Some of my favorite moments from our Santorini trip.
It all started around the second week of February. We had just landed in Crete a few weeks earlier after an amazing week in Santorini. I was feeling energized and happy about life and business. Then all the sudden, I wasn’t. I started waking up in the middle of the night, in full-on panic mode. My heart racing and anxiety gripping my entire body. I knew something was off, but I couldn’t quite place my finger on it. Here I was, in Crete, a place I had dreamed of visiting for 10 years, living the exact life I had planned with my forever-partner by my side. Yet, I suddenly felt like my world was crashing in around me.
And then the nightmares set it.
I dreamed I was being shot at with a bow and arrow. In my dream, I saw a man with a bow-and-arrow, I knew he would shoot me, but I wasn’t scared and I didn’t run. The arrow hit me right in the middle of my forehead. I woke up, my palms sweating and my heart racing.
The following day, I was in one of those post-nightmare dazes. I felt like I was craving something new. Part of me wanted to dive into the ocean and swim far away, part of me wanted to burn it all down and start over again.
The next night I dreamed I was in a field of grass that caught fire. I started stomping the grass to try and put out the fire, the fire kept growing, getting bigger, and soon took over the entire field.
In college, I took a class on Neuropsychology and Dreaming ( I was a neuro nerd!) so I’ve always been fascinated with the various theories of dreaming and what exactly goes on in your brain while you sleep. As part of the class, we kept a dream journal, which I kept up for awhile even after the class was over, but then dropped as the hectic post-college life set in. After several nights of nightmares and intense emotions throughout the day, I decided to start journaling again.
So as I was relaying my dreams to Eric at 2 a.m. that morning, it hit me…
I was out of alignment. The Life Adventurista and my greater “why” didn’t match up anymore. See, The Life Adventurista isn’t just about location independence, it’s not about constant travel and working from the road. Yes, that can be part of it. But It’s so much more. The Life Adventurista is a culmination of all my life experiences, my beliefs, my passions, and my personal life philosophies.
I can’t believe it’s already February 5th. The excitement of the New Year is now a distant memory and the realities of life have set in. During this time of year, it can be hard to stick to goals, and many resolutions were already ditched weeks ago. If you started this year off with big plans and goals full of life changes, it can be easy to lose sight of what you want, in favor of blaming everyday life busyness and that never ending to-do list.
The truth is, setting out to achieve those big goals and plans will never get easier. There will always be obstacles, whether that’s time, money, or resources. So if you’ve found yourself making excuses for not taking the action that is required to create those life changes you so deeply want, here are five things you can do to stay motivated as the year continues.
- Tell a friend. I find I am more likely to stick to my goals and plans when I tell a friend what I’m up to. Better yet, build a support network with a few friends so you can motivate each other throughout the year.
- Break your big goal into smaller, achievable action items. Whether your goal is to get in shape/lose weight, find a new job, move, travel, or start a business, think about how you can break that larger goal into smaller benchmarks. Then celebrate each time you reach one of your benchmark goals.
- Remember your “why”. When you are tired, burned out, or feel overwhelmed, go back to your “why”. Remind yourself of just what those goals and tasks are going to led you to. Create a screen saver of a picture or word on your computer that can serve as a reminder to get you motivated when you least feel like it.
- Make the time. Life doesn’t slow down, so stop telling yourself you’ll get to it when you have more time. Create time for those things that will make your life better. Last year, when Eric and I were working to start our businesses and figuring out how to move abroad, we set aside time each week to work on research, contacting people, building websites, writing, and everything else that goes along with starting businesses and moving. There were some weeks where we could only devote 1-2 hours and others where we could devote the entire weekend to our side projects, but it all added up and made a big difference. So find the time each week, and put it in your calendar if you have to!
- Treat yourself. When you feel overwhelmed and have absolutely no motivation, it’s time to indulge in some self care. Take a break from thinking about those big plans and let yourself relax and clear your mind.
It’s never too late to make the choice to actively work towards creating the life you want. Don’t look back at your life in 20 years and wish you had lived more adventurously when you had the chance. Start today so next year you ARE living the life you want.
If you are craving more adventure and freedom in your life but feel stuck and unsure how to move forward, sign up for a Zero to Adventurista Strategy Session.
Photo from denise.weerke via flickr.
