Packing To Move Overseas

I’ve gotten to the point where I have sold the majority of my furniture and have 1 week left in my apartment. So many days I sit and stare at all my belongings packed in boxes knowing that I won’t be able to see my valuable, sentimental items for a long time. What to bring? What to sell? What to put in storage? OVERWHELMING is an understatement.

This is not like any ordinary move. I am moving overseas with 3 suite cases and a small backpack. Can I fit my life in those bags? With all my past vacations, I pride myself as being a light packer. I have traveled around Europe for a month with just carry-on going from Greece, where it was 30 degrees to Poland, Netherlands and England where it was 10 degrees. I had to pack for all weather. But this, this is no ordinary vacation. Nor is it a vacation at all. When I’m on vacation I don’t care if I wear my clothes multiple days or about having “nice clothes” to wear for a dinner or dancing. When I pack for this move, I need to think about what kind of job I will have (no, I haven’t got a job yet), every day clothes, “comfy clothes” to wear at night while I watch Netflix, what jacket to bring for the rainy winter weather and what shoes to bring, just to name a few things.

As I have been putting stuff in my suite cases, for some reason they seem A LOT smaller than they use to be. Putting 2 pairs of pants seemed to fill the whole thing. And that is just clothes! What about toiletries? The last thing I want to do is go shopping for new facial products as soon as I get there, so I do want to bring what I have, but again, all of a sudden it seems life I have way to much. Let me be clear, I am in no way a product junkie. I stick to the basics. I don’t need 5 different face washes or 30 different night creams. But all of a sudden it seems like 1 is too much.

I know it will all end up fitting and all will be well. It’s just that right now, with so many things going on in my brain, it seems like the little problems have become large .

If anyone has any packing tips for moving overseas, please comment below.

 

XOXO

No One Said It Would be Easy

As my departure date quickly approaches (who turned up the speed on time by the way?), everything is really starting to sink in and the stress level is kicked into high gear. Little things that I never imagined would matter, start to matter. Like giving up my phone number that I have had for the past 20 years. Why does that matter all of a sudden? It’s just a phone number. But somehow it feels like it has been part of my identity that I now have to leave behind.

From there the emotions start to snowball. Having dinner with a friend, which something I love to do, it now super emotional as I don’t know when I’ll see these wonderful people that have become family to me. I have realized in my life that friends come and go but now at 36 years old, I feel like I finally have wonderful people in my life who I know will be there no matter what. I want to take this moment to let everyone know how special you all are to me. I wish I had time to tell you all individually. It took me a long time to feel this comfortable with my friendships (I have been burned in the past) and it’s hard to think about not being able to see them all the time.

When I made the decision to move to London, I knew I was going to have to leave behind so many things that I cherish, but the reality of the situation is really starting to sink in. I know that I won’t regret this decision and I know that it will be a once in a life time experience. I keep telling myself it will be totally worth it when I land and the new chapter of my life can begin. In a way, I can re-invent myself and be open to new so many new opportunities. Living abroad is something that I have wanted to do that majority of my life and now that I have this chance I would be crazy to pass it up. It’s funny when I tell people that I am moving to London, many of them say how amazing it is (a couple have said that it’s crazy… but I think in a good way). So many people only dream of getting this chance. In the past when I have visited my brother in London, I haven’t wanted to come back to Calgary but for one reason or another, I always came back only to regret it. I’m not saying Calgary or Canada is a horrible place to live because it’s really not. I just knew I was being drawn overseas for some reason. Now is the time to see what that reason is…

 

Being Open to Change

Having my life open to the public in this way is not something that comes easy to me. My privacy is something I value. It takes me a while to be able to trust people and talk about my life. But, I am trying to embrace change. Which can be terrifying.

I think something that many people think about when they are making a big life change is what they are giving up rather that what they could be gaining. It’s all about the unknown. Going back to school at 34 years old, there were multiple times that I thought I was crazy (and sometimes still think that way) because I was going to be leaving my comfortable job and life for the unknown.

