Living Simply, Surviving College

Go.

Think back to the last time you explored a place for the first time. It could have been in the country, across the world, or in your own backyard. Remember the feeling and wonder you experienced as you turned every street corner, passed every stranger on the sidewalk, rode every train and walked every mile? That feeling that you only get when you’re away from your typical, mundane, everyday routine. That feeling that travel and exploration gives away for free.

As twenty-something’s, we often look for experiences that are of little to no cost to us. Money is tight and we’re on a budget, but we don’t want that to stop us from enjoying life. And it shouldn’t stop us from enjoying life. Now, we can get all philosophical and say “what is the meaning of life if it is left un-enjoyed?” and your answer could be whatever suits you. But travel, travel is one way to find yourself and lose yourself all at the same time. Travel may possibly be the greatest way to enjoy this life if you allow it. This enjoyment and wonder can happen in your own city for free if you want it to. You can stay local and allow yourself to get comfortable where you are.
There is nothing inherently wrong with localizing yourself and staying stationary if it means it is cost efficient for you. But travel, when it costs something, is never a waste of money.

And while it can easily be seen as a selfish ambition, never underestimate the people you have the chance to impact along the way. The stories that you will have the chance to share along your journey have the power to change someone’s life.

As young, impressionable human beings, we should always seek to travel. Traveling does what nothing else has the power to do to us.

Travel evokes the sense of self-awareness inside of us that contrasts who we are inside this giant world. It opens our eyes to other cultures and shows us that life does not revolve around us and that it is okay to be different.

img_9477

Drinking chai on the streets of Kolkata, India summer of 2015.

Travel, as far as it can take us, somehow gives us a feeling of closeness as a human race. We as humans are given this beautiful ability to all be so different, yet we grow up on a planet filled with billions of other humans who feel the same emotions, have their own differing opinions and deal with their own stuff just like we do. Get out there and meet those people. Explore their world.

 

Never regret buying that plane ticket or saving up for that adventure. Experience is far more valuable than anything else you could ever save up for. Having a lifetime of stories to share is so much greater than having a bunch of things to show.

So go. Don’t let excuses get in your way of getting out into the world and feeling it, seeing it, touching it and loving it. You have today and today only, so don’t waste it. It is not irresponsible to take the time to see the world, it is your calling. Soak it up, breathe it in and keep going. There is so much more out there than we could ever experience on our own inside our own little world. Don’t deny yourself the chance to live the life you imagined.
So here’s what you do today:

Write down the qualities you want to see grow in yo

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Us, exploring NYC for the first time together.

u. Write down what it would feel like to loosen your grip on your own reality and see the world through someone else’s eyes. Research places that spark something inside you. Ask yourself: “what is my mission and goal?” Where can you go and what can you do to make this world a better place by being in it, and what can you do to make the best new versio of yourself outside of your box?

 

Get rid the things that are holding you back. Save up. Pack your bag. Buy that ticket. Bring friends. Go. Just whatever you do, go. Don’t ever let fear stop you from experiencing this great big world. Don’t allow routine to stop you from becoming rich in experience. It’s all up to you.

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves, and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again—to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”

– Pico Iyer

 

Advertisements
Standard
Living Simply

Being Financially Free in 2017

As twenty-something’s, there are many things we never realized the significance of until they’re gone.

Among other things, I have realized that I can never get my laundry to smell the way my mom can. Food always tastes better when dad buys it. Clothes are cuter when they come from my sisters closet. These are things we take for granted when we live with our families under one roof.

If you had this similar type of upbringing, you can attest to the fact that moving out for the first time was quite the game changer when it came to the grip you held on to your wallet (or lack thereof). It was a gradual process. It was a few breakdowns and a couple therapeutic trips to Target later that I realized adulthood was real life. Bills are mine to pay now. Student loans after graduating are a thing. Spending $10 on every meal I ate out was adding up more than my minimum wage job was keeping up.

Saving has never been an issue for me. I love to save. It was the process in how much I chose to save and how much I chose to spend on each paycheck that was leaving me confused and feeling like managing my finances were simply out of my control.

If you are anything like I was, I wouldn’t look at my bank account for weeks on end, afraid of the minuscule number I may see once I logged in.

One day, frustrated as heck, I decided that the best way to rid myself of the anxiety and stress money was giving me, I would halt my spending and make do with the things I own and save every penny I made at work. (Read here about how I found and applied the Contentment Challenge to my life!)

Here are my quick tips for being financially free in 2017. A new year’s resolution you can actually keep!

  • Own your stuff.

Literally and metaphorically. Look around you. You have so many things. Things that serve a purpose and some things that don’t. Get rid of the things that don’t do anything for you. Sell them, gift them, donate them, but whatever you do, be honest with yourself. Ask yourself: “am I purchasing things because of necessity or want?” and your spending habit will form a healthier mindset. Also, own up to your stuff. The person you were and the things you accumulated happened because of poor decision-making. Be aware of that. Change the way you see things. If you have the basics, you have everything you need. Everything else is just fluff.

  • Chart it.

Take inventory of your income and outgoing spending. What are some things you can cut in order to pay off outstanding bills? Any kind of debt is bad debt, you don’t want extra payments looming over you. If you find that you can cut some expenses and re-route that money toward paying off debt, do it! It’ll speed up the process of eliminating that underlying stress you don’t need in your life!

  • Live free.

You own your stuff, not the other way around. You can live in financial freedom today by knowing you’re working towards something great. You may not be free from debt, but you can be free from the stress and anxiety of not knowing what your financial plan is long-term. Take responsibility for your spending life and you’ll gain the confidence you need for making every financial decision with intentionality.

Standard