Tag Archives: Life lessons

May what you touch be touched

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You don’t have to eat tofu.

You don’t have to read the books that people say you should read, or watch the TV shows people think you should be watching.

You don’t have to spend an hour scrolling through someone that you went to school with ten years ago’s holiday photos.

You don’t have to go to a spin class.

You don’t have to explain yourself to anybody.

You don’t have to feel your heart rate rise when you read articles about the tango-haired sex pest who resides in the White House.

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You do have to do your tax return.

You do have to be passionate.

You do have to make something, even if it’s just a big mess or a horrible noise.

You do have to clean the bathroom.

You do have to show up to work on time when you’d rather spend the day watching Netflix and drinking tea.

You do have to get your face in the sun when you’re feeling sad.

You do have to water the plants.

You do have to spend the day doing the things you’d be happy to die doing.

You do have to take in life’s wonders.

You do have to be kind.

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May what you touch be touched.

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11 lessons I’ve learnt whilst travelling

We’re coming towards the end of our trip (NOOOOOO) with only seven weeks left until we fly from Bangkok to Gatwick. I’ve recently become reflective and I was thinking about the things I’ve learnt and decided to write a post about it before I’m sat at home on the sofa and I’ve forgotten everything. So here it is… Eleven lessons I’ve learnt whilst travelling.

1) Trust people

99% of people are kind and helpful. As I’m writing this, nothing bad has happened to us, so TOUCH WOOD… But we’ve had so many situations where people have been like “You’re going to Hiroshima? You’re on the wrong train! Get off quick!”
There was that time where we hitch-hiked in New Zealand and we’ve stayed in people’s houses we’ve never met before. When somebody says “I need to take your passport down to road to get your boat ticket,” just give them the passport!

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2) At the same time, be sensible and look after yourself

It’s important to look after your valuables, keep your wits about you and if you end up wandering around somewhere dodgy-looking at 3am, just get a taxi!

3) If someone invites you to do something, say yes

When someone I’ve just met asks me “do you want to play a drinking game?” Or “would you like to have dinner with me and my family?” My inner introvert panics at the thought of an impeding awkward situation and my instinct is always to make some kind of excuse. But I’ve learnt that you should always say yes, and good experiences always come out of it.

You’ll meet some amazing people who are equally as poor as you, and you’ll end up having a Box/chicken party It’s cheap!

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4) You’ll have crazy highs and a couple of crazy lows
Sometimes travelling feels like you’re in a happy musical. (No really, I literally twirled around and cried with happiness in New York and screamed when we saw the Hollywood sign.) And to balance life out, you’ll spend a few hours crying on the toilet because you’re so ill, and you’ll scream “what am I doing with my life??!!” in torrential downpour wondering why you’ve found yourself at the top of a slippy ladder in a pear tree.

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5) A smile goes a long way
There are places in the world where you’ll get hassled a lot. When it’s hot and you’ve got your backpack on it’s easy to get your feathers ruffled and want to yell “bugger off, I’ve been walking for half an hour and I can’t find my hostel!!!!!!” But I’ve learnt that to smile and say “no thank you” is the best way around it, and you won’t feel as stressed.

5) Living out of a bag gives you perspective about things
I’ve never been particularly materialistic and I’ve always preferred a good book over shoes, but living out of a 65litre rucksack for ten months gives you a good perspective on the stuff you don’t need. It took me a month or so to relearn what my face looks like without make up, but think I’m actually happier with less stuff. I feel calmer and less cluttered. Okay, so I totally didn’t have a meltdown when my favourite dress got a stain on it…. But yeah. Less is more when it comes to backpacking. Oh, and Kindles are one of the BEST things in the entire world. (That’s a sentence I never thought I’d say)

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6) You’ll also get perspective on stress an it’s effect on the body
Of all the places I’ve been, the ones with the fastest pace of life and visibly stressed people are America, Japan, and the good old United Kingdom. I honestly think we all work far too hard to save money for holidays and stuff we don’t need so we can forget about the rubbish climate. (Massive generalisation…I know. Maybe I’m just a summer person.)
When we’d been travelling for around a month, I felt the muscles in my jaw loosening. My eczema that I’ve had nearly all my life has completely disappeared and those paralysing migraines I get about once every six weeks? Well guess how many I’ve had in eight months?… One.
I’m not writing this to make anyone jealous, but as a reminder to my future self that stress is terrible for me, and I need to work on staying chilled. When I’ve figured out how to do that one I’ll let you know!

7) Travelling will change you in ways you don’t expect

Those of you who know me will know that I’m fairly easy-going but I am also a big worrier. I’m a little bit more relaxed now, mainly about travel situations. For example, I no longer check my passport a million times before boarding a plane. And if someone doesn’t give me my change straight away, I can just wait, knowing they’ll get it to me. I’m a more patient now, and less easily flustered.

