Shuck it, shuck it, and shuck it some more.
A very wise friend said that to me last year as I was freaking out deciding whether to go to Thailand by myself or not. I won a tour of Northern Thailand through Intrepid tours and I didn’t know if I should go or not.
That’s the funny thing about winning things. You question about whether it’s a gift or a curse. Isn’t that a weird thing about our society? That we teach people to question things that the universe gives to us?
I’m so glad I went. I would have regretted it for the rest of my life if I didn’t go. And it turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I can’t even explain to you how influential that trip has been to me. It came at a pivotal moment in my life – I can look back on it now and see how much I have changed since then. It’s only been a year, but it feels like a lifetime.
I’m not going to go into all of it now, but let’s just say that a year ago I wouldn’t have been able to talk about what I talk about here. I just treated myself like shit. Now, I hope that when I talk about my struggles with self-love, happiness, and healthy living, you’ll understand that I’m coming from a place where these ideas weren’t a part of my living. I actually would say that I wasn’t truly living. I was just floating through my days, wishing for a change. The change came, because I knew I needed it. A few really important people came into my life, and some were there all along. I realized my passions, and understood that the only I have the power to change my life. Sitting around and waiting wasn’t getting me anywhere.
I’m not perfect. Every day I have to make a concious choice about my attitude towards life. I am not a victim of my circumstances. I choose my life and my reaction towards what happens to me. My trip to Thailand last year really helped cement all of these ideas for me. I traveled by myself before joining the tour, which allows for lots of time for recollection and thinking, and you really start to understand how “you” fit into the world when you’re with people who are nothing like you. All those things that you thought were important just fade away.
I had been saving up money for a big trip, and used very little of it last year. So this year I am going on a trip again – this time to Bali, Indonesia. I leave Tuesday night. Like my trip to Thailand, I am looking forward to experiences a culture very different from my own. Unlike my trip last year, I am traveling with 4 other amazing ladies, 3 of whom are my closest friends. We’re going to have lots of fun. I’m looking forward to so much – and am so excited to spend some time in such a spiritual place.
I’ll do my best to check in while I’m gone, but if I don’t (you never know about those overseas internet cafes, and I refuse to bring my laptop) know that I’ll update you when I return.
Until then, I leave you with one piece of advice. “Live your dream. Don’t dream your life.”
Oh- and the world is your oyster. Shuck it, shuck it, and shuck it some more.
(And someday soon I’ll tell you about my friend Reid, who gave these wonderful pieces of advice. And some others, that maybe aren’t so wonderful, but still useful.)