𝟑𝟔𝟓 𝐃𝐀𝐘𝐒 𝐀𝐆𝐎, I was a little drunk on champagne as my flight to Bangkok took off, just as NYC decided to declare a state of emergency. As I woke up this morning in the magical town of Tepoztlan, Mexico, I recounted what I experienced that fateful day exactly one year ago.
I woke up early in the morning, said goodbye to my then boyfriend, dropped off a package at the post office, made breakfast, finished packing and then got into my dad’s car where he drove me to the airport.
I was extremely excited and a little nervous. The airport seemed less busy than usual. A lot of people cancelled their flights and decided to stay home. My mom tried to persuade me not to go. I, on the other hand, was on the verge of realizing a dream. I was determined, stubborn and head strong. I didn’t know what would await me. I just knew this was something outside of my comfort zone and I was diving in deep. I no longer had a corporate career to tie up my time. I have no debt. I have no other responsibilities except to, finally, take a chance on myself and what I wanted in life.
One year later, I sit here and laugh to myself. What a beautiful life. I think of how much growth has taken place. From being anxious and worried about everything, planning and booking things in advance to showing up into towns without any accommodations or plans. From being awkward and insecure and distrusting (okay probably still a little bit) to accepting invites to spend New Years with a bunch of strangers (and later some of my favorite friends in Mexico) at a cabin by a lake. Because I’ve realized this: that whatever happens, I will be okay. Whether it’s me figuring something out or the generosity of friends and strangers that I meet during my travels, I will always be okay. Everything will always work out.
I really thought it would be a quick three months and I’d be back. I would have all my sh*t figured out, my existential crisis would have pretty much been solved (uhhhh, yeah right) and I would just get on it with. Well, guess what? Life seems to just happen and you have to go with the flow. Don’t fight the current or you’ll end up drowning. Follow your intuition, your impulses and your joy. The more something scares you, the more you should say ‘yes’. Because it’s never as bad as your mind tricks you into thinking it will be. Actually, those are some of my favorite moments.
In this timespan, I’ve managed to: get rejected by bike shops and then finally convincing one to rent me a motorbike without knowing how to drive one, chilled at beach bonfires, lived in a monastery at a silent vipassana retreat (I only lasted 3 days), swam in waterfalls, jumped off of waterfalls, gone naked night swimming under the stars, sweated my butt off at ecstatic dances and 24+ hour secret beach raves, attended women’s circles, moon ceremonies, took a vintage overnight train, went scuba diving, participated in an art exhibition, burnt myself at the beach, lived in hostels, beach bungalows and even a luxury villa, slept on the beach, struggled to breathe while hiking mountains, learned how to SLOW THE F DOWN, learned how to open my heart up again and love, stared into space (and the view), witnessed some of the most magical sunrises and sunsets, halo moons and rainbows, leaned on gratitude gratitude gratitude, cried and laughed for no reason, felt extremely lonely and insecure and also ecstatically happy and feel, finally, more alive than I ever have.
So, 365 days later, I’ve gained the following:
– one 200hr yoga teacher certification (meditation and classes coming soon, probably…)
– two motorbike scars on my feet (fun stories here)
– countless friends and soul family members (I LOVE YOU!)
– one nose piercing (because I couldn’t get a flight into Greece)
– one tattoo (because I saw a random flyer at a hostel)
– a novel’s worth of memories, inspiration and experiences
– and more courage than I can handle
One year ago, I had no idea I would have spent 9 months in Thailand and then moved onto spending now almost 4 months in Mexico. I had no idea there were people out here, traveling and doing the same thing and that the Universe was going to align our paths. That I would encounter people that have changed my life, challenged my perspective, supported me and helped me grow. I find myself in awe and shock when I scrolled through my photos, remembering that everywhere I have gone, there was always LOVE.
I’m not telling everyone to travel for an extended amount of time. I’m just saying that beyond the 9 to 5, you can live life any way you choose. There are options. Get creative. You might offer up reasons on why you can’t. I’ve met people who travel for half the year and then work the other half of the year. People who created businesses that pretty much run themselves so that they can afford to travel. People that volunteer and do work exchanges at farms or schools. The truth is, my previous chapter was comfortable. Really comfortable. Stable. Secure. I could pretty much predict everything that was going to happen. I could tell you what my weekdays were like and my weekends, like clockwork. It’s like the warmth of your mother’s womb. And maybe your dream isn’t to travel. It doesn’t have to be. But somewhere inside you, there is a seed that’s been burrowed in there since you were born. Something that lights you up in the most spectacular ways.
So, if, somehow, you’ve been feeling like there’s something missing or that you’ve been looking for something, figure out what you want. Take some time to listen to yourself. Get quiet, tell your mind to take a seat and let your heart speak up. And just take the first step. Follow that first glimpse of happiness and joy and trust that whatever happens is meant for you. That every struggle or challenge comes up because the Universe knows that you can handle it. And maybe it doesn’t mean that whatever you do, it’s your ‘forever dream’. It just means that it’s one step into the unfolding of realizing your own path, wherever it may lead you.
And even though it’s been one full year on this journey, somehow I feel like this is only the beginning of something great…Thank you for following along this journey. ❤️