Discovery

All posts tagged Discovery

No More Goodbyes.

Published May 30, 2018 by LoveTrustFaith

 

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“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings” – Lao Tzu

Hey everybody! I’m baaaack 😀 It’s been a hot minute since I updated y’all on everything (actually it’s been 13 months but who’s counting lol). I have tons of stuff to talk about but something in particular has been on my mind so I’m going to start with that. Here we go!

What’s the hardest part of traveling? For me, it’s constantly having to say goodbye. 

Everywhere I go, I meet amazing human beings from all walks of life. All of these people serve a purpose in my journey. And meeting different people is one of my favorite parts of traveling. Actually, it’s the reason why I travel. Through meeting others, we discover ourselves. It allows us to grow, learn, and evolve. And that is why you are never the same after exploring different parts of the world. Change is inevitable.

Each person that you meet, plays a different role in your life. There are those people who test your limits, make you question things, and push you outside of your comfort zone. Others who motivate you, inspire you to be a better person, and help you to try new things. Those who reflect back to you all the issues that you need to work on and heal. And people who literally save your ass and propel you towards your destiny. Every interaction is invaluable and can offer us immense knowledge (if we allow it to). However, no matter how long the friendship or relationship lasts, there will always be a goodbye.

There’s a beautiful saying by Alexander Graham Bell, “When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” This quote is true in so many ways. All endings lead to new beginnings but we must allow ourselves to let go and release everything that’s holding us back. Sometimes holding on causes more damage than letting go.

I am a sensitive person and I tend to connect deeply with people rather quickly. Traveling has helped me develop this skill. By meeting so many people and having such a limited amount of time with them, you have to open up faster than you normally would. And while I absolutely love getting to know lots of people, I’m realizing that most of these “friendships” are quite superficial and tend to fizzle out once you go your separate ways. Sure, there are some exceptions to the rule. But typically, the time that you share with fellow travelers will be brief.

Sometimes, you ask yourself…”Why should I even bother if this is never going to lead to anything substantial”? And while this is a valid thought, it’s missing the whole point. Not everyone you meet is going to stay in your life. In fact, very few people will. But change is not dependent on time. Some people can quickly cause a ripple effect. If you hadn’t met them, your life would be completely different. Some people cause bigger impacts on us than others but… we can learn something from everyone. And that’s definitely worth remembering.

So, whenever I no longer want to meet people and I feel like shutting down, I need to remind myself why I’m traveling in the first place. I may never see or talk to these people again but I’ll always have the memories as well as the lessons. There is a reason for everything that happens. Everyone you meet is a teacher and it’s only when we stay open that we can learn from them. The key is to stay present, embrace the moment, enjoy the time you spend with others, and experience life to the fullest. 

And I’ll end with a quote from the wonderful Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Until next time, I send you all love, peace, and happiness 🙂

~Maryann

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Always Choose Vulnerability.

Published April 26, 2017 by LoveTrustFaith

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“Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage” – Brene Brown

It has been said that in order to love, you must first allow yourself to be vulnerable. To be vulnerable requires you to trust that no matter what happens in the outside world, you will be okay. When you feel like your world is crashing around you and you cannot handle anymore, keep pushing forward. Faith is the light that guides you through the darkness and trust is what gives you the courage to try again.

Sometimes you have to take huge risks while not having it all figured out (which is terrifying for a control freak like me). Control is my defense mechanism. But since none of us are really in control, it is a tricky illusion. Because the only thing we’re really in control of is ourselves.

I’ve realized during my travels thus far that I’ve been trying to control everything instead of going with the flow. This is mainly because I feel out of my element right now. And whenever things don’t go according to my plans, I end up feeling frustrated, angry, and sad. I’ve even had several moments where I wanted to give up and go home. However, I have identified these tough moments as culture shock and homesickness. I’ve been working through these feelings instead of running from them. Processing our feelings is one of the most important things we can do.

Traveling takes you outside of your comfort zone. You find yourself in unfamiliar places and meeting tons of new people. Traveling humbles you and helps you develop patience. There are typically many challenges along the way. But to travel is to learn acceptance and tolerance of others (and also of yourself). It opens your mind to new ways of thinking and how to approach life in a different way.  In short, traveling makes you a better person.

The ultimate goal that I have for myself is to allow myself to be vulnerable while relinquishing control. To go with the flow instead of trying to have it all figured out. To not take life so seriously. To stay present in the face of uncertainty. To stay calm when nothing is working out. To just be myself without judging the experience.

I made an extremely bold move yesterday. Some would even call it courageous. I chose to be vulnerable and open my heart. It was frightening and anxiety-provoking. But it was completely necessary for me. I wanted to run away and put my head in the sand because that was the “safe” option. However, I faced my fears and risked being rejected. I was completely exposed emotionally. And you know what happened? I was okay. I felt proud of myself for pushing through the fear and committed to following through on something difficult that I had started.