For a long time after I graduated from collage I found myself always wanting more. After graduation, I found jobs I loved, climbed the career ladder in DC, and did work I was passionate about. But no matter what, I constantly found myself falling pray to my wanderlust dreams. I wanted to find a way to do the work I loved, see the world, and live wherever I wanted. I thought the answer was finding a job that took me overseas or had lots of travel involved. I went on countless interviews for jobs that fit the bill. I even interviewed with one place that would have brought me overseas. They put me through 11 interviews, told me I was their top choice in every single one, only to pass me by because someone on the board had a cousin who had a friend who had applied. It’s always about who you know, especially in Washington, DC. I love DC, loved the job I ended up getting, and felt fulfilled by the work I was doing. But no matter how happy I was, I always ended up cloaked in a a deep wanderlust depression that I just couldn’t shake.
When Eric ended up on a photography/videography job in 2011 that brought him to Australia for a bit while I stayed in DC to work, I knew it was time to figure out how to change our lives in a way that matched our dreams. Initially we thought we would just teach English in SE Asia, while Eric pursued more travel photography work, and I figured out what I wanted to do. Our ideas and dreams quickly grew and expanded into a full on lifestyle change of traveling, running our businesses, and teaching English. I used to think you had to wait to find the perfect opportunity, then I realized you can create your own perfect opportunity.
Whether you’ve thought about breaking out of that 9-5 to start your own business, or you just dream of living in a place that’s independent from your job, there are countless ways to create more freedom in your life.
Here’s 21 ideas to inspire you to live outside the box:
Today in my Zero to Adventurista 29 Day Challenge Group we are talking about long-term life visions.
I absolutely love big picture thinking and long-term life visioning because without it, we don’t know what we are working towards.
Think about it? What are a bunch of small short-term goals without that BIG, huge life vision? They don’t add up to much.
But if you start with your biggest, grandest vision you can then work backwards to create small, short-term, and actionable goals that will eventually lead you to your amazing dream life.
So what’s your 5-10 year life-vision? Write down, claim it, and create it!
P.S. – I’m having so much fun with my Zero to Adventurista group and I already have plans for expanding and growing it. If you want in on the next one, sign up below!
[ois skin=”29 Day Challenge Waitlist”]
I planned to write a post on my love for vision boarding a few days ago, but then on Friday night, Eric proposed to me on a rooftop overlooking the AyaSofya in front of all our friends in Turkey!!!! It was so unexpected and a wonderful surprise. Ever since then, I’ve been riding a post-engagement high and haven’t been able to think about much else! But, vision boards are part of our journey so this post is about both. Plus, since it’s New Years Eve, there’s no better time to talk about creating a life vision.
I was so surprised!
Exactly one year ago, Eric and I were only starting to talk about the possibility of living overseas and the idea for The Life Adventurista was not even a thought in my mind! One cold day after Christmas, we nestled ourselves in my parents cabin in North Carolina to make vision boards to help us figure out just what we wanted out of life. It was my idea that we each make a vision board and then talk about our dreams. At first Eric thought it was a little cheesy, but then realized just how fun vision boarding is and even ended up spending two full days making his.
We gathered a bunch of old magazines and some pieces of wood we found in my parent’s basement. We sat down at the dining room table with some good music and began to cut paste pieces of our life visions onto the wood.
In August 2007 I moved to DC following a heartbreak. The move was a spontaneous decision, one my gut was telling me to make. At the time, I felt my life falling into pieces around me, and I had no idea how to rebuild. I decided to take fate into my own hands and create a new life for myself. As soon as the breakup happened, I realized I had lost myself in a relationship that was never going to work. I had lost sight of who I was and what I wanted from my life.
There were ups and downs, days when I wasn’t sure if I would make it through. Then there were days where I could see the light. The first month I was in DC (before I found a job), I spent a lot of time wandering around the city exploring on my own. I still felt directionless, but for the first time in a long time, I started feeling like me again. I thought about all I wanted to accomplish in my life.
So I made a list. I wanted to get everything out of my head and onto paper. I wanted to remind myself of the life I wanted to create, so if I ever got off track, I could look back at the list. After I wrote the list, I folded it up and placed it in a journal. Because I’m notorious for buying and starting new journals without finishing one (I have a box full of half written-in journals), I forgot about what I had written.
Almost six years later, when I was preparing to move out of DC, I came across the list I made. I was astonished to find I was living the life I wrote about when I was at the depths of my despair.
Some of the things on my list back in August 2007: