taking the plunge

It’s been over a year since I made one of the scariest decisions of my life.

I bought a one way ticket and took a plane to the other side of the world.

My plan was to travel through South America for 3 months, and then go and live in Canada. Beyond that, it was very vague.

‘How long was I going to be away for?’ No idea. ‘Did I know anyone on the other side?’ Nope. ‘Can I speak Spanish?’ err Si? ‘Where will I live?’ Umm I’m not sure. ‘What will you do for work?’ I haven’t organised anything yet. .

These were questions not only running through my own mind, but ones asked by people who were generally concerned for me. For a person that generally has control in their life, not knowing the answers was truly terrifying for me!

I still remember heading to the airport in the early hours of the morning. I was so nervous that I barely slept a wink the night before, and I couldn’t even speak on the drive out there. I don’t think I have ever experienced anything like it, I was completely consumed with fear. I had an awful dread in the pit of my stomach and was totally caught up in my own worry of the unknown.

As I said goodbye to my nearest and dearest at the airport, part of me was asking myself ‘What the hell am I doing?!’ ‘Why am I leaving these beautiful people behind?’ ‘My life is really good here!’ ‘What if I fail?’.  .  It’s like I floated up out of my body and looked down on the situation. Here I was about to leave my comfortable life behind, to venture out into the unknown. Was I making the right decision?

And then I remembered the quote that fuelled this adventure. The one that my dear colleagues wrote in a travel journal for me –

marktwainquote

Oh yeah, that’s why I am doing this! I had been feeling uninspired, bored and listless for the past few months, I knew something had to shift. It was time for a BIG life change.

I looked around me and saw people buying houses, getting engaged, having babies, tying the knot – and I was incredibly happy for them, yet as much as I wanted those things, I knew that it wasn’t yet my time. That was a hard thing to grasp, because most things that I had wanted in my life up until this point I had been able to go and get.

I got caught up comparing myself to others, which lead to thinking of all the things I didn’t have. I sat in a place of missing out, and that only made me feel incomplete.

Then one day I decided enough is enough. I no longer want to feel this way. I have the power to choose something else. To chose adventure, challenge, fulfilment – to choose my unique life.

I get to create my life.

I started to shift my focus to what i did have. As soon as I did this, my whole outlook changed – I began to look at my situation as a wonderful opportunity. I had no partner, no mortgage, no kids, no pets – no ties or responsibilities whatsoever! I had the novel realisation that this was actually a good thing. Why not take advantage of the situation, and use my freedom? This chance may not come around a second time.

It had always been a goal of mine to live in another country at some point in my life, but I just had never got around to actually doing it. The timing was never right, I was caught up in my career, or in a relationship, or saving money (which ironically helped fund this trip!). I thought, well if not now, then when? I was waiting for some illusive moment that may never arise.

Time was ticking and running out to be eligible for a working visa in Canada, so the decision to leave was almost made for me. Which was great as it meant I didn’t have to think too much about it. (Remember hesitation is devastation!).

I’ve now been living overseas for over a year, and what an incredible journey it’s been.

I’ve seen so much beauty in the world, both in nature and in people. My travels have been even better than I had imagined – not even in my wildest dreams could I have predicted some of the incredible experiences I’ve been lucky enough to have.

I focused on having fun, and living in the moment for the first time in a very long time.

It was exactly what my soul needed. I am so glad I listened to the faint murmur in my heart, the one that was yearning for something more.

What are the niggling little voices inside your head asking for?

What does your heart truly wish for?

What plunge are you ready to take in your life?

Perhaps it’s your time to throw away the bow lines, and sail away from your safe harbour.

EXPLORE.   DREAM.   DISCOVER.

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I was here

Sometimes music just hits the nail on the head, and more often than not, it’s a song that I need to hear.

I am crushing goals right now, travelling on an amazing adventure with my twin sister to celebrate our 30th birthdays (more on that later!).

On one long leg of our flight the other day, a song came on that made me sit bolt upright and pay full attention – in fact, i had to listen to it twice to make sure it all soaked in.

The lyrics resonated so strongly with me.

It is titled ‘I was here’, by the ever powerful Beyonce.

(Click here to watch her amazing performance at the United Nations ‘World Humanitarian Day’: “One day, one message, one goal. To inspire people all over the world to do something good, no matter how big or small, for someone else”.)

This song is completely aligned with living a life you love, and for that reason I wanted to share it here with you –

“I Was Here”

I wanna leave my footprints on the sands of time
Know there was something that, meant something that I left behind
When I leave this world, I’ll leave no regrets
Leave something to remember, so they won’t forgetI was here
I lived, I loved
I was here
I did, I’ve done everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be
I will leave my mark so everyone will know
I was hereI want to say I lived each day, until I died
And know that I meant something in, somebody’s life
The hearts I have touched, will be the proof that I leave
That I made a difference, and this world will seeI was here
I lived, I loved
I was here
I did, I’ve done everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be
I will leave my mark so everyone will knowI was here
I lived, I loved
I was here
I did, I’ve done everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be
I will leave my mark so everyone will know
I was hereI just want them to know
That I gave my all, did my best
Brought someone some happiness
Left this world a little better just because
I was here

. . . Yup, some powerful lyrics right there.

