Before I went on a big traveling adventure, I really thought that I had my life completely figured out. There was a great job waiting for me back in Ottawa, a masters degree at the tip of my nose and many great friends. These were all predicting what my future was going to look like, and how I really wanted my life to be. However, looking back on how I felt then compared to how I feel now makes a world of difference.

Sure, I still want that masters degree (and I’m going to get it!) and I still love my friends, family and job more than anything, but I feel as if life just isn’t as simple as I thought it out to be.

Experiencing new sights and sounds, being in different cultures, relishing in life and living in the present moment has taught me a great deal of lessons for the future.

First off, drinking your way through your travels and meeting only backpackers can be a fun way to do it, however experiencing a culture for what it is and really diving into it is much more valuable.

Teaching kids and seeing the smiles on their faces everyday for being able to speak English is something that I will never forget, nor do I want to.

Secondly, finding moments of serenity and introspection can do a WORLD of wonders…I am sitting in Bali now and definitely experiencing a less chaotic way of life. It has, and is, helping me to understand myself and accept the person that I am, flaws and all, on a much deeper level. I am now completely comfortable in the fact that I am not going to be successful at everything. What I AM going to however is take the struggle with the successes in my life, and going to appreciate those around me who love and support me.

Now I’m not saying that traveling is going to be the answer to everyone’s problems. I know very well that sometimes staying in my comfort zone is something that I need, and binging out for a day is always required and in good fun. But what I am saying is that traveling has opened doors and helped me figure out who I am and what I want in life in such a profound way that I will never forget.

I will keep that little piece of who I am, and who I’ve figured out to be with me for the rest of my life, and that’s all there is to it.

IMAGE CREDIT: Andrea