Category Archives for "Inspiration"

101 Adventure Quotes That Kick Your Butt Into Action

101-FAMOUS-ADVENTURE-QUOTES

I scoured the earth looking for 101 famous and not so famous adventure quotes. The results: this curated list of 101 inspirational adventure quotes that will inspire you to get up off the couch, try new things, do great things and travel to see new places. Let them inspire  you, let them move you, let them touch your soul.

101 famous adventure quotes about travel and life

Ralph Waldo Emerson1- “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-(American Poet, Lecturer and Essayist, 1803-1882)


-Eugene Ionesco-(French dramatist inspired a revolution in dramatic techniques, 1909-1994)-2-“A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind”
-Eugene Ionesco-(French dramatist inspired a revolution in dramatic techniques, 1909-1994)-” A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying, but a life in which adventure is allowed to take whatever form it will is sure to be short. “


3-” A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying, but a life in which adventure is allowed to take whatever form it will is sure to be short. ”
-English Proverb-


-Aristophanes-(The greatest representative of ancient Greek comedy, 450-385 BC)4-“Why, I’d like nothing better than to achieve some bold adventure, worthy of our trip.”
-Aristophanes-(The greatest representative of ancient Greek comedy, 450-385 BC)


-Aristophanes-(The greatest representative of ancient Greek comedy, 450-385 BC)5-“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.”
-Aristophanes-(The greatest representative of ancient Greek comedy, 450-385 BC)


-Johann Friedrick von Schiller-(German Poet, Dramatist, Philosopher and Historian. 1759-1805)6-” If we do not find anything very pleasant, at least we shall find something new. ”
-Johann Friedrick von Schiller(German Poet, Dramatist, Philosopher and Historian. 1759-1805)


-Alan Cohen. *American author best known for "Chicken Soup for the Soul)7-“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”
-Alan Cohen. *American author best known for “Chicken Soup for the Soul)


-Alexander Eliot- (American writer of best known for his books on spirituality & myth b. 1919)

8-” I have but one life to give to adventure. ”

9-” We’re not home-and-hearth people. We’re the adventurers, the buccaneers, the blockade runners. Without challenge, we’re only alive.”
-Alexander Eliot- (American writer of best known for his books on spirituality & myth b. 1919)


(Russian writer, dissident and activist. He helped to raise global awareness of the gulag and the Soviet Union's forced labour camp system 1918-2008)10-“Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn. (Russian writer, dissident and activist. He helped to raise global awareness of the gulag and the Soviet Union’s forced labour camp system 1918-2008)


11-“A race preserves its vigour so long as it harbours a real contrast between what has been and what may be; and so long as it is nerved by the vigour to adventure beyond the safeties of the past. Without adventure civilization is in full decay.”

12-“Art flourishes where there is a sense of adventure.”
Alfred North Whitehead(British Mathematician who becaame and American Philosopher, 1861-1947)


13-“And the day came when the wish to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Anais Nin-(French Cuban author known for her erotic literature and short stories b.1903-1977)


14-“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.”
Andre Gide(French writer, humanist and moralist, 1947 Nobel prize for literature, 1869-1951)


15-“Adventure is in the eye of the beholder.”
-Annie Andre- (  Blogger, traveller and French sabbatical expert at www.annieandre.com. )


16-“Never forget that life can only be nobly inspired and rightly lived if you take it bravely and gallantly, as a splendid adventure in which you are setting out into an unknown country, to face many a danger, to meet many a joy, to find many a comrade, to win and lose many a battle.”

