October 10, 2012

Five Things You Should Probably Do At Least Once In Your Life

1. Visit a country you've never been to before. Business, pleasure, humanitarian work, missions...whatever the reason, get your butt off the couch and out of the country for a bit. Soak in a different culture. Be touristy, or try to blend (though the latter is sometimes impossible depending on where you're going). I will never forget Ethiopia a few years ago and once this health stuff calms the eff down, I'll be back on a plane again. To there, and who knows where else. Travel alone, or travel with friends. Have the urge but don't know where to start? The lovely Sarah of Yes & Yes has a great guide for that! (Her general travel tips and musings are enough to get you excited). And if you don't know where to go, close your eyes, spin a globe, and go where your finger lands. Unless it lands in the middle of the ocean, maybe.

2. Spend an entire day by yourself, without technology. Cozy up in your favorite coffeeshop with a good book, do some journaling, evaluate where you are in life...what are you super thankful for? What're some things that need to change? Are there any roadblocks to your awesome lifegoals, and if so, what can you do to bust through em? Take a walk, take a hike, take a long drive WITH NO MUSIC...(yikes!). Just be. You might be surprised at what happens when you unplug, peel away the daily grind, and simply enjoy the company of yourself; no stress, no strings attached. Solo-roadtrip optional...in which case I think music/cellphones are definitely allowed, haha. 

3. Leave a sweet note for a stranger. I used to do this a lot in library books when I returned them. It could be something as simple as "I really loved this book, I hope you do too! Have an amazing day!" Drop a note on a park bench, at a coffeeshop table, on a display at a department store. I'm not condoning vandalism here, but putting a post-it on the inside of a bathroom stall works too. You are beautiful, you are loved, you are special. You're not alone. These are some of the things I've seen written in stalls, on mirrors, in books that I've found, and what inspired me at such a young age to practice this as often as possible.  We're all human, and we all like to be reminded that we matter in some small way, even if it's anonymously. 

4. Go to a counseling session/find a mentor. That first one is totally random, but I truly believe that everyone should go to counseling at least once in their lives. If every person on the planet did that, we might live in a very different world. You never know what you could uncover in an hour; sometimes a total stranger can give you perspective on things you didn't even realize. At VERY least you can say hey, I did this thing, and it was a different/new experience. These two points kind of overlap because if you're bffs with your mom or cool aunt in California and can talk to them about anything and everything, then there you go. Everyone needs sound advice (and to vent) at some point, and mentor is a weird word, but if you don't have someone in your family, find someone you trust that can tell you about the past, hitcha up with some sage wisdom, etc. Example, my great-grandmother will be 100 in November. ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD. She walks, cooks, still does pretty much everything for herself. I love hearing about her life, her transition from Cuba to the United States, all of it. While she might not be my go-to person for dating advice, she's definitely got an invaluable wealth of knowledge to share. Um, hello, can you IMAGINE what kind of kick-ass wisdom you'd have if you saw the passing of a hundred years and still had a sane mind to talk about it?! Bottom line: build a relationship with someone who can give you real-world advice, because they were your age once, even if they didn't have a Macbook back in their day. 

5. Volunteer with an organization you really care about. At least once. And if you REALLY support the cause, don't stop. There's nothing more valuable than giving precious time out of your life to do things for others, no matter what that means. No, you won't get paid. No, there might not be air conditioning and it might smell and you may have to deal with people whose life stories vary greatly from yours. But you're helping out where help is needed, learning about problems that're largely ignored by the general public, and I'm pretty sure that aiding others isn't something you'll ever regret. 

Don't forget to check out Cara's lists today too! What things would YOU add to this list? 

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You're so sweet (: Thanks friend!


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