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The 5 Biggest Life Lessons I’ve Learned in the Past Year

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You know those moments of clarity where you pause and think to yourself, “Wow, does everyone know this about life?” I feel like I’ve had at least 30 of these in the past year, probably due to the fact that this has been my first year in the *real world*.

And even though we’re all on the same human experience journey learning many of the same things, I wanted to share them in the hopes that these tips are somewhat helpful and/or inspirational for you!

So here they are, the five biggest lessons I’ve learned in the past year:

Embrace your own strengths

This one has been huge for me. I’ve always been a creative type. My parents will tell you with a smile that even in my young childhood, I was constantly writing, crafting, making movies, taking photos.

In high school, I spent two weeks teaching English in rural Cambodia. It was an incredibly shaping and monumental life experience for me and I came back feeling inspired. When I returned home, I told my parents with certainty that “I want to be a travel writer. I want to travel the world.”

Along the way, I’ve repeatedly tried to make myself into someone I’m not. I’ve punished myself for not even close to beginning to grasp the ins and outs of finance. I’ve tried to understand economics and politics, even forcing myself at one point to study to take the LSAT. WHAT? Didn’t even close to click.

And now at age 23, thinking constantly and in-depth about what I want to spend the rest of my life doing, I come back to my creative, 16 year-old self proclaiming her love for travel and love her for who she is. Because now I know with certainty that I will never excel at numbers or charts or at thinking in black & white. I will always thrive when I’m able to be creative and live in the shades of grey. That’s where I am, that’s who I am and I’m ecstatic about it.

My point is – know the things you’re good at and admit what you aren’t so great at. Then, build the best life you can with what you love and what loves you back.

Nothing is impossible*

I started my blog and Instagram with little to zero idea what I was doing other than that I wanted to create a beautiful page that inspired others to travel and a blog that allowed me to express my passions.

Fast forward five months and I’ve met amazing women from around the world. I’ve been introduced to this wonderfully supportive travel community that I was previously unaware existed. I’m inspired daily by the brave, beautiful women that have dedicated their lives to traveling the world. On a tactical level, I have earned almost 10k Instagram followers and more than 5,000 Instagram posts from around the world have been tagged with my hashtag #MyBoldTravelMoment. That is so cool !

Even though I truly have no clue what I’m doing or where exactly I’ll end up ( who does? ), I know that I’m on the exact right path. Just like I never saw myself being in this position 5 months ago, I’m confident that 1 year from now, I’ll be just as shocked and in awe of how far the power of passion and community has taken me.

As for the asterisk…

Behind the blog, there are days dedicated to ensuring links/pages function correctly, hours and hours dedicated to taking photos, writing and editing, even more hours brainstorming. Behind the Instagram page, there are hours a day dedicated to networking, editing, curating.

You need to put in the effort. Nothing is impossible if you put in the effort.*

Lift other women up

Cara Alwell Leyba summed this up the best: “Why do women keep falling victim to the trap of jealousy, comparison, negativity and cattiness? Why hasn’t everyone discovered just how fabulous life can be when we empower each other rather than tear each other down? I’m not sure, but I’ll tell you one thing: life on the other side is wonderful.”

Somehow, it’s become a societal norm for women to constantly feel in competition with one another. This results in said cattiness, pettiness, putting each other down for no reason. As I’ve grown over the past year and met so many wonderful people, I’ve increasingly realized how strange (and wrong) this is!

Life is confusing and can sometimes feel like the most difficult thing in the world. We’re all doing this living thing together, and I’ve learned that I like life the best when I’m surrounded by people who value mutual loyalty and encouragement.

Spending time with people who bring you down, don’t encourage your dreams, make you question yourself and fail to make you feel as spectacular as you are are not people you should spend time with. Life is way, way too short.

Basically, queens uplift queens. Duh.

You can never network enough

I’ve met up with a handful of fellow female travelers in the past six months. What started off as knowing somebody through their online presence turned into meeting in person, having drinks and a meal, a lot of laughs and exchanging stories & goals for the future. They are now my real-life friends and travel buddies, and how cool is that?

Grab drinks with every person that even slightly sparks your interest (I don’t mean romantically). Reach out via email to a blogger or any other person in your industry that you greatly admire. Take the time to have conversations with people, learn about where they come from and where they want to go. Be someone who knows someone everywhere. No connection is a bad connection.

Budget your fucks wisely

This is one of the harsher lessons I’ve learned about bettering myself and my life, but honestly it’s one of the more important ones. Excuse my language.

Essentially, you only get a certain amount of fucks. Every fuck you give to something you don’t care about or to someone who drains you is a fuck that you can’t give to something or someone you truly value.

Life is short – don’t do the things you don’t want to do and don’t spend time with people you don’t want to. Simple as that. Budget wisely!

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  1. Lena Elzayn says:

    Agree with all of these SO much! Tried to pick a favorite and couldn’t. Such wise words! And basic theme: believe in yourself and be good to others. Just loved this post.

  2. I really like your last paragraph. I totally agree with that philosophy in life and this is what will make you happy. Being surrounded with people you think are worth it and doing things you are passionate about. Thank you for these wise words!

  3. Such good advice here! I really agree with the nothing is impossible point and how you have to put in work. It is so easy to think that things come easily or to give up but it’s important to stay focused on the dream!

  4. Such an uplifting post! I’ve been blogging a little longer than you (though not much) and I’m struck by just how professional your site and content looks – keep rocking it!

    • Christina says:

      This means a lot to me, Sarah! Your site looks incredibly professional as well. Thanks for reading šŸ™‚

  5. I love this post, it’s so insightful of you to share something like this. Thank you! I especially like the part about women lifting each other up and I truly wish more women knew this!

  6. Kasia says:

    I loved this šŸ™‚ Can’t wait to read more!

  7. New life motto: Budget Your Fuck Wisely

  8. Oh my God, I don’t know how I just found this post but it’s exactly what I’m reflecting on now in life!
    haha Amazing, thank you for this!
    xx Alex

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Frequent flyer, NYC-based serial entrepreneur, online educator, mama to a Bernedoodle pup, and lover of long baths.

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