Annie Besant(English social reformer, theosophist, and Indian independence leader. 1847-1933)


17-“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming – “WOW – What a Ride!”
Anonymous


18-“Make your life a mission – not an intermission.”
Anonymous  


-Antoine de Saint-Exupery-(French Pilot, Writer and Author of 'The Little Prince', 1900-1944)19-“It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys”

20-“War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery-(French Pilot, Writer and Author of ‘The Little Prince’, 1900-1944)


21-” Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. ”
Aristophanes(The greatest representative of ancient Greek comedy, 450-385 BC)


-Aristotle-(Ancient Greek Philosopher, Scientist and Physician, 384 BC-322 BC)22-” Whether we call it sacrifice, or poetry, or adventure, it is always the same voice that calls. ” 
Aristotle-(Ancient Greek Philosopher, Scientist and Physician, 384 BC-322 BC)


23-” Adventure must be held in delicate fingers. It should be handled, not embraced. It should be sipped, not swallowed at a gulp. ”
-Barry Targan-(American author and poet b.1932-)


24-“Adventures are to the adventurous.”
Benjamin Disraeli(British Prime Minister and Novelist. 1804-1881)


25-“The word ‘romance,’ according to the dictionary, means excitement, adventure, and something extremely real. Romance should last a lifetime.”
Billy Graham(American evangelist, b.1918 )


-Charlie Chaplin-(British Comedian, Producer, Writer, Film Director and Composer regarded as the greatest comic artist, 1889-1977)26-“A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure.”

Charlie Chaplin-(British Comedian, Producer, Writer, Film Director and Composer regarded as the greatest comic artist, 1889-1977)


27-“Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success.”
Dale Carnegie-(American lecturer, author, 1888-1955)


28-“The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.”
-Denis Watley-(American motivational speaker & writer b. 1933- )


-Eleanor Roosevelt-(American Humanitarian, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt 1884-1962)29-“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt(American Humanitarian, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt 1884-1962)


 

-Elizabeth Taylor-(English Actress, 1932-2011)30-“I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I’m not afraid to look behind them.”
-Elizabeth Taylor-(English Actress, 1932-2011)


31-“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”
Jawaharlal Nehru(Indian Prime Minister. 1889-1964)


 

32-“A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.”
Eugene Ionesco-(French dramatist inspired a revolution in dramatic techniques, 1909-1994)


-Friedrich Nietzsche-(German classical Scholar, Philosopher and Critic of culture, 1844-1900)33-“Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!”
-Friedrich Nietzsche(German classical Scholar, Philosopher and Critic of culture, 1844-1900)


34-An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.”
-G. K. Chesterton-(English born Gabonese Critic, Essayist, Novelist and Poet, 1874-1936)


35-“It is never too late to be who you might have been.”
-George Eliot(English Victorian Novelist. Pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans, 1819-1880)


-George Lucas-(American Film Director and Producer, famous for Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies. b.1944- )36-“You have to find something that you love enough to be able to take risks, jump over the hurdles and break through the brick walls that are always going to be placed in front of you. If you don’t have that kind of feeling for what it is you are doing, you’ll stop at the first giant hurdle.”
-George Lucas(American Film Director and Producer, famous for Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies. b.1944- )

 


37-“We’re not afraid of risking what was our success yesterday in order to explore some new field. We’re adventurous. We like the challenge of unknown territory, unknown artistic field, and that’s what stimulates us.”
-Guy Laliberte(A French Canadian entrepreneur, philanthropist at time of this writing is CEO of “Le Cirque du Soleil” 11th wealthiest Canadian b. 1959- )


38-” Every man can transform the world from one of the monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure. ”
-H. Rider Haggard-(English writer of adventure novels set in exotic locations b. 1865-1925)


-Helen Keller-(American Author and Educator who was blind and deaf. 1880-1968)39-” Gullibility is the key to all adventures. The greenhorn is the ultimate victor in everything; it is he who gets the most out of life. ”

40-“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

41-“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
-Helen Keller-(American Author and Educator who was blind and deaf. 1880-1968)


-Henry David Thoreau-(American Essayist, Poet and Philosopher, 1817-1862)42-” It is always the adventurers who do great things, not the sovereigns of great empires. ”

43-” We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character. ”

44-“If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavours to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

45-“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
-Henry David Thoreau(American Essayist, Poet and Philosopher, 1817-1862)


-Herbert Hoover-(American President, 1874-1964)46-“We are all functioning at a small fraction of our capacity to live life fully in its total meaning of loving, caring, creating, and adventuring. Consequently, the actualizing of our potential can become the most exciting adventure of our lifetime.”
-Herbert A. Otto-(American Author, leader of the human potential movement )

You’re halfway there. Do these adventure quotes make you feel all tingly?

