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The world is full of unsolicited advice. But I do have some for my younger self, not that it does present me any good other than feeling like these passing years are making me wiser. What other consolation is there for age, if it is not experience and wisdom?
So, for those of you still fully entrenched in your youth or for those who want to revel in the arrogance of my youth, read on!
1. Your body is a temple, ie. wear sunscreen dummy!
Ah, look at those fresh tan lines and youthful damaged skin. Sigh. I'm olive complected, and as a child never burned. This gave me a false sense of sun protection superiority. "Oh, I don't need sunscreen, I don't burn". Well, I can and do burn under the right conditions, but regardless, the burning is not the big deal. It's your older self who is now starting to worry about wrinkles and skin cancer you idiot!
2. Some people want to build you up, some what to tear you down. Learn the difference
This was a hard lesson learned. I've been lucky enough to have run into a lot of great people in my life. I do have a short list of people though that I would enjoy seeing karma slap right in the face with a fist full of nails.
Woah! I need to calm it down. ** Deeeeeep Breathhhh***
Honestly though, I'm sure we have all had an experience where someone disguised their malicious intent as constructive criticism. Those people are the worst! Those are the people who come back from vacation and only have things to complain about, who always have something terrible to say. Even when they are saying something good they have to throw a little downer in there.
There are people who genuinely want to see you grow and develop into the amazing person you have the potential to be. Get to know the people around you so that when someone does criticize you, you can tell the difference.
Invest in the people who invest in you!
I generally hate YOLO as an expression. It's essentially carpe diem for dumb people. I can get behind the sentiment though, which is to be brave. This is still something I'm working on, but my younger self could have used this. There have been waterfalls I haven't jumped off, and solo trips to Europe I didn't take, and things I never said that I should have. Sticking with the cliche theme:
"You're going to regret more of what you didn't do then what you did do."
This is photo documentation of the time I inspected all of the rocks and water temperature and generally wasted time for about a half an hour trying to get enough courage to jump in under this waterfall. Spoiler! I didn't, but guess who did? Pat!
Look how much fun he's having! What's wrong with me?! Next time, I'm for sure jumping in! At least that's what I'm saying as I'm safe behind my computer screen....no, really I'm gonna do it!
4. Patience is a virtue
Sometimes good things take time. Sometimes good things jump out and surprise you when you're least expecting it. The point is, you often have no idea or control over when things are going to happen. There's so little in this life that is under your control. The only think you can really control is how you react to what comes your way, and how hard you're willing to work for what you want.
So, to my younger self. Be patient. Try and stress a little less, and know that things are going to work out...speaking of which.
5. Things are going to work out
Nothing is worse then telling someone fully entrenched in something terrible that "everything happens for a reason, and everything is going to work out." I know, I've been told this very thing when I was in the middle of what appeared to be a crises that I was sure happened only because some people are the worst and I was convinced that everything was going to descend into chaos for the rest of my life.
It look a long time for me to realize that that terrible event, was actually a really good thing. Who knew?! You know who knew? The friend that told me everything was going to be ok. She knew! But I'm sure at the time, I gave her a look like "shut your stupid face, you don't know anything!" Granted, some "terrible" things are worse than others. I do 100% believe though, that given enough time, things really will be ok. The only way things won't work out is if you give up. So, just don't give up!
6. You get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar
I've never really understood this saying because, why in the world would I want extra flies...but I digress. I used to think letting people know how angry I was about a situation would make them relent and see my side of things. It works sometimes, but being kind, understanding and pleasant works significantly better. Plus no one leaves the interaction with hard feelings. You get what you give.
7. Don't make your happiness anybody else's responsibility
It's not anyone else's job to make you happy. That is honestly an unrealistic and unkind burden to put on anyone. Certainly someone's behavior can have a huge impact on how you feel and if someone is a toxic person in your life, then it's your job to do something about it. It's as simple as that. If you can't make yourself happy, how is anyone else going to do it for you?
8. You can't please everybody (including yourself)
This is something I would tell my younger self, my current self, and probably my older self as well. I'm constantly being hard on my self for pretty much everything. We all are our own worst critics. I'm always telling myself (usually contradictory things) like that I should eat better/ indulge more, exercise/relax more, read/ go outside more, drink more water/wine, be nicer/stand up for myself, volunteer more/ have more me time, work harder/ be more content, put more effort into my appearance/ appreciate yourself, save more/ reward yourself... I could go on all day, but I think you get the point.
All I or anyone else can really do is our best every day to live in the moment. Decide what you want (easier said than done, I know) and then make the best decisions you can based on that. That's all we can do, and that is more than ok.
9. Stop and smell the flowers
I really started to do this after taking a watercolor class a couple of years ago. The teacher was great and she really made me look more artistically at things. It's weird but now I seem to notice more about things that seemed mundane before. Things seem more beautiful now. So sometimes you're going to have a whole field of daisies to appreciate and sometimes it's just going to be the way the light comes through the trees on your drive to work. I wish I had been doing a better job of appreciating the beauty all around me when I was younger. If you struggle with this, perhaps taking an art class might help. Don't worry, I don't have a single artistic bone in my body, but I still got a ton out of taking that class.
10. Try new things
I mean really TRY new things. Don't do it once, and then give up. Before you can be good at something, you have to be kind of terrible at it. About six weeks ago I started doing yoga. I decided I was going to do it everyday for 30 days to really give it a go. I am so glad that I did! It's been fun, I'm more flexible that I've been in years. I used to try something and if it didn't go well, I would take that as a sign that that wasn't my thing.
If you want to give yoga a try as well, let me recommend Yoga with Adrianne. She's goofy and funny and makes it a lot of fun.
I think when we are small children that we are better about learning how to do new things. There comes a time though that we stop being willing to be bad at something. We don't want to struggle with something new. Pat and I got surfboards earlier this year. It's definitely one of those things that's going to be a struggle for me. I'm going to have to keep reassuring myself that it's ok to be crap at it, because, well, I'll always be crap at it if I don't keep trying.
Cliches are cliches because they're true. Just like this one:
Love many, trust few, but always paddle your own canoe...and Travel Happy!
Thanks for stopping by!
Hi there! I'm Skeeter. I grew up moving a lot and that makes me a bit restless for travel and exploration. I started this blog with my husband Pat when we decided to backpack New Zealand for a year. We are always looking for the next adventure and are loving life. We're just your average couple with two sassy dogs and a love for travel. We're sharing our travels and the tips we pick up along the way.
Hello! I'm Liz. Blogging is very new to me, but I'm so excited to finally write as much as I talk!
"Don't forget to travel happy"-Skeeter & Liz