It got me thinking about legacies.

What mark am I leaving on world?

What do I want to be remembered for?

Have you ever thought about what your legacy is?

We all leave a wake in the journey of our lives, and we all have the power to determine what that looks like. Actually, it’s our responsibility.

What are the things your heart wants to do but you keep putting them off? Get clear on why you are denying yourself and get in action to make them happen for you.

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ― Shannon L. Alder

This trip is something my sister and I had the idea for a while ago. We made plans and made sh*t happen.  Now we are together for the first time in 14 months, making incredible memories that will last us a lifetime.

We could have put it off till a more convenient time, when we had more money, or more of our friends were available to join us. But truth is, there’s never a perfect time is there? All we have are these moments in time to seize with both hands.

We are ticking things off our bucket lists left, right, and centre – and it’s been more than we thought it would be.

I am so blessed, and feel so grateful to be sharing these experiences with my sister. I feel re-energised and inspired to make my contribution to the world.

We lived, we loved, we were here.

onepreciouslife

hesitation

I recently watched a friend bungee jump.

It was an interesting experience, let me tell you the story . .

There was one woman ahead of our friend, so we all stood by on the bridge and watched. This woman was all geared up and ready to go. She stepped out onto the platform and looked down at the rushing river below. Then she made the worst mistake. She hesitated.

From there on in it was a downward spiral of doubt, fear and downright freaking out. You could see the thoughts processing through her mind, then physically manifest in her body. She turned white, tears started rolling down her cheeks. All of the coaxing, cheering and positive talk in the world couldn’t get her to jump. There was no way in hell she was leaping off that bridge. She eventually came back off the platform, it wasn’t her day to jump.

Our friend was up next. I had butterflies in my stomach, what a nerve-wracking build up. But she wasn’t fazed. She didn’t let fear or doubt enter her mind. She knew what she came to do. She had come to jump.

She stepped out onto the platform, took one look down and leaped head first off the bridge with the ease and grace of a diver into a swimming pool.

Her life motto?

hesitation is devastation” 

How fitting.

What an incredible display of mind over matter to witness. Watching these two totally opposing experiences. The only difference between them? One person hesitated. One let her mind stray and entertain her negative thoughts. And one stuck to her guns, with an unwavering conviction.

It got me thinking – when have I hesitated and missed out on an incredible experience? When have I psyched myself out of something because of fear?

My fear may not be as obvious as bungee jumping, but perhaps more subtle hesitations around being out of my comfort zone, fear of embarrassment or rejection, fear of failure, or worse – fear of success?

These things may be subtle to the eye, but they have a far more devastating effect on us in the long run.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
― Neale Donald Walsch

What do you hesitate with?

It may seem huge, it may be seem trivial. Your fear is real regardless – but feel the fear and do it anyway! So go book that sky-dive, chat to the cute stranger, apply for your dream job, sign up for that half-marathon, declare your love to someone . . . Whatever it is, just don’t hesitate.

Growth is on the other side of fear.

scaresyou

quality time

I just returned from a fabulous adventure across Canada with my parents. We hadn’t seen each other since I left Australia a year ago, and what an incredible reunion we had!

It’s not often the three of us get to spend time together, just us. Me moving countries obviously created an obstacle, but the other reason is I have a twin sister, so the family catch ups have always been all four of us – which I love! But it was really special and rare to have that time with my parents – solo.

What is quality time anyway? It’s a term that gets thrown around a lot.

What does it mean to you?

For me, it means being present, having real conversations, asking deeper questions, building stronger bonds, getting more related, really appreciating and having fun in each others company.

Quality time = Creating memories

It’s not scrolling through my iphone during meals, it’s not being stingy with my listening, it’s not reacting like my 16 year-old self may have done. It comes back to my previous post on integrity, to me it’s being responsible for the energy I supply in the time we spend together.

While driving through the Rocky Mountains we played a question game (I think it was actually designed for first dates, but it worked a treat!). We asked each other; What are your greatest accomplishments in life? Who are the people who have had the biggest influence on your life? If you could live any place in the world where would it be and why? What is the most challenging thing you’ve ever endured? What’s something that no one knows about you? What’s your favourite childhood memory?

It was priceless to get these insights into my parents. Often the people closest to us are the one’s we know the least about.

I’m so grateful for the quality time we had together during this holiday. We created memories I will never forget.

Life is short. Memories are precious.

If you’re going to spend time with your loved ones, make it quality time.

rockies

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