47-“New discoveries in science will continue to create a thousand new frontiers for those who still would adventure”
-Herbert Hoover-(American President, 1874-1964)


48-” Adventure, without it, why live? ”
-Hortense Odlum(American, 1st female president of Bonwit Teller department store in NY city. B.1881- 1970)


-J. K. Rowling-(English Writer, author of Harry Potter, b.1965- )49-” We live in a world full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open. “-Irving Wallace-(American screenwriter and best selling author b. 1916-1990)

50-“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
-J. K. Rowling-(English Writer, author of Harry Potter, b.1965- )

51-“Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty”
-Jacob Bronowski-Polish-(Jewish British mathematician, biologist, historian of science, theatre author, poet and inventor b. 1908-1974)


-Jacqueline Cochran-(Pioneer American aviator, considered to be one of the most gifted racing pilots of her generation 1906-1980)52-“I have found adventure in flying, in world travel, in business, and even close at hand… Adventure is a state of mind – and spirit.”
-Jacqueline Cochran-(Pioneer American aviator, considered to be one of the most gifted racing pilots of her generation 1906-1980)


53-“There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”-
Jawaharlal Nehru-(Indian Prime Minister. 1889-1964)


54-” Adventure: the pursuit of life. “-Jenny Radcliffe-


55-“I like someone who embraces life; who wants to be on a long journey but has no particular plan or destination in mind. An adventurous man, open to the concept of living life in the moment.”-Jill Hennessy(Canadian actress and musician known for her television roles on Law & Order b. 1968-)


-Johan Wolfgang von Goethe-(German Playwright, Poet, Novelist and Dramatist. 1749-1832)56-The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive. ”
-Johan Wolfgang von Goethe-(German Playwright, Poet, Novelist and Dramatist. 1749-1832)


57-“Adventure isn’t hanging on a rope off the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day to day obstacles of life.”
-John Amatt-(American Professional speaker)


58-“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.”-John G. Shedd-


-John Wayne-(American Actor who embodied the image of the strong, cowboy or soldier. 1907-1979)59-” It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves, in finding themselves. ”
-John Wayne(American Actor who embodied the image of the strong, cowboy or soldier. 1907-1979)


60-” The thirst for adventure is the vent which Destiny offers; a war, a crusade, a gold mine, a new country, speak to the imagination and offer… ”
Jose Bergamin(Spanish Writer b. 1895-1983)


61-” Life is a dangerous adventure, says the American, and he is half right: life is dangerous, but it’s not an adventure.”
José Bergamín(Spanish Writer b. 1895-1983)


62-“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”
Joseph Campbell-(American Author, Editor, Philosopher and Teacher, 1904-1987)


If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun- Katherine Hepburn Advenure Quote

63-“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”
Katharine Hepburn(American actress)


64-“I don’t want to not live because of my fear of what could happen.”
-Laird Hamilton-(American Surfer)-Laird Hamilton-(American Surfer)


65-“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”
-Lao Tzu-

Lao Tzu


66-” Chance is the providence of adventurers. ”

67-” Who dares nothing, need hope for nothing ”

68-“A large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life, by him who interests his heart in everything.”
-Laurence Sterne-(Irish born English Writer, 1713-1768)


69-“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.”
-Leonardo Di Vinci-(Italian Painter, Sculptor, Architect and Engineer, inventor and genius. 1452-1519)-Leonardo Di Vinci-(Italian Painter, Sculptor, Architect and Engineer, inventor and genius. 1452-1519)


70-” I decided that adventure was the best way to learn. ”
-Lloyd Alexander-(American writer b. 1924-2007)


71-“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
-Mark Twain(American Humorist, Writer and Lecturer. 1835-1910)-Mark Twain-(American Humorist, Writer and Lecturer. 1835-1910)

72-” Everything a human being wants can be divided into four components: love, adventure, power and fame. ”
-Matthew Heywood-


73-“Look, I really don’t want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you’re alive, you’ve got to flap your arms and legs, you’ve got to jump around a lot, you’ve got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death.”
Mel Brooks-(American Actor, Writer, Producer and Film Director. b.1926 )


Only a few more adventure quotes to go.

