Oh me Oh my!!! I’ve been at this Travel Life for 11 months as of today March 17, 2015.
10 flights. 7 countries. 1 backpack. And countless crazy, silly, fun memories….
What have I learned in the past 11 months??? SO FREAKING MUCH. About me. About other people. About relationships. About the world. And about life in general.
Here are 11 things I’ve learned in my 11 months of Traveling in Europe….
1. Life is all about doing what excites you – To me the beauty of travel is the unknown. I never know who I may meet that day, or what food I may taste, or a new word in a foreign language I may learn — it’s spontaneous, it’s exciting, and it is what makes me feel fully alive!
Hiking in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain (off the coast of Morocco)
2. Living on less ROCKS – Living out of small backpack with minimal things has been so freaking EASY and simple. Gone are my days of trying on 10 outfits before I find one that I “kind of like”. It takes me all of 15 minutes to shower and get ready nowadays — which gives me more time to enjoy my life.
When it arrived in the mail I was like HOLY shit — this is gonna be interesting! Ended up being the PERFECT choice!
3. Listen to other people’s advice… and then do what you want to do anyway – I’ve learned to trust my gut even more… those “gut feelings” are significant! Whether it’s feeling another person’s energy and intentions… or breaking off a good relationship with a guy who was super nice BUT I knew wasn’t going to be my forever… I have learned to listen to people (like REALLY listen)… but then ultimately make decisions based on my thoughts and feelings.
4. SPEAK up – I’ve always been an expressive person and love to share stories and experiences with others. More recently I’ve learned to REALLY speak up in regards to my thoughts, feelings, life lessons etc… Have an opinion — and express it!
5. Most People Are AWESOME – I’ve met so many amazing, generous, interesting, kind, funny, silly, and FUN people in my travels. So many people have offered their homes and dinner tables to me — it has been such a loving and fulfilling experience.
AWESOME international friends I met in Rome….from Chile & Australia
6. Drinking a Glass of Wine with Lunch Does Not Mean You are Unproductive – It’s part of the culture in Italy and Spain to enjoy a glass of wine with lunch. People here sit, enjoy, laugh, indulge, and look into your eyes when you speak to them! During my busy days when I was working in the USA I barely even SAT DOWN to eat my lunch. Now I find myself having a TWO hour lunch with amazing food and conversation (literally… I just did today with a Sicilian girl I met here my first night).
Summer Wine in air conditioned spaces = perfect wait to beat Madrid summer heat
7. Traveling is NOT Expensive…. at ALL – I feel if you want to travel… you can. Yes you do need a small bit of money to get around. But I’ve still spent less than $5,000 in these 11 months!!! Even if you asked me to, I can not put a price tag on all the incredible memories I have made — they are priceless!
8. Find the JOY in all situations – I’ve slept on a floor. I’ve run out of money. I was driven around London in an Audi R8 (50 Shades of Grey whaaaat whaaat). I’ve drank homemade limoncello. I’ve sunbathed topless in Spain (so liberating!). I rode a bike through pitch black streets in Tenerife. No matter where I find myself I am so freaking grateful.
This will do for sightseeing in London -)
9. It’s OK to wear the same clothes 3 days in a ROW…. NO ONE CARES – It happens sometimes when you live out of a backpack. I still get a teeny bit self conscious when I wear the same outfit ALL THE TIME around the same people. But at the end of the day… I know they don’t care. Laughing and enjoying each other’s company is what matters!
I often like to joke, “Hey! Do you like my new outfit? I just bought it yesterday?” — and then people laugh in my face 😉
9. Stop self-criticizing and just enjoy yourself DAMNIT! – I’m a Virgo. I’m a super thinker. I analyze the shit out of most situations. I have a constant stream of opinions and thoughts in my head at all times. I don’t expect myself to be perfect — but I would (and still sometimes do) put A LOT of pressure on myself to be better. Whether it’s eating healthier, exercising more, or working on a project… it’s my natural state to want to GO GO GO. I’ve learned to let go and just freaking enjoy myself! Live in the here and now. Pay attention to those around you — FULLY (for all your phone addicts out there…. put down your damn phone already — it’s super rude!). Refer back to the “glass of wine with lunch”. In the USA I would tell myself that that is not appropriate…. WHY NOT? Live your freaking life and enjoy!
10. Let your weird hang out… sometimes – If you ask any of my closest friends to describe me they would most likely say “free-spirited” — which I think is a polite of saying I’m weird haha! With travel I meet other “free-spirited” people, which makes me be even more “ME”. And I’m starting to notice the more “ME” I am, the more people are attracted to my personality and spirit!
The things I do to try to get my pin straight hair to curl. Ei yei yei. It’s an endless battle.
11. If you want something in LIFE… take action – Create your vision of what you want in all aspects of your life… and then get after it! Aint no one gonna hand you your dreams. Take one step towards what you WANT… and you will discover that more of what you want will come your way — it’s the law of attraction baby!!!