you are hurt, but believe me, these can be the most beautiful times of your life. 

Getting the chance to rebuild yourself and take real care of yourself is one of the most rewarding things that can happen to you. When you have reached lows, you appreciate the highs ten times more. When you have been hurt, you realise how important it is to really love and care for yourself. When you have disappointed yourself, you realise just how amazing it feels to make yourself proud. 

In the past 12 months I have learnt more about myself than I ever have before. So my point is, be grateful for your past – every single part of it. Take time to learn from the negative experiences and build new positives one from them. A year ago I never thought it was going to be possible to fulfil my dream of travelling, but I’m now less than 5 weeks away from a huge adventure. Now that is definitely something to be grateful for. 

Keep Learning 

We never completely master life. Our paths are full of twists and turns, in fact sometimes it feels like we are going round in circles. The universe is constantly helping us to develop and grow by giving us situations to learn important lessons from, however, if we do not learn what we are supposed to, lessons will keep repeating themselves until we do. 

If you find yourself in the same situation often, look at things differently and take a different approach. See if it helps you leap forward on your path, instead of staying in what feels like the same place. When we continually react and act in the same way, we are not developing. When we think we know everything, we are not learning. We aren’t supposed to know everything, life is fascinating and exciting. Get interested in what life has to teach you.