Humans are creatures of habit and routine. Most people like being in their comfort zone. And that is great for most people, but what travel has taught me is that when I have broken out of my comfort zone by landing in a new country where I don’t know the language, city or culture, I momentarily feel nervous but soon realize that I have done it… on my own. What a sense of accomplishment knowing that you conquered that fear and made memories that will last a lifetime.

I have always living in the same province in Canada my entire life. And while having traveled to over 30 countries may seem like a huge accomplishment to many, I look at people in my life who have moved across the country or half way around the world to seek out a change. I look at my brother, who in his early 20’s took the chance on a 2 year student work visa to move to London, England. Shortly after he was married to his wonderful wife and backpacking around the world. He continues to live happily married in London with their 2 children. Or my friend Laurayne, who is always tells me what a risk-taker I am and how proud she is of me for following my dreams (she’s my personal cheerleader). This girl took the chance and moved across the country and soon after started dating her now husband, once again made a big move to stunning Vancouver Island and recently bought a house and got married. These are perfect examples of being open to change. These people didn’t know what would happen when they up and moved but left their comfort zone, took the leap and went for it.

What’s the worst that could happen? If you don’t like where you end up, go back, make an adjustment and move on. There is no harm in trying. I have always been someone who has thought, when I am old and grey, I won’t regret the things that I have done. I will regret the things that I didn’t do.

Get out there and go for it!

Why I’m Doing This

Since I have started my website, Instagram and Facebook sites, I have been asked on numerous occasions why I am doing this and what the point is. Well, I know most of you aren’t stupid and know there is money to be made in blogging. So, yes, I do hope to make money and have the ultimate freedom to travel the world and “work” from where-ever my plane lands. That is not the only reason I have started this new adventure in my life. A lot of it has to do with making a change and bettering myself and life.

Throughout my entire life I have always felt like I was doing things to make other people happy. Yes it’s always good to give but not to the point where you are not making yourself a priority. When I have been in relationships, I find myself putting so much into that relationship and not feeling like it was reciprocated. That’s a draining feeling. Why was I not loving myself as much as I was loving that other person? Not only in relationships but I always felt like something was missing… Like there was something better out there for me. Now it’s my turn! I remember saying as a very young child “you can’t be happy with someone else until you are happy with yourself first”. I think I was a pretty wise kid. But I didn’t take my own advice.

Maybe it’s something that comes with age, where you finally don’t care as much about what other people think. Whatever it is, I am embracing it. I am working on something that makes me happy. When I was young, I used to write in a journal and even write short stories for fun. Who knew that eventually I could write not only for fun because it’s something I love to talk and write about. But the potential to make good money at it too!

Big things are happening! Stay tuned!

Shifting from Negative to Positive Thoughts

This seems to be something that is an on-going task some days. It seems like it is so easy to think about the negative than positive. As I have mentioned before, I am in no way commenting from a medical point of view but on my own experiences. I am fully aware that many people suffer from clinic depression and my heart goes out to them. I can only begin the struggles they experience.

My experiences stem from several heartbreaks, terrible jobs and general life pressures that tend to get people down. Some times it doesn’t take much for a few of these things to feel all consuming over life. I have experienced spending days on end, feeling sorry for myself in bed while in one of these slumps. When I am stressed in any way, I tend to not eat (some stress eat, while others completely lose their appetite) and this leads me to feel weak and fatigued, leading me to not want to do anything even more. The vicious cycle.  Of course there are times when I though the pain would never end – such as when I had to make the heartbreaking decision to put down my precious kitty when she was suffering from stomach cancer (I’m crying just thinking about it now).

The question is: How do we get ourselves out of these terrible times and switch those negative thoughts to positive?  During the toughest of times I tell myself that it is OK to stay in bed and cry or scream or whatever you need to do to let the hurt out. But after a few days, I have had to force myself out of bed and start with little things, such as taking a shower. Doesn’t sound like much but it’s a start. I find it’s important to not overwhelm yourself when making a change. Start small. Instead of saying “I’m going to start going to the gym 5 days a week” maybe start by stretching in front of the TV at night, as I do. This helps me to take my mind off the stresses of the day and lets the blood flow to other parts of my body.

One thing that always drives me nuts is when people tell me “just don’t think about it” or “just think positive thoughts”. Easier said than done! This may be the worse advice ever (at least to me). I tend to be someone who cannot hold my feelings in. And why should I? When you are feeling down, it is so much easier to think about the negative than positive- misery loves company. But, like I said, start small. Watch a movie that makes you laugh. Go for a short walk to the park or along a river or pond (the ducks always make me smile). Write a message to yourself on your mirror that makes your smile. Start following inspirational quotes on your social media. Something will hit home for you at home point and help you to change your thoughts, if only for a moment. Every second counts!

If you have any methods of shifting your thoughts, I would love to hear them.

Please comment!

Reconnecting by Disconnecting

This past weekend I was fortunate be to be a part of my good friends wedding as a bridesmaid. The wedding was in a remote area on northern Vancouver Island. No TVs in the rooms, zero cell service and very little access to WIFI. Now, if anyone reading this has ever been a part of a wedding party, you know how busy the day can be. But, that was only 1 day. The rest of the weekend, we were free to go hiking, zip lining, paddle board, kayak or canoe and most of all spend time with people who many times we do not have time to see because of getting caught up in the every day busy lifestyle. So many times in life we don’t take the time to spent times with friends, family or even yourself. Through my travels I have learned the importance of watching a beautiful sunset or enjoying a cold beer with a old friend. It’s those moments that you take with you and reminisce about years later, not the hours I spent at work or staring at a screen by myself.

Over the course of the weekend, I kept overhearing people say how nice it was not be on their phones and take in the simple things like gazing at the stars. We often take for granted the simple things that nature has given us and forget how beautiful the world can be. I noticed people having actual conversations over dinner or sitting in the sun on the patio. We laughed when we realized we were having an “old fashion” debate about a topic when we couldn’t simply Google the answer… I’m not sure if we ever came to a conclusion on who was right.

Ever since I was young, I have always loved being outside and enjoying little things like watching the changing colours of a sunset over the ripples of a lake or ocean. It is weekends like these that make me realize the importance of disconnecting from technology and getting back to nature and myself.

Stress, Anxiety and your Health

Today I have been doing a lot of thinking about the effects of stress and anxiety and the outcome on ones health. Now I want to make it very clear that I am not a doctor nor have I had any medical training, but my thoughts come more from my own personal experiences and what I have witnessed with friends and family.
I’m sure everyone has been in a position where to they have had to go into work and put that fake smile on because “it’s part of your uniform”. And from a business/management standpoint, I get it. Customers don’t want to do their business at a place where people look miserable. But form a personal standpoint, this has to be one of the most exhausting things to do. I have faked my way being “happy” all day to the point where I literally started to cry once I left work because I simply had nothing left in me to give. Trust me, this is not fair to yourself or anyone around you, whether it be friends, family or a significant other. I have dreaded going into work so bad that I made myself feel sick to my stomach and while I was at work I would have dizzy spells. Through it all, I have learned that you need to listen to your body…to the gut feeling or in my case and the case of many other people i know, the actual physical reaction you are experiencing.
Through my 20 years as a hairstylist I know first hand the effects of stress on ones body. I have seen many clients who had lost hair due to stress. Believe me, all your health problems can be seen eventually through your hair. People can lose hair evenly though out or in patches which create bald spots, or their hair can become brittle and lack luster. Test can be done through the hair to see what kind of medication people have been taking or drugs they have used. This is just one example of how stress can effect the body.
I realize that many times there is not a quick and easy fix to stress, but my point it that your need to look after yourself. That it’s OK to be selfish when it comes to your personal health. It’s OK to take time for yourself. To re-group. I have literally gotten into a car before and started to drive. I had no idea where I was headed, I just knew I needed some time to myself. I ended up driving 4 hour and found a relaxing campsite where I spend the next few days alone in the trees. May sound crazy to some but it was what I needed and I didn’t care what other people thought. If you are anything like me then being selfish, even for your own well-being is terribly difficult, but I have discovered that is so incredibly important.