Even though I was only in Thailand for just over 3 weeks, it definitely felt like I was away for a lot longer. I can’t tell you how nice it was to not have everything planned out for once, and to not have to worry about being late for anything besides ferries or flights. This trip was the longest trip I’ve been on for over 8 years (the other time being my trip to The Gambia), and although I’ve done many mini-trips in between to places like Seattle, Portland, the Mayan Riviera, and Las Vegas, they were all a bit rushed in comparison.

I know I was super lucky to get a month off work, and I am so grateful it happened because I’m telling you, I needed it. Since my trip to The Gambia, I’ve either been working my butt off in school, unemployed and hustling to find a job, or working multiple jobs at the same time.

Essentially, for the past 8 years I feel like my life has been go, go, GO! Luckily, I knew deep down that the remedy would be to take some much needed time off and my trip to Thailand definitely did the trick. Not only was it a great experience, seeing new places, meeting new people, and doing new things, it also reminded me of the simple fact that the world is much larger than the one I live in day to day.

I know I’m probably not the only person out there who has felt like they’re running on a never-ending hamster wheel, but for the past year or so, that’s definitely how I’ve felt. 2012 just flew by! But maybe that’s just how our Western culture operates.

Everyone is constantly busy, and if you aren’t busy all the time, you’re either lazy or doing something wrong. Since when did life become a race? And what exactly is the prize at the end? I’m not saying that Thailand isn’t super busy too (Bangkok is ridiculous), but I do find that many other parts of the world have a better appreciation for enjoying the moment and not living like you are always in a hurry.

I was talking to a friend the other day about how I have trouble really living in the present. I’m constantly looking to the future, and sometimes looking at the past, but when it comes to the present, I just don’t know what to do. That’s something that I’m going to try to make a conscious effort towards fixing.

I need to stop assuming that I’m going to live forever, and stop making excuses like “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Every day should matter, and I don’t want to regret not trying something new because I’m too busy, too scared, or don’t think it would fit into my budget. There’s always time if you make time, stop being such a scare-dy cat, and if it doesn’t fit into your budget, it’s time to cut some things out or start making some more moolah!

One last thing, since I realize this post is getting a bit long and ramble-y. Something that I really started wrapping my head around while I was away was the saying (and I’m paraphrasing here) “If you keep doing the same thing, don’t expect to get a different result”.

I’m one of those people who often declares to change this or do that, but rarely ever puts my money where my mouth is. I mean, some things I’ve actually said and done, like starting this blog and running regularly (I started running again as soon as my jet lag wore off), but there are a number of other things I’ve always wanted to do and I just keep making excuses for like “I can’t afford it”, “I don’t have the time or energy to do it”, or “I don’t feel like it.”

Well, I’ve been listening to a lot of TED Talks lately and man are they inspiring! Most of the ones I’ve listened to talk about keeping motivated and actually accomplishing your goals. So, this now leads me to my list of my goals for 2013.

Some may look familiar from last year, but this year I’m not just gonna sit around and make excuses. Part of what makes life so exciting is doing different things and breaking your routine, and that’s exactly what I intend to do! I’m going to do a progress report of this list every month to hold myself accountable too. I’ve also got these written down on a whiteboard on my fridge so I’ll be reminded on a daily basis.

My Goals for 2013

  1. Join a dance class.
  2. Join a yoga class.
  3. Limit my carb intake, and eat more fruits and veggies.
  4. Get my full driver’s license.
  5. Read 100 books before Dec. 31, 2013.
  6. Plan wedding and get married.
  7. Plan next big trip.
  8. Make more of an effort to plan social events with friends and family.
  9. Do at least three 30-day challenges.
  10. Complete a 10K run or a half marathon.
  11. Do at least one thing that really scares me.
  12. Learn at least one completely new skill.

I may also add on to this list throughout the year too, but for now I think it’s a pretty good list. Good thing I got a good head start on the book goal. I read 5 books while I was away! Now only 95 to go!

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