At the end of each year, countless people around the world look back at the events and experiences they gained in the past 365 days. From there, they make an assessment or a comparison to what they had promised themselves the year prior. More often than not, a comparison to the accomplishments of those in their social circle are made.
The endless lists. New Year Resolutions. Life goals. Promises.
It begs the question – How constructive is this exercise???
The answer probably depends on the individual’s personality and if those promises were fulfilled within 365 days.
Personally I can say this type of year end assessment can get me down. If it was a good year, great. If it was not so good, then you know, I’ll feel down for a while, mope around and have to switch my perspective and reset.
The last couple years, with me leaving the corporate world and being an “anomaly” in the eyes of my family, friends and the general society – year end assessments can be deadly.
My accomplishments are NOT tangible – period.
I cannot say, I got a promotion within the company.
Mom, I got a “raise” – is a thing of the past.
I did not meet the love of my life – but I know the prospects are getting better.
I did not get engaged. No bling to show – other than my fake wedding band to deter unwanted suitors while traveling.
I did not get pregnant – thank God – I see single mothers and single fathers as Super Heroes.
I did not buy a new house or condo.
Neither did I get a new set of dishes.
I have got nothing much to show for “Show and Tell.”
My passport is filled with many entry and exit stamps from various countries.
I have a pile of boarding pass stubs and credit card receipts from various hotels and hostels.
I have met a vast variety of friends with extremely interesting and diverse lifestyles, whom I would never have met if I stayed in Toronto. From them, I know there is a world outside of the nine to five mentality. That it IS possible to make a sustainable living in the most unexpected way.
I have learned to set boundaries and speak up when my life was threatened – unexpectedly inside a McDonald’s in Geneva, Switzerland. Who woulda thunk!
My spontaneity and ability to make lemons into lemonade appeared when their attendance was necessary. An overnight train was delayed and left me stranded in an empty Spanish train station at 3am, I befriended the station master and shared laughs. I even ended up with an unexpected day trip in the beautiful port city of A Coruña, Spain before my final destination in Santiago de Compostela.
When synchronicity showed up in Greece, I follow that lead and ended up resolving past life events in Paris.
It took a very long time but realizing and understanding proper self-care which includes having fun, proper exercise, eating well, getting sufficient rest and making connections; leads to actualizing self-worth and self-respect. This in turn increases self-confidence. It is less and less frequent that I seek external approval of my actions. I am gaining faith in self-trust. It’s been a long, winding road, and loaded with challenges – these 39 years has been quite the ride.
Most of all, I have learned many – hard life lessons.
Tangible, it is not.
For me, traveling is not just getting on an airplane to fly to an unknown destination.
For me, it’s more than just going to the touristic locations, eating at a restaurant someone recommended and taking photos to proof I was there.
Travel – to me, is about noticing the nuances. It’s about learning, understanding, growing.
Travel – opens my eyes, opens my mind, opens my heart.
Start Where You ARE – these four words has been echoing in my head lately. They were spoken frequently during my yoga teacher training, last year.
There is no need for perfection.
Any moment is the exact moment to start anew.
No need to look outside.
No need to look at those around me.
Just look within. It is all there. All the tools.
All the skills – they are all inside.
I have to keep reminding myself of this.
Travel is what I want to share. Help me, Help you.
I would be honored to be your tour guide.