Welcome to 2021 and a different kind of post, something I’ve never done before… a life update. To be honest, I’m not sure where to even start, but I’m going to give it my best shot. I believe in being raw, open, and honest with my thoughts and feelings. I hope you find something that resonates with you or sparks new thoughts, creativity, and reflection. Or perhaps, you’re simply interested in hearing about my life… either way, keep on reading.
It’s no secret that 2020 has been for lack of better terms, a sh!t show. I remember traveling back from Australia in February thinking things would all blow over in a couple of months… LOL.
I don’t think there will be a magical moment where the world goes back to “normal”. I believe we will feel the effects of current events for years to come. With that being said, life doesn’t stop for anything or anyone. I can’t be stagnant and pause my life, waiting for things to “be better”. What makes you who you are in this moment is the ability to persevere, to fight and stand up for what you believe in, to create the life you want to live.
Before you read the rest of this post, I am grateful for the life I live. I also understand that safety and health are major concerns currently. These are purely my raw thoughts and a true honest life update.
My latest post: Fifth Month Blogging Report
2021 Travel Plans
In September of 2019, I set a goal for myself – to jet off and pursue my dreams of traveling in January of 2021. I planned to invest a year and a half into a new position I accepted in the hospitality industry – to learn, to challenge myself, and to grow.
During this time, I would also research and plan my travels. Well, a hard reality hit when the hospitality industry took a turn and the effects of the pandemic plummeted the industry. Thankfully, I was able to keep my position, but I spent my days in an empty building. Day turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Months turned into a full year.
I needed to do something. A way to fill my time. So, I started a blog. This blog. Withlovemeli was born! In March of 2020, I took a leap of faith and started writing about my experiences, travels, sharing my knowledge, and connecting to others.
It was the BEST leap of faith I’ve taken.
My heart blossoms when I write, when I connect, and when I can make a positive impact on someone through my words. What a special thing it is to reach thousands of people through one blog.
But behind the scenes, you may be thinking, why didn’t you leave?
Find another job? Take some time off? Well, I didn’t know when the industry would see an upturn. Everything was and still is unknown. Tomorrow could bring positive news or it could be just as the day before. Would I be able to find another job? Many companies were left struggling and as a result, conducting mass layoffs. Should I really leave and risk the possibility of unemployment? Nope, so, I stuck it out.
A full year of my life, 365 days, spent in an empty building fighting to show my worth so I can keep a roof over my head. That’s wild.
What’s even wilder is that this is just one story. My story. There are millions of stories of people left unemployed, losing loved ones, struggling to stay afloat, and still in self-isolation. The important thing to remember is, everyone’s story is different. Struggle and hardship are individually defined. Our stories are no less than one another.
But the thing is, something never changed during my story. I can’t let go of my dream. I just can’t do it. There is still a burning desire in me to travel, to meet people, to connect with others, to share experiences, and to write.
While it is hard to accept change, I am going with the flow and accepting that every day is different. Things will not go according to plan, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make them.
When I reflect over the last year, I will not allow myself to believe it has gone to waste. It’s been anything but a waste. Definitely not how I planned, but I have learned and challenged myself in ways I didn’t imagine.
While the hospitality industry has seen an uptake, I am no longer in the same mindset I was in September of 2019. The year and a half I planned is almost up and I want to move on. I want to invest my time into my true passions – life is too short for anything but that. I want to see the world we live in, deeply connect with various cultures, share my passions with others, and continue to learn from others. This blog is half of it. It has opened doors and connections I never imagined.
But I’m missing something. Time. My time right now is a “9-5” job. And my “9-5” is defined as long days, overnight shifts, and never-ending emails. That same “9-5” also keeps a roof over my head, my bills paid, and food on the table.
So, how do I break away from my “9-5” to pursue my dreams? Well, I have two options.
Option 1: I use what time I have left in my day to research, plan, write, and invest in my future and this blog in hopes that someday, hopefully soon, I will be ready to break away.
Option 2: I take a risk fully jumping into the unknown and I break away. What do I need to breakaway? Courage.
Courage to be uncomfortable.
What’s the moral of my story?
Our time on this beloved planet is limited. Here today, gone tomorrow. Sounds a little morbid, but time is precious, something you can never take back, an individual clock that can’t be stopped.
So, fight to use your time wisely. Pour it into the things that matter most to you. Your hopes. Your dreams. Your aspirations. Your goals. All I know is, my story includes time for my passions, for we only live one life.
So, Where am I Today?
Today, I am deciding what is best for me. Life doesn’t stop for anyone, nor can I stop living my best life in pursuit of writing my own story. To me, life is full of risks. And I like to take them. You never know until you try something and I truly believe we grow the most when we are outside of our comfort zones (thanks yes theory).
So, today, tomorrow, and thereafter, I live with the knowledge that things can change any minute. Will I jet off in January of 2021? I have absolutely no idea.
What I know is that I am patient, I am driven and I will not diminish the flame inside of me dedicated to creating a life that fulfills me.
Where are you today?
UPDATE MAY 2021:
Where to even start?! I left my job on February 8th and started traveling on March 1st, 2021. I spent the last two months in Guatemala volunteering as an English teacher in a small indigenous town. Currently, I am in Costa Rica volunteering at an Eco-Lodge managing social media and helping around the hotel.
It’s been an incredible experience combing my love for travel and helping people into one mission. I will continue to travel for as long as I possibly can.
If you’re interested in how I made this possible, please reach out or leave a comment below. I’m eager to hear from you.
“Never underestimate a dreamer” – Jen Obrien.