74-“Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And venture belongs to the adventurous.”
Navjot Singh Sidhu(Former Indian cricket star, television commentator. b.. 1963)


75-” I doubt whether the world holds for anyone a more soul-stirring surprise than the first adventure with ice cream. ”

76-“It is confidence in our bodies, minds and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures, new directions to grow in, and new lessons to learn – which is what life is all about.”

77-“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”
Oprah Winfrey(American television personality,Actress and Producer, b.1954- )

-Oprah Winfrey-(American television personality,Actress and Producer, b.1954- )


78-“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation.”
-Pearl S. Buck(American author, 1938 Nobel Prize for Literature, 1892-1973)-Pearl S. Buck-(American author, 1938 Nobel Prize for Literature, 1892-1973)


79-“Nothing adventured, nothing attained”
Peter Mcwilliams-


80-“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”
-Rabindranath Tagore-(Indian Poet, Playwright and Essayist, Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, 1861-1941)


81-“Life ought to be a struggle of desire toward adventures whose nobility will fertilize the soul.

82-“The adventure is over. Everything gets over, and nothing is ever enough. Except the part you carry with you.”
Rebecca West-(English Writer, 1892-1983)


83-“If we must lose wife or husband when we live to our highest right, we lose an unhappy marriage as well, and we gain ourselves. But if a marriage is born between two already self-discovered, what a lovely adventure begins, hurricanes and all.”
-Richard Bach-(American Writer, author of ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’, b.1936)


84-“Always remember, it’s simply not an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons.”
-Sarah Ban Breathnach(Best selling American author)


85-” It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it were the only one we had. ”
-St. Augustine-


86-“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Steve Jobs(American Entrepreneur Apple co-Founder, 1955-2011)-Steve Jobs-(American Entrepreneur Apple co-Founder, 1955-2011)


87-“Don’t die without embracing the daring adventure your life is meant to be.”
Steve Pavlina(American self-help author, motivational speaker, entrepreneur & blogger b. 1971-)


88-“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.”

89-“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
-T.S Eliot-(American born English Editor, Playwright, Poet and Critic, 1888-1965)-T.S Eliot-(American born English Editor, Playwright, Poet and Critic, 1888-1965)


Hang in there! There are still 11 more adventure quotes to read!

 

90-“Security is a kind of death.”
-Tennessee Williams-(American playwright. 1911-1983)


91-“The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes”
-Thomas Alva Edison-(Most famous American Inventor who, singly or jointly, held a world record 1.093 patents.1847-1931)


92-“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”
Thomas Alva Edison-(Most famous American Inventor who, singly or jointly, held a world record 1.093 patents.1847-1931)-Thomas Alva Edison-(Most famous American Inventor who, singly or jointly, held a world record 1.093 patents.1847-1931)


93-” Life is a fatal adventure. It can only have one end. So why not make it as far-ranging and free as possible. ”
-Thornton Wilder-(American writer of innovative plays and novels, 1897-1975)


94-“…adventures don’t come calling like unexpected cousins calling from out of town. You have to go looking for them.”
unknown


95-“I am not an adventurer by choice but by fate.”
-Vincent van Gogh(Dutch Painter, one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists, 1853-1890)adventure quotre from -Vincent van Gogh-(Dutch Painter, one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists, 1853-1890)


96-“The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.”
-W.M. Lewis-


97-“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.”
-Wilfred Peterson-(American author who wrote for This Week magazine b. 1900-1995)


98-“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.”
-William Feather-(American publisher & author b. 1889-1991)


We love because it is the only true adventure- William Gladstone adventure quote99-We love because it’s the only true adventure.
William Gladstone-(British Prime Minister and the most prominent man in politics of his time, 1809-1898)


100-“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”
-Winston Churchill(British Orator, Author and Prime Minister during World War II. 1874-1965)Adventure quote rom -Winston Churchill-(British Orator, Author and Prime Minister during World War II. 1874-1965)


101-“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
-St. Augustine-(Bishop of Hippo, Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province. B.430)

Were you inspired by any of these adventure quotes?

