365 days passes in a blink of an eye. It was full of accomplishments, growth, pains and struggles. I’ve learned, I’ve risen, I’ve fallen. For those who know me personally, you probably know the depth of it.
In March, I finally quit the corporate life that did not suit me. One that promised so much future, opportunities and growth. I dealt with being unemployed for the longest time in almost 10 years. I learned to take things slow, relax and enjoy pastimes I once did. I took time to find myself and explore the city I love. I took advantage of the amazing friends and family I had by spending as much time as I could with them. I also finally took on my passion to travel and started to prep for a worldwide backpacking trip.
In the first half of 2016, I went through a series of family medical issues. That time lead to a lot realizations in my life. It made me realize my priorities and what I truly value – family, honesty, freedom, health, happiness and compassion.
During the second half of 2016, I did a lot of self discovery. How much I yearned to be the best I could be for my family. How important they are to me. How I want to support and protect them from everything. I learned to love again. I learned to mourn. I learned to express myself vocally and emotionally. I learned I bottled up too much, consciously and unconsciously. I knew I had to go after my dream according to me, not the “standard.” I couldn’t go on living a life that left me cold, empty and exhausted.
I lost my passion in work. I lost my passion in life.
I lost my father. I lost myself.
But at the end of 2016, I found courage.
I had to remember that pain and struggles are not deterrents and they should never be. Obstacles are made to make us stronger, lessons are to make us wiser, challenges are placed to create other doorways to open. I have became more humble, expressive, passionate, open-minded and brave. It’s not the path I thought I would take but then again, nothing is ever set. I’m so blessed and happy to be where I am right now because I took control of the situation to manifest my own path.
The last few years has had its share of hardships and I use to say how much I hope the coming year will be better. I was looking at it the wrong way. Each year taught me a valuable lesson. Each year gave me strength to push on. Each year brought more opportunities because it pushed me to keep striving. To create them for myself because I learned what I did not want. It taught me to keep searching and pursuing something that would hopefully light my heart on fire.
I made the big decision to walk away and backpack around the world with what little knowledge I had of travelling international. I’ve learned to trust myself and live freely. It has been one of the biggest and scariest decisions I have made in my life. And also the best!
I welcome 2017 with open arms. I am so grateful for all my pains, my scars, my support group, my health, my body and this life. Sometimes I catch myself with tears of gratefulness and happiness for the hardships and pain that steered me to this path that has waken up the fire I’ve always searched for. As well as for my father, mother, brother and friends who support me with so much love and encouragement I can’t contain it. I do not take this great journey for granted.
Remember – stay afloat, stay humble and enjoy the journey!
My travel around the world thus far… #jellooohexploration
Chaco Culture National Park, NM, USA
Tent Rock, NM, USA
White Sand Dunes National Park, N.M., USA
Antelope Canyon, AZ, USA
Bryce National Park, UT, USA
Zion National Park, UT, USA
Horseshoe Bend, AZ, USA
Death Valley National Park, CA, USA
Grand Canyon, AZ, USA
Cliff of Mother, Ireland
Bray cliffwalk, Ireland
Praha, Czech Republic
Mala Strana, Praha
Uttar Pradesh, India
Patnem beach, Goa, India
Siemp Reap, Cambodia
Ream National Park, Cambodia
Ha Giang, Vietnam
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Cat Ba island, Vietnam
Hoi An, Vietnam
P.S. – for inspiration, here are some quotes that alway keep me going. Approach this new year with open eyes, arms and heart. The world needs compassion, love and change.
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is your own choice.” – Bob Marley
“Forget yesterday, it has forgotten you. Don’t sweat tomorrow. You haven’t even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift, today.”
“Embrace your individuality. Love what you love without worrying about judgment.”
“May your choices reflect your hope, not your fears” – Nelson Mandela
Live, Learn, Love soulfully!
Angela in wonderland // Follow me on IG @jelloooh #jellooohexploration