Time to Reflect

It’s crazy to think that it has been 3 months since I left London, the place I thought I’d always call home. What’s even crazier is that I honestly couldn’t be happier.

I let myself fall into a few bad situations with the wrong kind of people (friends and men) and continued repeating a cycle that left me less than impressed with myself and the road that lay ahead of me. I dreaded waking up each day to start the same process again. I was stuck working in a fickle industry, where the women I worked with tossed bitchiness around as easily as their morning egg white omelette. I was encouraging clients to buy into a lifestyle they couldn’t afford and I became completely defeated as I had lost the love I once had for customer service.

By leaving and choosing to put the negativity behind me, along with removing poisonous friendships from my life and only keeping around the ones I hold dear, happiness has finally spread all over me. I can see it every day. Not only in the change in my behaviour, but also the improvements to my mind and body.

My nails are strong and long, instead of breaking off all over the place. A massive increase in dairy in my diet (cheese and yoghurt are my new best friends) and reduction in stress has certainly helped! My skin is not only brighter now, but has actual colour compared to the sallow shade London turned it. I have a tan, which for me is basically just a shade above ghostly, but I can now see the large white birthmark I have on my hand again, so it feels like a real achievement in my life!  My complexion has improved so much that random people on the street from different countries have told me how good my skin looks.

As someone who has struggled with chin acne and used different products along with the pill to try and fix it, these compliments are amazing to receive and a HUGE confidence booster. With my skin finally clear, I’ve barely worn makeup for weeks (only for special occasions) and am completely ok with that. Now when I wear makeup I look in the mirror and don’t feel completely like myself. I am comfortable with my appearance and most importantly I finally love my freckles. I used to wish as a child that they would all connect and form a gorgeous tan, now I embrace them as a form of individuality.

I know no matter the posts I make or advice I give on this blog, that not everyone is able to up and quit their jobs to go on a year long world adventure. For some this is terrifying and they’d never even consider leaving a secure job, let alone traveling solo internationally. Others use commitments as an excuse that they just can’t drop everything to jet-set to a foreign location. What we all need to start realising is that any sort of measures taken to improve your life and health, whether it be in the form of travel, quitting your job, breaking up with a partner, or making another big life change to benefit yourself will not only help mentally, but physically.

In London any tiny little blunder, or seemingly stupid thing will get people in a stressed out tizz. I have had some serious, potentially threatening experiences whilst abroad recently, but never once felt the need to pack it all in the way London often makes you want to. In London a bad experience would mean the end of the world. Each obstacle while traveling has only made me stronger and built upon my life skills immensely. I’m no Wonder Woman and I’ve definitely had some bad days, but to me it’s a mind over matter situation and I know it can only continue to get better.

My wish is for everyone to stop being so fearful of what the unknown might hold. I used to love planning a travel itinerary before every trip abroad. I’d set aside some time to type up a daily itinerary and smile smugly to myself at how well planned it was. Then I’d email it over to my Mum so she would always know how to contact me while I was away and wouldn’t have a fear induced heart attack. Now I couldn’t think of anything worse. I love that I could be in another country within a day. I am also completely comfortable if I were to only book the journey a day before. It is fantastic to arrive to a city with no set plans and meet other travellers or locals that can help me discover something new and unique about their city.

Right now I know I will be in Israel and Jordan for another 3 weeks, but who is to say I won’t extend this time. Maybe I’ll head to Turkey or Egypt next, maybe I’ll swing back to Italy to work for a few months, or maybe I’ll find myself in Asia for the winter. Who the hell knows! I do know that I don’t ever want this to end and am likely to spend another summer in Europe before eventually heading home to Australia for some much needed time with my Mum, along with getting to know my gorgeous niece better. She is 3 going on 30 and is growing up far too quickly before my eyes.

This approach isn’t at all what I expected. When I first ventured out in August, I tentatively made the plan to be home in time to celebrate my 25th birthday in April with family and friends. What I realise now is that these are trivial moments that I previously placed too much importance on, only to always be let down. Turning 25 in 5 months is just another year on my tally and there will always be plenty of birthdays to celebrate, so I need to stop setting time frames as life experience is limitless.

With reflection I am at peace with my decision to start this journey and can see my body and mind are thanking me for it. I can only wish for you all to experience a similar feeling at some point in your life. It will be challenging to make a big change. It will be exposing to unleash your inner desires, but it will also be unbelievably freeing once you reap all the rewards for being a little bit selfish, by taking the time to do exactly as you please.

Just think about it…

♥ Love from Leah