Adventure quote by Thomas Edison-American inventor, scientist and businessmanAnd that my friends was 101 famous and not so famous adventure quotes on almost every subject imagineable. I hope they inspire you as much as they inspire me.

As Tomas Edison- the American inventor, scientist and businessman once said “If we did all the things we are capable, we would literally astound ourselves.” 

Now go out in the world and have an adventure.

adult gap year: take a career break from your job

Adult Gap Year: How Taking Career Breaks Helped My Career And Life

gap year for adults. A career break to recharge

What if you could could take a break or quit your job for a few months even a year? Would you do it? I would and I did. Here is what I did and how it actually helped my career.

Why take a career break?

Everyone needs to get away for a while to recharge, reset and do the things that matter to you. But sometimes the weekends or that 2 week annual vacation just isn’t enough to do the things you want or need to do. Take time off from work for a few months to a year, a career break can give you that time. It can also give you a chance to rediscover and give you back purpose in life.

I’ve taken several career breaks and have never regretted it. Most people fear taking a career break because it leaves a big gap on your resume but if you use that time to do something meaningfuul it can easily be explained and can even make your look more appealing to future employers once you return from your career break.

I’ve always grown as a person and achieved things I never would have accomplished while working.

Don’t call a career break a vacation because it is not

Don’t confuse a career break with a vacation because they are not the same. The major difference is that a career break usually involves time off from your main job or career to achieve a life goal or experience something significant.

Some people call taking a break from your job a “CAREER GAP” or “CAREER BREAK” but these terms seem to be used interchangeably with the terms, “SABBATICAL” and “ADULT GAP YEAR” ( which is different from “Gap Year” apparently).

There are other terms too but these seem to be the most widely used and accepted but career break is the term I will use for this article.

How long do career breaks or gap years last?

Because career breaks are typically unpaid, the length varies depending on your goals, financial situation and obligations but typically last anywhere from a couple of months to a full year. Most people cannot sustain a career break longer than one year due to financial reasons and responsabilities.

What can you do on a career break?

What you do on your career break is entirely up to you but here are some examples of things people are doing on their career breaks.

  • Take care of a newborn or stay home to raise older children
  • Volunteer Abroad (family programs exist)
  • Education: Studying to improve your skills or get a degree
  • Training for an adventure career such as a ski instructor or sailing instructor
  • Start a business
  • Prepare for a career change
  • Pursue a passion or hobby such as panting, writing, marathon
  • Travel: see the world, learn a new language
  • Paid work abroad to fund your travels: Possibly outside your career field like teaching English, waitress, tour guide, au pair etc.

Here’s what I did on my two breaks.

My first career break

When I was 29, I had a good job that I hated.  I was newly divorced ( married way too young) and I needed time to get grounded while taking care of my two toddler sons.

With a little savings in the bank and no child support I quit my job to accomplish three things.

1- Stay home and take care of my kids.

2- Support myself with a job I can do from home

2- Prepare for a career change. I was working as a corporate Treasury and Foreign Exchange analyst and I was burnt out. Most of all I dreaded going into work and I needed a change.

Kick start the entrepreneur in me

I knew that I could transfer my skills and talent for working with numbers into a job working as a web or marketing analyst but with no experience in this field no one would hire me.

Solution: I created my job and taught myself what I thought I needed to know. That was my first foray into entrepreneurship.

Ultimately I achieved all of my goals. Best of all, I was hired as a web and marketing database analyst with a salary increase.

My second career break

10 years later, It’s now 2011. I’ve since taken a second career break which has lasted for about 4 year. My break started back in 2007 when the company I worked for had a massive lay off. (Thank You silicon valley).

The timing couldn’t have been better. I was ready for another career change and it just so happened that I was remarried and had a newborn on the way.