Sometimes you must trust someone’s soul even if you don’t trust anything else about them. Our souls know much more than our minds do. We tend to get offended if someone doesn’t respond to a text or honor their word/promises. Take nothing personally. Remember everything happens at the perfect time and there is always a reason why things happen (or don’t happen).

I always try to force things to happen even when I meet resistance. I don’t recommend this by the way because it usually creates difficulty. But what if we just let go? What if we just lived our lives without getting caught up in the drama? What about feeling more and thinking less? That’s what I’m currently working on and it’s definitely a process that takes time. Traveling is helping me tremendously. I am on a beautiful journey of self-discovery and I appreciate every second of it.

So I’ll close with this: Always follow your heart. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, and scared, and lost. Let yourself fall apart so that you can be transformed into the person whom you are meant to be. Trust the journey and find love for yourself. But most of all, remember to enjoy life and have fun.

Here’s a quote from “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield:

“Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins”

Until next time (which is probably sometime soon),

xoxo

~Maryann

 

New Plymouth – Part 3

Published March 19, 2017 by LoveTrustFaith

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“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world” – Mary Anne Radmacher

I’m baaaack! And New Plymouth is just as glorious as it was two years ago 🙂

For those of you that don’t know… I decided to quit my job, sell my car, and travel back to the place that felt most like home. The place that I’m referring to is New Zealand. And if we’re getting really specific, it’s New Plymouth (a small coastal city on the West coast of New Zealand’s North Island). This is actually the third time I’ve written about New Plymouth (see Part 1 and Part 2).

I decided a one month vacation in New Zealand was just what I needed to restore myself and relax. Plus, there were quite a few spots on the North Island that I missed on the first time around. But what I’ve realized is that it’s not about how many places you can see or how many things you can do. Sometimes, the best thing we can give ourselves is a break.

I’ve been in New Zealand for a little over 2 weeks and most of that time has been spent in New Plymouth. I have felt the urge to see other places after comparing myself to other travelers. It’s common for many people to ask you where you’re going and/or where you’ve been. But traveling is not a contest. We’re all on different journeys. And from past experience, I know it’s better to have flexible plans that allow you to go on unexpected adventures. The future is filled with amazing opportunities. The key is to stay open to them.

When I arrived in the Taranaki region (which is where New Plymouth is located), I had a huge smile on my face. There are signs that say “Woo Hoo!” “You’re in Taranaki” and seeing them always make me happy. It was quite cloudy for the first 5 or 6 days so I was unable to clearly see Mount Taranaki (the famous dormant volcano that this region is named after). However, when I finally caught a clear shot of the mountain, it was a gorgeous sight to behold. This region is also known for its surf highway and black sand beaches. I think that’s what makes New Plymouth so special. You get both the ocean and a volcano in the landscape. Absolutely amazing!

Let’s go back to the beginning though. I arrived in New Zealand on March 4th and I stayed in a small bed and breakfast in Cockle Bay (close to Auckland). It was lovely to have my own room and bed for 2 nights. Jet lag can be sneaky and luckily it only lasted about 5 or 6 days for me this time. Also, not sleeping for 36 hours probably made it a bit worse. It’s all in the fun of traveling and the sacrifices are always worth it. Always.

I arrived in New Plymouth on March 6th but I decided to stay in another hostel called Ducks and Drakes. I made this decision for a few reasons. Number 1, this particular hostel is right across from the supermarkets and the city centre is only a 10 minute flat walk away. Number 2, I always wanted to stay here because I heard really good things about it. Number 3, I wanted to adjust to being back in New Plymouth while staying in a new place with no past memories. I stayed there for 1 week and had a fantastic time. I would definitely recommend it 🙂

In that first week in New Plymouth, I accomplished things that I hadn’t while I was last here. Everything happens when it’s supposed to. I was able to visit the contemporary art museum (Govett-Brewster Art Gallery), see the Te Rewa Rewa bridge (an artistically designed white bridge that resembles a whale’s ribs and picturesquely outlines Mount Taranaki from afar), and walk on the black sand at Fitzroy beach. I also visited the Puke Ariki museum and walked through Pukekura park (a large stunning park filled with lakes, walking tracks, and a zoo). I made a few friends at the Ducks and Drakes hostel and it was sad to say goodbye. Although, that is the nature of backpacking. You get really good at making friends and then biding them farewell within a short time.

March 13th was the day to change hostels and check in to the Sunflower Lodge. I was somewhat nervous about staying here this time due to tons of past memories. However, it was definitely time to come back. Although there were different people, everything was pretty much the same. One of the things I love about this hostel is how quite and serene it is. It’s like coming back home. There’s a special energy here for sure.

I was able to catch up with Julie, Richard, and Marvey (the dog). I actually went over to their house for lunch (which was delicious). Their house and garden is gorgeous. It was great to talk about old times.

