All posts tagged Happiness

New Plymouth – Part 3

Published March 19, 2017 by LoveTrustFaith

Image result for you will never be completely at home again

“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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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 ūüėÄ

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 ūüėČ 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!




My Wanderlust

Published August 27, 2016 by LoveTrustFaith

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Wanderlust (n): a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.

“The world is a book and those who don’t travel read only one page” – Saint Augustine


You may be thinking to yourself… Wanderlust? What is that? Why is she bringing this up? Where is this conversation going anyway? Let me explain what my experience has been and hopefully help you to understand what all this is¬†about.

Wanderlust is a feeling. In essence, it’s¬†a way of life. Once you experience Wanderlust, it stays¬†with you forever.¬†An incessant urge to travel. Not in order to escape or run away from your life but rather to discover new worlds and pieces of yourself that you¬†forgot existed. It’s a desire to meet new people from all over the world and to reconnect with fellow travelers that you’ve crossed paths with before. It’s a sense of adventure that fills your heart and ignites you soul. To some people, including myself, traveling is everything. It is life and the¬†very reason why we’re on this earth.¬†Traveling allows you to¬†grow through beautiful experiences, create wonderful memories, and understand what love is. Although traveling isn’t always easy and the road can be rocky at times, wanderlusters take that risk because they understand that the benefits outweigh the challenges.

Now I know there are some of you reading this right now who cannot understand and who may think that this all sounds rather foolish. The funny thing is that you have to experience Wanderlust in order to fully “get” it. This phenomenon does not happen to everyone either. There are many people who travel and can return to their former lives without a second thought of what they are leaving behind. However, for those of us who have been bitten by the travel bug, the only cure is to keep traveling. Once returning home, wanderlusters have a harder time readjusting to their old lives. Everything is different and yet it is¬†exactly the same. I realized that the reason why¬†all things familiar suddenly felt so foreign was¬†because I¬†had changed. A part of you adores the comforts of living in your own private space and¬†spending time¬†with people that you know. But then there’s the part of you who knows how much adventure is waiting out there in the world. You want to travel far and wide to experience as much of it as you can. It feels as though anything is possible because the world truly is¬†so small (once you travel roughly 18,690 kilometers or 11,613 miles away from home, you¬†realize that you can basically¬†get anywhere in the world¬†within 24 hours).

I only wish that everyone could have the opportunity to experience this sense of renewed freedom, if for only once in their lifetime. To¬†leave everything you know and be open to the unknown. Traveling, especially when alone,¬†helps to build self-confidence and strengthen your faith in both yourself and the world. You realize that you can accomplish anything that you set your mind to as long as you take the leap and continue to trust your journey. Life can and will¬†definitely take unexpected turns. But I truly believe that you must follow your heart no matter what anyone else¬†thinks or says. It doesn’t matter about how many naysayers you encounter. As long as you’re doing what you love and allowing your heart to guide you, the doors will open and the path will be shown. I know I say this a lot but there are reasons why everything happens in the way that it does. In my eyes, there are no coincidences. There were so many times that my next destination was influenced by suggestions from fellow travelers and even friends from back home. We end up exactly where we need to be at the precise moment that we’re supposed to. As a traveler with no real fixed plans, I often didn’t even know I wanted to be in a certain place until I arrived there (case in point =¬†New Zealand).

Wanderlust changes you for the better. It allows you to eliminate all the things that you thought you should be so that you can become who you were¬†meant to be. I will always have this great longing to keep exploring the world, whether it be to visit new places or return to places from the past. But I’m keeping my sights set on the horizon and looking forward to the future. I’ve changed tremendously through traveling and I’m so happy that I was courageous enough to venture out on my own.¬† I’m grateful that I was able to step outside of my comfort zone and switch up¬†the direction of my life. I know without a doubt that I’ll be traveling again and it’s only a matter of time until I do. But until that day comes, I still have the wonderful memories and friends that I’ve made along the way. What keeps my sense of hope alive is the dream of a future that is filled with endless possibilities¬†and spectacular moments. And although Wanderlust may be considered a curse by some,¬† it¬†has definitely been¬†a blessing¬†for me.

Until next time…




Dear Fear, F*** You!

Published April 13, 2016 by LoveTrustFaith


Way Out

“Everything you want is on the other side of Fear” – Jack Canfield

And that other side of Fear is… Love ‚̧


Hey Everybody,

Whenever¬†I’m¬†close to¬†achieving something significant in my¬†life, fear always finds a way to creep into¬†my thoughts. But fear doesn’t travel alone and doubt is usually not too far behind.¬†Fear and doubt¬†can¬†cause major¬†complications in life. If you let them, that is.

Well, enough is enough! I’m finished with the emotional turmoil that fear and doubt have caused me for my whole life. I’m done with the anxiety and depression that I sometimes find myself in when I feel lost. The only reason I feel lost is because I’m not following my heart. Deep down, I know what I need to do to conquer my challenges. I just have to listen to that still, soft voice within that tells me to keep going, even when I’m scared. Some of the greatest accomplishments¬†in my life were attained after I¬†overcame my fears.

Right now, I’m about 5 weeks away from graduating as a Pediatric Nurse¬†Practitioner¬†and I should be ecstatic. But I find myself feeling worried, anxious, depressed, and terrified. I’m scared of the future and of¬†the unknown. I’ve been¬†putting myself through needless suffering. All because I’ve been letting my fears get the best of me.

I understand that sometimes it’s good to feel afraid. Fear can help us¬†stay away from¬†dangerous people or get out of life-threatening¬†situations. But fear can also hold you back from your dreams. It can cause¬†paralysis by analysis (which I’m guilty of doing). However,¬†I choose not to let fear control my life anymore. I have¬†numerous things that I want to achieve in my¬†life and I must¬†rely on my courage to keep moving forward. Even when times become difficult and I feel like quitting. Capricorns never give up and I am determined to fulfill my destiny (whatever that may be).

I know that there will be many moments in the future that will test my faith and my perseverance. But I am up for the challenge because I know that I can live my best life. I just have to first¬†surrender the control. Life is way too short to spend it dwelling on the negative. Everyone goes through¬†struggles but it’s important to not let them define you. And anyways, life would¬†be boring if it were easy! I know I learn the most when I’m going through my hardest times.

A quote by Susan Jeffers sums this up perfectly, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” Remember, nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it. So live life fully, love deeply, laugh openly, and remember to breathe. Let go of the fear and start living. And to¬†whatever you’re currently going through, know that nothing lasts forever and life will get better. Keep the faith!

Until next time…