This trip! God.. where do I begin? Last time I wrote a post on the blog was almost three weeks ago during a moment of heartbreak, doubts, and anxiety. A moment most sane people sleep on to avoid making any drastic decisions. But then again, we are not like most people are we? Each one of us is different. Some choose to play on the safe side and let sanity and stability be the rulers of their kingdom, and then there's those who embrace risks and adventures with open arms… The fearless free spirits and wild hearts that see change as an opportunity to grow. In the past few years I've had too many people in my life tell me what to do or not to do during moments of stress or pain, and for some reason I would always end up listening to them and doing as I was told. Almost every time I regretted listening until the day I grew the balls to believe in myself and in the power within me to know what's best for ME. Yes, I said balls. I don't think there's a word that describes what I've been going through better than "growing a pair"! I mean, in less than 60 days I did not only say goodbye to a 1.5 year relationship but I also left a $100K paying job to follow my passions, travel the world, write, take photos, start my own business, do good and simply be...happy! Not thinking too much about where the next paycheck would come from or what I would lose while chasing my dreams and happiness but focusing on everything I had to gain. I don't know about you guys but to me that took a gigantic pair!! But then of course, like anything new in life, changes can be a little overwhelming. Specially if they involve the important pillars we've been taught since kids to build full of strength and stability: Relationships and careers. So...on April 14, 2015, I found myself at home meditating on the major changes that were taking place in my life. Those thoughts and emotions- good and bad- started to take over my mind and body faster than a granny on the loose speeding through the highway!! Instead of panicking and letting fear take over me, I chose to challenge it by doing what I love most- traveling- but this time solo and completely unplanned. My goal? To clear my mind, meditate, lose fear of dark hotel rooms and lonely nights, forget about perfect calendars and itineraries, forgive, move on, and come back fresh…reenergized…renewed! I didn’t think twice and bought myself a ticket from Miami to Barcelona to visit my brother for a few days. From there, I thought about flying to Milan to visit a friend and… the week after that?? No idea!! I told myself I would figure it out once there and kept repeating these words to myself over and over again: “just flow. Everything will work out in its own perfect way and at its own perfect time. Let it.” I never imagined those words would become the mantra that would lead me to one of the best trips of my life!
Without planning or booking any hotels, I spent 5 days in Barcelona, 4 days in Milan, 3 days reviewing an eco vegetarian hotel in the mountains of Perugia (Umbria) and 1 day in Assisi. How did this all happen? No clue! I’m still trying to figure it out! Except for Barcelona and Milan- which I bought tickets for the night of my meditation and realization- all the other cities and the hotel I ended up visiting and reviewing came alive once I was already in Europe! The only thing I can come up with as a conclusion is that positive thoughts do in fact attract positive outcomes. And…energy is EVERYTHING!
I will share the pictures I took (some by random strangers, others on timer, many selfies, and tons of earthy panoramas.)and eco hotel review with you guys next week. I’m still going over everything. But in the meantime, here are a few lessons I learned throughout my 13-day unplanned trip. This might be extremely helpful to every wanderlust soul out there who whishes to travel the world but has been facing to many “ifs” and “buts”. Time to conquer them, babes! One life. An infinite world. No time for excuses! <3
1) It's ok to say we are not ok! As humans, we tend to worry too much about what others think and try to hide our feelings with a 24/7 smile even though inside we are breaking. It's ok to feel and let go. We are not perfect!
The ones who love you will be there for you. Even if they don’t understand you, your thoughts or decisions, they care about you. So stop being afraid of falling apart in front of them. Let go!
2) Traveling alone is the best medicine. For EVERYTHING! Most of us are afraid of being alone but you see, being alone does not mean we're lonely. Spending time with the "self" helps us meditate, understand ourselves, accept ourselves, change the things that need changing, and love every inch of our own existence.
Dare to take that solo trip you’ve been thinking about for months now. It will help you grow in more ways you could ever imagine!
3) The best way of conquering our fears is by challenging them. This is for all my ladies. As women, we tend to be afraid of traveling by ourselves. We think we can't do it. The maps, the trains, the heavy suitcase, the unknown language, the weird guy who is staring at us intensely, the darkness of the hotel's room... Reality is, if we never try, we'll never know how capable we are and how fearless we can be! ( More explanation with details of my experience on #4)
4) Life is beautiful, energy is everything and positive thoughts do attract positive outcomes. I know you guys might've heard this about a million times already but every part of it is truth. Life is 1% what happens to you, and 99% how you react to it.
Like I mentioned a few sentences earlier, my trip had no schedules or itineraries. I was just flowing. Waking up early in the morning and googling “things to do in…” while sipping my coffee. Once I found the spot I wanted to visit, I would just walk to a bus/train/metro station, buy a ticket there and begin the journey. Yes, I got lost more times than I can count and came back with lots of bruises from carrying my heavy suitcase down the stairs of train stations but that was all part of it! That was what made this trip even more memorable and worth telling. I found myself in wonderful places and then others not so much but instead of seeing it as a bad thing I saw it as a lesson. Never losing the positive thinking, attitude and energy.
5) Nature heals. My God, I was in Milan (one of the most beautiful cities in the world) but I connected and found myself more at peace in Perugia and Assisi. Two places where mountains and trees take over and birds delight everyone with nonstop orchestras. It was there, in the middle of a forest, where I was able to let all my concerns and pain go and felt my soul smile again. It was up on a mountain while watching the sunset and feeling the cold breeze caress my cheeks that I was finally able to clear my mind. I was able to analyze my feelings and emotions. I was able to forgive myself and the loved ones that hurt me. I was able to let go. And above all, being up there by myself helped me realize (even more) that this world is wonderful and infinite and that nature is bigger and more powerful than us in every way imaginable.
For some odd life’s reason, I got to spend Earth Day there. In the middle of the forest of Umbria. So yes, nature heals!