I made a few friends while at the Sunflower Lodge as well. I was able to finally see Mount Taranaki up close (thanks to my french roommates). We hiked through the forest to see Dawson Falls which was breathtaking. I definitely got a ton of exercise that day but it was well worth the effort. I was able to go back to Fitzroy beach with the French receptionist and I can now say that I’ve been in the Tasman Sea! It was so blue and clear 😀

And to sum this up (because I could talk forever about New Plymouth), here’s 10 things I’ve learned/realized while being back here…

  1. Culture shock still occurs even if you’ve already visited a place before and it can be emotionally unraveling at times. It’s important to recognize it’s happening and let it run its course. It will pass.
  2. It’s best to remain present instead of living in the past. Memories can be overwhelming but pleasant simultaneously. However, the past is in the past. If you’re in a place, be there with all of your being. Make new memories and take everything in.
  3. Things are never as bad as we imagine they will be. It may be hard sometimes but feeling frustrated means you’re growing and expanding. Keep moving forward.
  4. Some areas will hold a special place in your heart forever.
  5. I am strong, capable, and resilient.
  6. Less thinking, more feeling. If you enjoy staying in a place, then stay there. If you feel urged to go somewhere, go there. We don’t have to have it all figured out. Just be sure to make decisions from a state of love rather than fear.
  7. Everything is happening as it should and it’s all good.
  8. Allow yourself to feel. Work through these feelings and release them. You’ll be glad you did.
  9. Let go of all the distractions. Observe your surroundings, interact with different people, and immerse yourself in nature. Healing happens in the present.
  10. Just be yourself and allow others to be themselves as well. Release the judgments and criticisms. Be the imperfect person that you are and embrace all of it. Most importantly, discover self-love and know that the person you are right now is enough.

There are so many other things I’ve learned so far but I’ll save that for another day 😉 Lots of challenges have been overcome and I wouldn’t change any of it. I’m right where I’m supposed to be and I’m absolutely loving it.

It’s a mystery where I’ll travel next. But I’m following my heart and having faith in the process. Everything is working out in a beautiful way.

Until next time, I send all of you peace, love, and happiness!

~Maryann

 

Keep Your Heart Open

Published December 11, 2016 by LoveTrustFaith

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“The bigger the wall, the bigger the heartbreak” – Me

 

Okay, please don’t judge me for what I’m about to admit. I went on Tinder this past Friday night and I met up with a guy. This was one of the most spontaneous things I have ever done. I talked to him for maybe an hour and decided to meet him. The mini date went well but I had no desire to go on a second date. Nevertheless, I was proud of myself for putting myself out there and taking a risk. It was scary as Hell. But exciting at the same time. I was nervous and my stomach filled with butterflies. However, I pushed through the fear and did it anyway. Why am telling you this story? Because life is about pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and this story is a perfect example of that.

Let’s take a few steps back for a minute. For most of my whole life, I have worked extremely hard to build up emotional walls around myself so that I wouldn’t be hurt by anyone. I have lived up to other people’s expectations and conformed to what I thought everybody wanted me to be. I put a mask over my face to conceal my true self. I’m playing a role in the play called Life. But at the same time, I’m being inauthentic. I’m not being who I truly am inside because I’m afraid. Terrified of letting people in because what if they disliked what they saw. But I’m tired of living a lie and pretending to be someone that I’m not.

I had some huge realizations today. By building up walls around myself, I was protecting myself from darkness while depriving myself of the light as well. What happens to a heart that is closed off from light? It becomes a black hole. Destroying anything that comes within its proximity. Over time, the heart begins to sabotage itself by feeding the darkness. It becomes cynical and apprehensive. It questions everything. This is the point where blocking off your heart backfires. Because not feeling anything is much worse than feeling pain.

Within each of us, exists darkness and light. The Ying and the Yang. An internal balance of energies. When you shut down and refuse to become intimately connected to others, you throw off that delicate balance within. The light within can never be fully extinguished because it is the light of our soul. But it can become diminished (If we allow it to be). And sometimes we don’t even realize it’s happening. That is until the Universe intervenes.

There are certain people in this world who have the ability to reignite the hearts of others. They have the special superpower to break through the walls that have been constructed. They can shine in light where there was once only darkness. Through this, miracles occur.

We often look at heartbreak as a bad thing. We wish that it had never happened or that we had never met those people. But sometimes we needed our hearts to be broken wide open. To have an intense energy surge through our being and cause that small flame of light to become a raging fire. A spark to awaken us to the love that’s waiting to enter our lives. But that future love requires us to be open and receptive not closed and dismissive. Through heartbreak, we learn to feel again. We allow our selves to heal without building up new walls. We are exposed and we are vulnerable. And it doesn’t always feel good. But it is necessary. Because we are meant to shine our light and experience love.

So, let’s take a moment to thank those people from our past who allowed us to rediscover our true selves. The ones that pushed us outside our comfort zone and made us uncomfortable. Because without these unsung heroes, we may still be stuck in the darkness. They allowed us to remember why we’re all here on this planet. In order to be connected and come together for a greater good. I send a big thank you to all who have broken down my walls and broken open my heart. Without you, I have no clue where I’d be. The lesson in all of this is there is always a silver lining in everything that happens. Stay positive and always keep your heart open. For you never know when love might cross your path 😉

Until next time and sending you all my love as always,

~Maryann