How is it already 2019! As the New Year is upon us, this is a great time to reflect over the past 12 months and think about how you want your year to look and set intentions for 2019. Remember you are the creator of your life and are fully responsible for your happiness. I’m taking this opportunity to look back on how I’ve grown as a person, how life has changed, the adventures that were had, areas for self improvement and set intentions I want to see happen in the year to come.
Last January I was finishing up a road trip in Australia before my visa finished and also preparing to leave the country for a new adventure in New Zealand. There were so many exciting and new changes that were happening and about to take place.
This January I am back living in Toronto, working in an office and have seemingly fallen back into my old routine before leaving to travel and live abroad in 2017. Although not as exciting as preparing for a life of adventure in a new country, there are still exciting things happening and to look forward to. I really think that having this time at home is a gift to explore new opportunities, self improvement and to nurture relationships with family and friends I didn’t get to see for 18 months.
Returning to Canada
Returning home had its own struggles at first especially dealing with the wanderlust blues (which is a common thing) and settling back into an old life I had previously left. No longer was there the excitement of living in an unfamiliar country surrounded by oceans, cheap flight access to destinations that from Canada are insanely expensive to get to and dealing with the fact that you no longer feel that sense of freedom being abroad. Even though I was working and living a similar lifestyle I would here, it just wasn’t the same. Over time it got easier and I started to enjoy myself more and focus on the positive aspects of returning home. If you are experiencing a similar feeling, try to focus on the positive aspects of returning home after being abroad. Meeting up with old friends, being a tourist in your own city and tapping into creative projects or hobbies are all beneficial.
Had I not come back to Canada though, I would still be deeply missing friends and family, missed the birth of my nephew, and not have been able to attend one of my closest friend’s wedding. I also don’t know if I would’ve had the motivation to finally get this blog up and running. Wanderlush Travel has become my passion project. I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to start up a blog, the amount of time that needs to be put into it to for growth and the love that goes behind it. When I was abroad, I had started this blog but never kept up with it and lacked motivation. It was running on a basic free wordpress and let’s just say it didn’t look very pretty and had no idea what I was doing.
Looking Back on the Year
Leaving New Zealand and being back in a slower pace of life since returning home has also led to more inner self reflection. I have discovered how passionate I actually am about travel and this was not something I realized how much before leaving to live abroad. I always loved it, but now its on a whole new level. Travel opens your mind up in ways you don’t realize and giving you more appreciation for things in life. Being immersed in different cultures and meeting people from around the globe provides a deeper understanding of how the world works and the beauty it has to offer while making you feel more connected and open-minded. It can also have an addictive effect and can make you want to travel even more!
Before Leaving New Zealand earlier this year, I took a week solo holiday to Fiji and island-hopped to some of the most breathtaking tropical beaches while meeting some amazing fellow travellers. Swam with Mantarays, sipped cocktails and watched fire dancers. Fiji was a major highlight of 2018!
After only four months of being back in Toronto I was able to book a trip to London and Dublin for a week which was an incredible experience. I even got to meet-up with a friend I met while living in Australia.
A lesson learned from returning home is that sometimes the things that we tend to struggle with the most can be some of our best teachers and motivators, growing us as individuals and driving us to follow through on our passions.
Intentions for 2019
- Cutting out meat – I’ve been feeling conflicted about this topic for a while so decided to cut it out. Not only beneficial for diet, but for the animals, the environment and reduces carbon footprint.
- Becoming more active – I used to love working out and be quite active. After travelling I got lazy with workouts and now really need to step up the game. Goal is to start mornings off with a quick 15-30 min workout you can do anywhere with a mat. Youtube has so many free videos you can do at home.
- Increasing more positive experiences and working on a more positive outlook – Practice gratitude, self-love, mindfulness and attracting positivity.
- Nurturing relationships with friends and family – this is always a good one!
- Focusing on eating more wholesome plant-based foods – reduce processed foods, increase fruit and veg intake and focus on eating whole foods.
- Learning more about photography, creating content and being more creative – always great to learn new skills and I’ve been really enjoying it so far.
- Write more and grow Wanderlush Travel – grow the blog while sharing my passion for travelling and writing with a focus around lifestyle and budget travel.
- Being more compassionate with the planet, lessen plastic use and become more green focused – Even though many of us recycle, just using your own water bottle or bringing your own coffee cup, can make such a difference. A big one I have been trying to do lately is not use the little plastic bags at the supermarket for fruits and vegetables. I used to take almost 5 each time. That adds up to a lot of plastic! Especially if you are buying for a family
- And of course Travel more! – There will certainly be more travel in 2019.
Keep in mind that as much as we will try to reach all our intentions in 2019, sometimes we fall off the wagon. That’s okay, it’s normal, we are human. The main thing is that you get back to putting your best foot forward and keep working towards your goals.
Here’s to an exciting new year!
What are some of your goals and intentions for 2019? Would love to hear them! Share in the comments below.