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.

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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

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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

 

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Friday Favs, Living Simply

Friday Favs

Becoming Minimalist is easily one of my favorite inspirational minimalist blogs I have come across in my minimalist journey.

Joshua Becker is a husband, father, and author who shares his story about how his family found minimalism and the impact it has had on their lives. His story proves that minimalism is for everyone, not just single, rich white guys.

On Becoming Minimalist, you will find blog posts on everything from decluttering to Christmas shopping for minimalists.

Every blog post is filled with useful, thought-provoking content on a variety of subjects that many perspective-minimalists and pro-minimalists alike will enjoy reading.

I hope you check his site out!

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Living Simply, Surviving College

Mindfulness.

The Christmas season.

The week full of final exams.

The excessive spending.

The exhaustion.

The stress.

 

Mindfulness.

I urge you to be mindful this month.

A word that represents an action that is neglected very often in our everyday lives, but a practice we should observe religiously.

Mindfulness is a state of being that halts any further action and observes what is being exerted from your thoughts and body.

You have control over what is flowing in and out of your head, you have the power to object negative thinking and forbid overstimulation.

This post is in no way to encourage you to seek some kind of mystical enlightenment. It is a post, however, to encourage slowing down and being kind to yourself. What you put in your body is what you’ll get out of it, as they say.

Be mindful in this season of your life. Be mindful of your thoughts, actions, the way you treat others and the way you think about yourself.

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Tidbit Tuesdays

Tidbit Tuesday

In this stage of life that we are in, not only are we learning more about who we are as people and growing and evolving, the people around us are experiencing the same changes too.

When we become attached to our friendships, sometimes we experience rough patches. Those rough patches can result in a stronger relationship, but, they can also result in an ended one. It can become difficult to navigate feelings when friendships become rocky, and it can quickly feel like you are alone when relationships change and become distant.

When this happens to you, become your best friend.

Treat others with kindness, even when the people in your relationships don’t treat you well. Be loving to them, but be loving with yourself even more.

Stay positive about yourself, affirm yourself, encourage yourself. Respect your efforts and understand your limitations.

It is so important to embrace your humanity and be mindful of your own presence. You are a necessary part of this world, no matter what others may say.

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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.

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Living Simply

7 Practical Ways to Practice Minimalism Every Day

Our day-to-day lives are slammed with a multitude of things vying for our attention. It happens over time as we slowly integrate and adapt to trends, new forms of media, new relationships, more homework, etc.

Take a step back and analyze your mental and physical health. Are you tired? Overwhelmed? Over-stimulated? Do you feel like you are constantly searching for more things to bring you happiness? Do you feel like you never have enough time in the day to get all your tasks done? If you identified with any of these questions, consider taking the time to read through and apply some of these simple tools to your life to guide you into living a more intentional life!

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Encouragement courtesy of my bedroom wall Junior year.

Prioritize

Minimalism is based on the concept that we must get rid of the things that do not add value to our lives. What do you spend most of your time doing? Make a list of 3-6 things you love. If you aren’t doing those things every day, re-evaluate where you place your time.

Declutter

Where you spend your time impacts the quality of your day. Do you rummage through piles of items to find a pair of shoes or that notebook for class? Have you noticed that your closet is stuffed, but you reach for only a handful of items each week? Give your space a detox as often as you notice things aren’t being used for any benefit, or if they do not spark joy.

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Hot air balloon taking off over Disney Springs.

Disconnect

Notifications on your phone for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, email, text, and the list goes on and on, leave you with a false sense of urgency. Those things can wait. Turn them off.

Breathe

In order to truly disconnect, we must first connect with ourselves. Taking the time to breathe and examine the state of your mental health is of utmost importance. Consciously breathe and take things slow when you start to feel overwhelmed. Nothing is more important than your well-being.

Write

When we write, we are connected even more to the inner workings of our mind. Free-writing is simple yet helpful in clearing out the cobwebs and making space for only fruitful thoughts. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and let yourself loose.

Unsubscribe

We should all aspire to be life-long learners, but too much information at our fingertips dilutes what is actually meaningful to our lives. Pick a few favorite sources to subscribe to and say goodbye to the rest. You don’t need to know or have it all.

Relax

They weren’t kidding when they said Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that truly can apply to the standards you hold yourself to. Relax. You are a beautiful creation capable of so many incredible things. Be mindful of yourself, your space, your possessions, the value of your time and your well-being. But most of all, relax. You are one human in the world of billions. Let go of what isn’t making you a better person and strive every day to do your best.

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Uncategorized

Friday Favs

“Can the mind change the brain?” Dr. Caroline Leaf asks the TedTalks crowd, “can a brain that’s damaged grow?”

One of the most valuable tools we can ever utilize is our brains. Yes, your noggin can be your greatest weapon.

Mental illness is running rampant in our society. Our generation is experiencing anxiety, depression, and other forms of illnesses like never before. I have fought my own battles with mental illness in the past, and although my anxiety today is not as severe as it once was, I still experience the symptoms of it pretty often.

It wasn’t until I was 20 years old that I heard THIS message by Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist, that I was able to take control of my thoughts that triggered my anxiety. Since hearing the message and reading her book, I have seen tremendous change in the way I handle my anxious thoughts.

I chose this topic and resolution as my Friday Fav because of how important it is and how powerful these techniques can change a person dealing with mental illness. I encourage you to read/listen to the words of Dr. Caroline Leaf if you find yourself struggling with your thoughts and feelings.

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