Last 10 years I’ve traveled on my own whether its study of aboard across the world, or work travel. But I was so scared, overwhelmed and anxious last December to book a ticket to my new adventure. I wanted to be the best, but felt my worst. I wanted to lead, but also felt invisible. Paralyzed by fear of the unknown and frozen by the fear of failing. There is so much I want to be. For God and for me. I then began to realize if I kept pushing that date back, I’d NEVER make my dream a reality and if I fail at least I know I tried. It would never be in perfect condition so I just had to go for it. It will always be a work in progress, and that’s okay.
Starting is the hardest part. I think that holds true for a lot of things in life. Starting a job. Starting an adventure overseas. Starting new relationships. It’s the unknown that scares people. But fear is for people who don’t get out much, and me, I’ve learned to get out much.
To me, life is about the journey, where you want that journey to ultimately take you, and what you’re going to do when you get there. If you never start the journey, you’re ultimately doing yourself a huge disservice. This can also be paralleled with throwing caution to the wind.
I also learned to put my trust in God and that putting my words down and releasing them into the universe was therapeutic in a way. Maybe I’m not the only one thinking those thoughts, and that was some kind of weird therapy for me. Maybe that helps you, maybe it doesn’t.
To combat any fear within yourself, know that you will never have all the answers to your questions and that perfection does not exist, so find the good in the imperfections. They make us human and relatable.
Seriously, who doesn’t love breakfast? I love to cook and I could eat breakfast food everyday. But the worst part of breakfast is most of the time I don’t want to cook as soon as I wake up in the morning. I’m usually rushing to meetings or pretty tired.
Here are some delicious breakfast, I made over December break.
Last week of December I was lucky enough to spend time in Key West, including a day trip to explore the rest of the Keys! I (of course…) took way too many photos.
Taking a road trip through the Florida Keys was one of the best adventure I have done. The 110 mile stretch from Miami to Key West traverses the appropriately named Overseas Highway, crossing 42 bridges while taking you on a wild ride through one of the most picturesque, quirky and fun places.
While the drive to the Southernmost city in the United States only takes 4 hours to complete, you’d be at a total loss to miss the many stops along the way. Each island offers something different and sets the tone for your arrival into the fabled Key West, 90 miles north of Cuba.
I have a love/hate relationship with New York City. When I’m away, I think about the dirty streets, rude pedestrians, and unforgivable traffic… but when I’m back, I feel the life of the city. The burning desire of each individual with dreams and ambitions. That energy is undeniable. It’s like everyone has an agenda, some sort of story. And whether you’re going through a heartbreak or have lost yourself, New York is the ultimate escape to just live in the moment and forget about all your problems…
I’ll admit it, I’ve always loved big cities. I grew up in a small town in MN and I went college in Phoenix, Arizona. I always pictured myself moving to Los Angeles once I graduate and never really saw myself in NYC.
All that changed 2015 when I took a job with Estée lauder New York as a research scientist. It was my first time in the big apple. I’ve had a few Mary Tyler Moore moments walking through the city, popping into my favorite bodega for fresh flowers and actually making my way around without getting on the lost on the subway. But just beneath those really great moments is this: a pestering voice asking, “So you’re here. Now what?” That voice, though condescending, has a point. I didn’t want to simply be here to be my greatest accomplishment. I want to do more. I came to do more.
Coming to New York was instant gratification. I wanted to do it, and with one plane ticket, I did – no depending on luck or time. It happened as soon as I decided I wanted it to happen. For someone who is as horribly impatient as I am, it was perfect.
Can you believe 2018 is almost over. It has been pretty good year to me, and I’m sure it’s because I’ve made an effort to be more of an optimist. On a smaller scale, it’s probably also due to coffee and all the greats books I read on travels. But maybe I’m projecting. You tell me.
Last year a lot of my books were self-help books. Helped me cope with changes and personal growth. Here are some of my favorite books I read on 2018.
1. Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet – I love love love this book written by one of my favorite author of all time. The Prophet, is one of the most beloved classics. A collection of poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual, and, above all, inspirational. Short but invaluable book of philosophy and encouragement It is filled with wisdom. Despite the religious implication “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: I have loved this book since the first time I read it. It is horrifying, suspenseful, introspective, and just close enough to believable to be truly scary. If you only know the Republic of Gilead from the Hulu show (not the same), read this book.
Becoming– I’m so thrilled to add Becoming to my list! A powerful, surprising and moving book as well as refreshingly candid that I think will be deeply inspirational to many.
Children of blood and bone by Tomi Adeyemi – THE HYPE IS REAL! I always prefer to decide for myself if the new overhyped YA book is worth it… and I’m happy to say that this new Fantasy book totally was!
This is genuinely the greatest debut fantasy novel, greatest fantasy novel in general that I have read in a very long time. Initially, I was TERRIFIED to read. The combination of its size and an epic high fantasy novel was very daunting to me, but I am so happy I picked it up. I cannot possibly recommend it enough.
The Sun Does Shine How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row– am not sure where to put my feelings after finishing this book. I am appalled, sad but also filled with admiration for this inncent man on death row for over thirty years, who managed to retain hope and love. He hung on, didn’t give up. Before I read this book, I didn’t have an opinion on the death penalty, but now I do!!!
Letters to a Young Muslim: is a compilation of letters from a father to his son. It is full of wisdom and thoughtful reflections on faith, culture and society. Love that this book encourages the readers to celebrate individuality whilst recognizing it is our shared humanity that can bring us together.
Good fantasy novel – Melina Marchetta never fails to write heart-wrenching relationships and tragedy and pain, of which this was a stellar example. I loved and cried over my favorite characters and the hardships and obstacles that they encountered. Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2) Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles, #3)
All The Light We Cannot See– follows the complex arcs of two such invisible lines through the lives of Werner Pfennig, an orphan boy in pre-World War II Germany and Marie-Laure Leblanc, a blind girl living in Paris with her father. The writing was incredible, the descriptions so vivid. It did a superb job of showing the reader how the characters felt through their actions, rather than telling.
An immersive story of an interesting and well thought out land with lovable and hate-able characters. Just what I needed. Perfect mini escape from the real world, into magic ❤
Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1)
Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2)
Assassin’s Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3)
Ruby by cynthia bond – It rips your soul out of your body with it’s strong, dark presence. You beg to be released from the grips of this story.
Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood – If you’re going to read this book, definitely listen to the audio version. Feels like he is sitting down with you and telling you his life story. Not only that, but you get to learn quite a bit about pre- and post-Apartheid South Africa from the perspective of someone who hypothetically shouldn’t exist. Noah’s mother is black and his father is white, and when he was born any mixed-race relationships were illegal.