Tag Archives: growth

Goodbye 2016

Now that the sun has begun to set on the year, it’s a natural opportunity to remember all the wonderful things that came out of it. The last twelve months took me away from home for forty nights, visiting four countries as well as eight U.S. states. I was very fortunate to have more travel opportunities than 2015. It made life fascinating and rich, which is exactly how it should be. The experiences were diverse – traveling alone, with family, with friends, with a partner and for work. Adventures included oceans, mountains, castles, redwoods, bears and whales. I got lost, fell ill to food poisoning, cried, and slept on an airport floor. On the whole it was a beautiful year and I’m so thankful the way it unraveled. There were a few ups and downs, one captured in what turned out to be the most popular post of 2016, Mending Myself. Fifty six of you checked it out the day it was published! Take a look if you haven’t seen it.

Over the next week or so I will write about the best things 2016 gave me.

Thank you for reading! I’m happy to know you all take interest in my travels. Also, thank you to my family and friends that encourage travel, join me on adventures and put up with my schedule! These kinds of support add meaning to these experiences.

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Mending Myself

One aspect of travel I know I have not yet addressed in this blog, is how for certain people, taking a break from routine and exploring your boundaries can mend a damaged spirit. With proper introspection. Now I can finally speak to this and it’s not coming out so natural because I have not been especially personal in this blog, but I will try.

For about half a year I’d been seeing someone I thought would be around for a long time and they also happened to be the first person I’d felt seriously about in several years; he was someone I’d been waiting for. However, this summer I was faced with an unwelcomed ending of that relationship.

Then began internal conflict. Feeling lonely and rejected at a certain times, I worried I would not be mentally or emotionally prepared to be completely alone and abroad with the stress of the unfamiliar, or possibly worse, not in the mood to actually enjoy the experience. I thought I needed to be with known people whom I can count on to make me feel valued yet I felt smothered in my home. The site of formerly warm memories that I could no longer stand. If I was already feeling down could it hurt to just try a 10 day holiday?

Probably unbelievable to some, I greatly dislike being vulnerable but at the same time very predictably, I enjoy pushing my limits. It’s odd. I want to be thrilled and experience things and maybe have complicated things happen but not when I’m already feeling poorly about myself. I process things internally.

Behind me is emptiness.

Knowing myself (introverted, curious, wanting newness), I went on with the trip which turned out to mentally be the easiest I’ve taken, although obviously due to cumulative experience. It doesn’t mean I never made mistakes, got bored, or worried. I just reacted to those things in a more constructive way.

Now at home, I’m so overwhelmingly relieved that quite varied  people everywhere I went valued me as a stranger to talk with or friend for the day. It’s easy being outgoing and engaged when there is alcohol or a structured activity but on you own without those things just it can be hard to connect. You have to guess what will make a person want to talk with you; why am I any different than all the other people they’ve met today. These people don’t necessarily know I am not around anyone with who I have an existing bond.

It was especially nice to come across women who were out like me, doing their own thing. I think they ended up being the most comforting people to meet and those I needed to explain myself the least to, if at all. They shared things about where they’d been and what they enjoyed and what motivates them. I was flattered that some of these women wanted me in their company.

Anyways, in a small way I’m more confident that as a person I’m worth knowing and I can make people happy even when I feel ugly. Also, my lense has been bit corrected; the world is so many endless things, people and places and I need to focus more on the positive whole, what is waiting for me and enjoy changes and not focus on the small things in the past I’m powerless to control. I am back to being content with how things are and being the version of myself that I believe is “real.” It could not have come sooner!

Thank you for reading,

Ruby

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

-Antione de Saint-Exupery