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8) But mostly, you’ll stay the same.
I have chronic insomnia. I thought travelling would cure me, and dorm rooms would be a kind of therapy and I’d come home with the ability to sleep anywhere. Well, the truth is I still can’t sleep anywhere! I thoroughly believe there is a special place in hell reserved for people who snore and have sex in dorm rooms. Dorm rooms are my own kind of personal hell actually. One of the main things I miss about home is that I can get up and roam the house and play with my cats and make a cup of tea at anytime any hour of the night. Plus there’s always a comfy spot for me to go with my book. Whilst we’ve been away I’ve done a lot of reading on the toilet in the early hours so that I don’t wake Tom up!

9) Always go with your gut
If a person, or a situation gives you a bad feeling in your tummy, or if you find your trying to talk yourself into doing something… DON’T DO IT.

10) You will adapt to anything
When we arrived in Asia there weren’t any knives and forks. I’d used chopsticks before but found them fiddly and they made me eat incredibly slowly. Fast forward a week and I finished a plate of food and say “Oh! I didn’t even think about the chopsticks!” When we first went to Japan, the whole nude bathing thing terrified me. A week later I was strolling around naked happy as Larry.

11) push yourself, but also know your limits.
I can jump out of a plane at 15000ft

I can bungee jump off a bridge .
I will never drive a scooter/motorbike in Asia.
I will never go scuba diving.

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Never say never though. The scary things are the best challenges.

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25 things I know to be true

Well  hey there,

I turned 25 in September which is a bit weird. Weird because I’m officially “mid-twenties” which feels like I should be a more responsible adult than I am. I feel about six years old, not a quarter-century old! Half way to fifty. (I know it’s not old really)

Also, lots of travellers that I’ve met go “really?!” When I tell them how old I am. I’m hoping this is because most backpackers are younger, or that I look younger, but it’s the first time in my life that people have been surprised by how old I am.

Anyway, I thought I’d use the opportunity to compile a list of 25 things that I’ve learnt so far in my 25 years. Here goes!

 

1) No one really has a clue what they’re doing. Everyone is just pretending that they do and acting confidently. Join them, it’s hilarious.
2) Never trust someone who hasn’t brought a book with them. (Thanks Lemony Snicket)
3) If you’re tall you can tell people what to do and pretend to be authoritative and it (usually) works.
4) Every day is better if you wake up and decide you’re in a good mood.
5) Exercise is essential for keeping your body healthy, but more importantly, it keeps your mind healthy too.
6) If you want to wear something outrageous, you must do so with conviction and you’ll get away with it.
7) You are insanely lucky to have spare change, a roof over your head and access to food and water. Never take it for granted.
8) If everything is getting a bit much, take a step outside and look at the sky, contemplate the cosmos. Imagine being a spaceman looking at the planet. You are  so insignificant. Your life is one tiny blip on the timeline of the Earth. Chill the hell out. Also, if the thing you’re worried about wont matter in five years time then forget it!
9) The most important thing to be is kind. It doesn’t matter if you’re thick or you have a horrifically ridiculous laugh, just try really hard to be kind and compassionate.
10) Your gut instinct is about 99% right. If you don’t like somebody when you first meet them, or a place or situation gives you a sinking feeling in your tummy, trust it.
11) Laugh every day.
12) Listen to your body. If you feel shit every morning because you eat chocolate before bed, stop it. Don’t go drinking two nights in a row because you’ll get tonsillitis.
13) Understand that everybody has got their own problems and worries, and most of the time they aren’t thinking about you.
14) Make your passion your job and you’ll never dread going to work. You may feel differently about piano practice following hours of teaching piano however!
15) Ideas become things. Decide what you want and follow your dream. Only you can make it come true. Namaste!
16) If you’re having a migraine you should go to sleep. If you’re at work go to sleep in your car. Don’t try to woman up and power through because you will be sick everywhere.
17) There will be one day each month where you want to stab everyone you come in contact with and then will probably cry over a broken biscuit. It’s normal but you will only realise that in hindsight.
18) Smiling makes people warm to you but it also attracts the nutter on the bus, and makes everyone ask for directions.
19) Blusher has the magical power to make you look human on even the most shittest of mornings.
20) You can figure out which colours suit you by stopping wearing the ones that make people question if you’re ill.
21) The secret of life is chai tea. And good books.
22) Music is magic. Spend your life chasing it.
23) The way people act towards you is a reflection of them, not you. If someone is being an arsehole it’s because they’ve got something else going on that you can’t see. This is true for 99.9% of the population. The remaining 0.01% are psychopaths and should be avoided at all costs!
24) Spend money on experiences not things.
25) Surround yourself with the things that make you happy. 🙂

 

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