Each month, I set aside time to reflect on the previous month: memorable moments, lessons I learned, how I spent my time, how I’m different, who/what I’m grateful for, improvements for next month, and goals to work toward. I try to be intentional in my personal development, and posting each month is a way to keep me accountable (as a nice reminder, it’s also built into my favorite planner 😉 ).
Monthly Motto: Three Lessons I Learned*:
*I wrote these on the plane with lots of time to think, which is why they are extra long this month!
- When I travel, I’m the ‘do it all’ type of traveler. When I went to Paris by myself, I woke up at 6:30 (at least!) almost every day to see everything I wanted to see. But not everyone travels that way. And sometimes schedules just don’t let you see ‘everything’. When planned logistics go out the window, I get stressed out pretty easily — I won’t have time to do it all or may miss something important! But I’m learning to let go of my need to see everything. Since living here, I’ve already been back to places I’d never thought I’d visit even once in my life. Travel has become so easy and accessible that if I truly miss something life changing, I can go back. Enjoy what you can and create a bucket list to give you something to look forward to when you come back.
- Address issues sooner rather than later. I have the tendency to ignore problems or just ‘deal with it on my own’ until what started as a minor issue turns into a huge deal. Recently, Joe and I started a book called the Navigator’s Council (thanks Janine!) that is helping (read: forcing) me learn to address my issues instead of letting them smolder. It’s a set of 6 questions you and your spouse sit and talk about the same time every week (in an ideal world). Knowing that we are going to have to answer these questions each week has helped me open up and be more honest. Besides, letting bitter feelings brew never ends well.
- Learn from other people’s wins (not just mistakes). One of my pre-travel rituals is to read real people’s blogs about my destination (not just Lonely Planet or Rick Steves). We recently took a trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park and so, as usual, I read lots of blogs. And I found one that gave directions to a ‘secret spot’ to get the most badass view of the lakes. I thought ‘secret’ might have been a little exaggeration, but I’m always down for a good photo stop. It took us forever to actually find the spot (the normal route was closed), but oh my word, IT WAS SO WORTH IT. When we got there, there was a small group that left pretty quickly and then we had the whole lookout to ourselves (unlike the rest of the park). Big shoutout to bloggers who are open and share their awesome tips!
Top 3 Highlights:
- Hiked Prosecco Road.
- Found the “secret spot” at Plitvice Lakes National Park.
- Hiked up Mount Vesuvius and visited Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Don’t call it a dream. Call it a plan.
What big lessons have you learned over the past month? Share in the comments below!