For the most part 2016 has been one hell of a roller coaster for both the world over and little old me.
I quit my job, packed up my home with Ross, shoved a few possessions into a 40L backpack and left for the other side of the world. On doing so, 2016 has become one of the most life changing years of my life so far and it’s taught me so much.
1. You can pack up all your things and you can leave. You can always start your life over somewhere, and somewhere doesn’t necessarily mean a new country, it could be in the same city you’re already in. Whether you quit your job, leave a relationship, or pack up to live on your own, you are in complete control over your life and you should do the best you can to make it most enjoyable for you.
2. Sometimes relationships and friendships fade out. This is something I’m still trying to wrap my head around if I’m honest but this year I learned you can’t make people stay in your life when they, and you, have moved on, so you just have to let them go. Relationships and friendships sometimes just die out and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s heartbreaking but sometimes that’s how it goes.
3. Travelling is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I took my first big trip this year and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my entire life. I’ve learnt so much about myself, my life before I left, what is important to me and what I find the most joy in. I recommend travelling to everyone. I kind of felt that at 25 I was a bit late to take a gap year, but actually there is no age limit to taking time to explore the world.
4. Do what you want, regardless of what everyone else is doing. You are in charge of your own life and you only get to live it once so do what makes you happy, regardless of what everyone else is doing.
5. You don’t need a lot to be happy. You don’t need a wardrobe full of the latest fashions. You don’t need a 9 to 5 job. You don’t need a flashy car. To be truly happy you shouldn’t focus on ‘things’ but rather, ‘experiences’. I used to put all of my happiness into materialistic possessions but none of that really matters in the grand scheme of things. Instead I find happiness in the things I’ve accomplished, the things I’ve seen and the memories I’ve made.
6. You get out of life what you put in. I used to pour over travel blogs, marveling at the amazing places these people got to visit. Then I realised I could go there too if I really wanted. Whilst I might have to save up and stay in slightly less luxurious accommodation, I could still see the wonders of our world and enjoy them just the same as anyone.
7. Family means everything to me. OK, so I already knew this. But living 11,500 miles away from my favourite people in the whole world has really shown me how much they mean to me. I can’t wait for the time zones to match up so I can call home, even if I don’t have much to say, just to see their faces is enough. To some it might be uncool to love hanging out with your Mum and Dad, but if you met mine you’d see why I love them so much.
8. Compromise = contentment. I suffer a bit with only child syndrome. Even though I now have 3 brothers and sisters, for a large proportion of my childhood I was an only child and used to getting everything, more or less, my way. This year I’ve had to learn that my wants and needs are no greater than anyone else’s and that if I compromise I will find a lot more contentment. (Sorry for being a stubborn arse Ross.)
I’m already looking forward to what 2017 will bring. Ross and I have a huge year of travel ahead of us, and I can’t wait to see what lessons I’ll learn along the way. What exciting things have you got planned for the new year? Leave me a comment below.