Change your life with this ONE thing.

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About a year ago, I found an old recording of a discussion between me and someone I go to for advice. In the recording I express that deep down, all I really want to do is stop working and travel. This simple confession was one I was extremely afraid to admit to myself. I had all the typical excuses that it wasn’t possible; A long term boyfriend, an impossibly great apartment in manhattan, an exciting new job for a start up, and my biggest excuse of all, no money. The risk of losing what I did happen to have filled me with dread and panic.

Que to this current moment. I have been traveling without a steady job and living abroad for over three years, with no plans to stop. In the end, I lost all of the things I thought I needed, and I’ve never been happier.

All I changed was one thing; I got honest with myself about the life I actually wanted to live. My heart and soul craved a life of spontaneity, adventure, and flow, that deep down I didn’t believe was possible. I didn’t have one clue how I was gonna create that life, so I fooled myself that I ‘had to’ take jobs that didnt inspire me to survive, or that I ‘should be’ steady and settled. All I know is that as soon as I admitted to myself what I truly desired, the massive doors of new possibility opened in my life.

A mere month later, I discovered an (at the time) little known website called Airbnb. I set my apartment up to have renters, I bought a backpack , booked a one way ticket to Bangkok, and I never looked back.

On that trip I learned that I could survive on under twenty dollars a day, and that money in no way could buy happiness. I learned about the kindness of strangers and what it felt like to rely on yourself. I learned that no matter how crazy the situation, there is always a solution close at hand.

For example, just a year and a half later, I lost that same apartment which had so easily supported my initial travels. I remember receiving the dreaded phone call while I was in Peru that I had to move out, and despite my deepest fears of no steady income, I just knew something else was gonna work out. Two years later, despite that loss, I am still living my free nomadic lifestyle.

Throughout my travels I have proven the power of ‘getting honest with myself’ repeatedly. Leaving a conventional lifestyle doesn’t mean leaving your all fears behind, and I have been challenged again and again to believe in the impossible.

I have managed to keep this one promise to myself: to never compromise myself, my guidance, and my truth for anything, even when that truth makes NO logical sense. While that promise hasn’t always been easy, I have managed to find unconventional ways to continue living a life that opens my heart, expands me, thrills me, lifts me up, and aligns with the core of who I am.

I truly believe when you do this one thing, every power available to you – the universe, your higher self, your soul, god, whatever you want to call it- finds a way to support you in making your deepest desires happen. All it takes is honesty, trust, and the first steps into the unknown.

So, ask yourself, if you could do anything in the world… if money wasn’t an obstacle… if obstacles didn’t even exist at all… what would you be doing now? I dare you to to be honest, REALLY honest, and see what happens.

Seven Reasons to Travel Alone

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A friend of mine recently tagged me in this Huffington Post article 6 Reasons Why Every Woman Needs to Travel Alone. As a long time solo female wanderer (I think I prefer this term to ‘traveler’ since I don’t feel like I travel anymore), I felt like this list was missing a couple key benefits. I think it’s important for everyone to travel alone at some point, not just woman. Yes, as women we have added safety percussions, but if you stay alert and keep your witts about you there is no reason women cannot travel as freely as men. So, I decided to make my own list, applicable to all sexes. Feel free to add anything you think of, since I the reasons to travel alone are pretty endless :).

1. Realize what you’re capable of handling.

Missed planes, delayed buses, losing your ATM card to a foreign machine. All crises will become manageable when you realize you only have yourself to rely on. While this sounds scary, the first time you handle a potentially disastrous situation on your own you will feel so empowered you will wonder why you ever needed anyones help for anything! In addition, you realize you are never REALLY alone. It’s amazing to witness how many people will volunteer to help you out when you are in a jam. Dealing with crisis in a foreign country has proven my faith in humanities ability to rise up and help their fellow (wo)man again and again.

2. Bond with new friends faster.

If I travel with already established friends, I will usually meet a couple people, but when I travel alone I meet hordes of people, and sometimes pick up travel buddies who become life long friends. Solo travelers find other solo travelers, and many groups adopt you. The best part is if you don’t click with someone you can easily move on with no hurt feelings.

3. Find your natural rhythm.

It’s amazing how fast you fall into getting up when want, eating when you feel like it, and going where you want to when you do not have to plan things with other people. There is nothing more freeing than having absolutely no plan, or better yet, having one and changing it whenever you desire. This type of spontaneous movement is one of the things I miss most when traveling with others.

4. Stop wasting money or time on things you don’t love.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent money and time on something I wasn’t crazy about because the person I’m traveling with wants to do it. Sometimes it ends up being a cool experience, but more often than not it’s just irritating. Being alone ensures you never waste anything if it’s not what you really want to do.

5. Open the door to opportunities.

When you are alone countless opportunities present themselves. I’ve been invited to stay at the homes of locals, given rides to remote places, taken to hidden travel spots… all because I was alone and it was easy to have me tag along or give recommendations.

6. Experience true freedom.

There is no better feeling in the world than being free of the conditioning of your culture, expectations, schedules, and typical ways of being. It creates a space and a freedom to allow yourself to be whatever or whomever you feel like being; to meet yourself or reinvent yourself. I must say, it’s the greatest experience in the world, and rather addictive. I can pretty much guarantee once you find this state, you will truly see the deepest and most beautiful reason to travel alone.

And because I cannot resist… the 7th Reason: Love affairs.

Ok, I couldn’t help but throw this in. Since traveling solo, I have discovered beautiful short term spontaneous love affairs with wildly free, passionate and wonderful men. There is no better way to get to know someone in a romantic and meaningful way than to team up for part of a journey. With a traveler, a day will seem like a month. In no time at all you will feel like you have known that person forever, only you will know their hopes and dreams instead of what their last desk job was. I have friends back at home who constantly tell me how hard it is to meet good men. Through traveling alone, I meet amazing men all the time who are not remotely boring or typical. It might not be an ideal way to meet marriage or long term partners (although, I should mention It’s definitely possible, and I have met some of my serious partners this way), but if you are wanting to experience, learn, grown and have a all around good time, these types of spontaneous relationships are for you.

So there you have it; The six (actually seven) reasons to travel alone. I think the point I am really trying to make is that when you travel solo, you come to see you are never actually alone. Whether it’s in backpacker hostels or alternative communities, I have never felt more surrounded by love and connection then when I’m on the road. You find that adventure, friendship, and love will find you anywhere, you just have to open your heart and mind to experience it. So don’t wait for your best friend to take work leave or for your boyfriend to take you somewhere exotic. Book where you want to go and get moving! I can guarantee you wont regret it.