Hello, Internet! Another year has flown by and I am a year older, wiser, more intelligent and definitely mentally and physically stronger. It is funny that every year in the week leading up to my birthday I get excited, but nervous at the same time. On May 30, 2017, I decided to celebrate my 28th birthday in Ireland. I went on my first solo travel adventure and I spent my first ever birthday alone. Well technically I was in the company of strangers and other travelers, but I had no love ones around, and it was actually a life changing experience. I have been blessed with a life where I can choose to travel to all corners of the world. There is very little stopping me from packing my bags and booking a flight to a new city next week. Looking back I have been very lucky to have been brought up in a family that values travel and a family that has instilled the importance of travel in me.
Last year I promised myself it was going to be #YearOfMe and it, for the most part, was, but especially for the last few months. For the first time in my life, I have decided to take my health and body seriously. I have always been curvy or chubby, but since February of this year, I decided this is no longer the body or mindset I want to live in. For the last few months, I have been 100% focused on my body, health and the lifestyle change I was determined to make. I have now lost 8 kilos (about 18 pounds), but more importantly, I am physically and mentally stronger than I have ever been before. This physical change and promise I made myself has made me stronger mentally as well. If you asked me a few months ago I would have never have committed to traveling alone, especially on my birthday. I am an extrovert and overly social person. I need people around me almost all the time. I made a promise to myself on my 21st birthday, to always continue to celebrate my birthday in a different city/country every year. I have kept my promise to myself so far. Here is where I have celebrated so far:
21 – Hollywood, CA, USA
22 – Las Vegas, NV, USA
23 – Prague, Czech Republic
24 – Lugano, Switzerland
25 – New York City, NY, USA
26 – Berlin, Germany
27 – London, England
28 – Dublin, Ireland
29 – ???
Because of this promise I was determined to travel somewhere new as I am a big believer that birthdays should be celebrated because it is the day you decided to grace the world with your presence and the world has never been the same since that day. So I packed my bags and I traveled to Dublin, Ireland alone. At first, I was really nervous that I would get lonely or not find anything to do, but within my first few hours of being in Ireland I loved the time alone and I loved that everyone was so friendly. I quickly learned to appreciate my own company and the best part was that I could do whatever I wanted when ever I wanted. On my actual birthday I decided to check something huge off my travel bucket list, I went to see the cliffs of Moher. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to see the Irish coast and especially the sprawling cliffs of Moher. If you haven’t gone yet, GO! They are so majestic and beautiful and just awe inspiring. I walked up and down the cliffs for a few hours just thinking to myself of all the amazing things I am grateful to have in this amazing life of mine.
This past year has not been easy. Social media and what I post on my blog might lead you to believe I always have amazing travel stories and food diaries, but 27 was definitely a roller coaster ride that wasn’t expected. It was my first full year in London, there was love, heartbreak and everything in between, but I made it through and I am so proud of everything I have accomplished so far in life. Taking this solo trip to Ireland really put into perspective how I am really winning at life right now and my timeline should not be compared to others at all. With my two best friends getting married in a matter of weeks I feel this insane pressure that maybe I am doing something wrong, or maybe I am broken, or maybe I am meant to be alone forever. Society keeps putting this pressure on young women that we should have found our significant other before 30, get married, have kids, buy a house, etc etc. This is far from the truth. I hope to have all these things one day, but if I don’t have it at the same time as my friends, it is not the end of the world, it is just my personal timeline.
If there is one piece of advice I can leave you with that I learned in this past year it is…It is all about that tunnel vision. Keep your head down and grind. This is your journey, these are your goals…keep track of what you are doing and only focus on you. Do not let the world or other people take you away from what is really important to you. As I start my next year of life this is what I will keep reminding myself of every freaking day. It is my journey, my timeline, my story, and as long as I am focused I will reach MY GOALS.