Yesterday, my family and I flew back from Puerto Rico. Upon arrival, despite having every intension of updating LFB, I ended up climbing into bed hoping only to take a nap, but instead woke up at 6 am in the morning – which would explain yesterday’s missing post. (Hey, shit happens sometimes!)
This does, however, lead me right into the topic of today’s post: travel – or more specifically: adventuring. Now I have written a lot on LFB about life as an ex-pat in terms of planting your feet firmly on soil other than the one you grew up on. What I haven’t talked much about is the lure of constant exploration itself.
Although I do think that it takes a certain kind of transient mindset to be able to pick up and move someplace new where you must carve out a life for yourself on an entirely new continent and expose yourself to an entirely new language and confront a culture vastly different to the one you grew up around on a daily basis, it isn’t the same thing as being being an adventurer. To me, an adventurer is a person happiest with a life sprinkled with constant travel; a person who may or may not know where he or she will be in 6 months.
With that being said, a place that I can really call home is important to me. I am very happy to have a home base, and there is always something so comforting about coming back to your own special sanctuary. But I enjoy life out of a suitcase just as much. As long as I have my health, my laptop, camera, and a wireless connection, I’m a pretty happy camper.
My ultimate goal in life is to be able to live a life in which I am able to balance time home and time away. Because the need to explore is part of the fabric of my being but stability is important and my two little fur angels and friends I have in Berlin are my second home.
The funny thing is that I never really thought of myself as particularly adventurous. Even up until a few years ago, many of my insecurities held me back from trying new things or exploring the world on my own. But looking back 2015, I have been able to travel to so many fantastic places for work and play, check “conquer your fear of the ocean and go surfing” and “travel-solo” off of my bucket list, and have cultivated a burning desire for exploring the world.
So for 2016, I have decided to take part in the “12 in 12” challenge – to travel to 12 different places in 12 months. I have already started January to a good start and have concrete plans for February and March, with trips to Austria and Czech Republic lined up.
However, in addition to my goal of traveling to different places, I also want to set some goals for what I actually want to do and not just have uprooting myself blindly each month as the goal. Because part of conscious living is setting an intension behind each action and knowing why you are doing what it is you are doing. I don’t just plan on traveling to rack up bragging rights and scratch more places off of my “countries I have visited” map. I want to go places because they fill my heart with happiness and my head with memories.
In 2016, I hope to…
001: Fit in a few more solo trips
002: Go on adventures with friends
003: Continue traveling for work – either for photography gigs or LFB-related things
004: Get closer to nature – sensing another camping trip in the making!
005: Make it to southeast Asia
006: Swim in a lake or river
007: Ski in the mountains (will be checking this baby off the list in a few weeks!)
008: Go on a yoga retreat
009: Travel to Iceland
010: Watch the sun rise on the beach
Whether or not all of these things are possible in 2016 have yet to be seen, but the goal is there and I will be doing everything in my power to make these hopes a reality. Looking forward to all these adventures reminds me that the key to living an enriching life which fulfils us and creates positivity is to look with excitement on the things we will do, not look with disappointment on the things we do not have.
Because one of the most important things travel has taught me is to value experience over things and to collect more memories than objects. Hiking in the El Yunque rainforest in Puerto Rico and doing Yoga on the beach in the morning as the rain fell from the sky, only to reveal a rainbow arcing over the ocean, are two memories that I will always hold near and dear to my heart.
These experiences make my life richer without me ever having to reach for my wallet (minus the flight expenses, of course, but I’m pretty sure you’re picking up what I am putting down) or experience buyer’s remorse. We live in a world where we are taught to look at the things (read: objects) missing from our lives which cause us to become trapped in a continuous cycle of unhappiness. When happiness is dictated by what we own and what we seek to acquire, we are fighting a never ending battle and happiness will always be a shining goal in the distance, just out of reach.
But when we choose to collect memories and look forward to new experiences, we view life as something beautiful which can only expand to become more lovely in our eyes. These adventures do not have to even be big ones to far away places but the small adventures that happen each day – a trip to the farmer’s market, or a picnic with friends in the park. We start to look at what we have and not what we don’t.
I cannot wait for all the new experiences I will be adding to my list of memories and to be reminded each time of how “rich” life truly is.
What are you travel goals for 2016? What do you hope to do and where do you hope to travel?