So I did it all over again.

Entrepreneurship Again

This time I used my layoff as a catalyst to launch my new career and create an ecommerce store.  It was a lot of work but I handled all aspects of running my shop including designing and creating handmade sleeping masks to sell in the shop.

I ran my shop from my home for 3 years. It was very fulfilling and I know if I wanted to get a job in this field I could. But I don’t want to work for “The Man” anymore.

Travel Long Term / Live abroad

Something happened to me and my values. After being home with the kids, my husband and running my business the way I want to I realized that I enjoyed all this personal freedom.

I also realized that I missed travelling.

So here I am now after almost 7 months of planning with my husband.  I am living in France with my husband and three kids since October of 2011. Before this, we lived in Montreal for 8 months and Maryland for a few months visiting family and friends.

Entrepreneurship A Third Time Around

While in France, my goal is to build a portable business based on my passions and talents which I can run from anywhere as long as there is internet access and somewhere to plug-in my computer.

Some might call me a lifestyle entrepreneur and digital nomad (for now) rolled up into one because I’m building a business and hopefully a career around my life rather than a life around my business. One that I not only enjoy and am good at but also pays the bills while giving me the mobility and freedom to work when and where I want.

But these are my goals and intentions, yours will no doubt be different.

CAREER BREAKS ARE NOT TRENDS

You might think that career breaks, gap years and sabbatical are a new fancy or a passing trend.

I can assure you, taking a career break is not a new idea.

It’s not reserved for middle-aged people having a mid-life crisis.

And It’s also not just for wealthy people with a huge savings account.

As I mentioned earlier, I took my first career break over 10 years ago. And even before that, I took a gap year after high school to live and work in Japan and travel around Asia that turned into three years.

I thought I was a trailblazer but I know now that taking time off from work and life is an old concept.

1960’s: Gap Year

The British have known for a long time the benefit of taking time off. During the 1960’s, they coined the term GAP YEAR to describe any adult who took time off from life to travel or work abroad. The British also use the term A YEAR OUT. I had never heard of this term until recently but apparently it’s widely used in Britain.

Since then, the term gap year has grown in popularity, especially among Americans and perhaps by coincidence it seems to have taken on a new meaning. Now a gap year is mainly used to refer to younger people taking a year off from school, before college or even during high school.

While an adult gap year seems to be more closely related to a career break in that it is used to describe any adult who quits their job or the normal rhythms of their day-to-day life to do something worth while including travel and working abroad.

Biblical Times: Sabbatical

Taking time of from work goes back even further than the 1960’s. Back to biblical times. Every seven years, the ancient Jews who farmed took a year-long break during which time they were forbidden to plow and work their lands. They called it a SABBATICAL YEAR.

So there you have it. Taking time off has been around for a long time. It’s here to stay.

Have a plan

Taking a career break can be scary especially if you have a family. It requires a lot of planning. You may experience doubts and question yourself not to mention all the Nay Sayers who will tell you that you are committing career suicide but don’t let that stop you if you.

Having taken several career breaks and gap years, I can honestly say that the adventures you experience on your career break will be something you remember for the rest of your life. You won’t regret it if you plan it well. Life is nothing without a little ADVENTURE.

How I Crushed My Fears By Screaming Like A Pig

How to overcome your fears: Do something scary. I screamed like a pig

“The First Place Winner Is Annie Andre“ said the master of ceremonies

“Heehaw I just won me 25 bucks!” Mmmm Hmmmmmmm!!! Yesireeeeee!!!!! 25 dollar can make you halla!

How Do You Overcome Your Fears?

This is a story of how doing something scary, something humiliating helped me overcome one of my biggest fears, The fear speaking in public.  Only I didn’t speak, I did something totally uncharacteristic of me..Squeeeeel!!!! 

Read on…Here’s my story….

Standing There On The Stage I…

Moments earlier, I stood nervously on a stage in front of my family and an audience of strangers.If this wasn’t already a hollering contest, I would probably have screamed with embarrassment.

I stood there thinking to myself “why in the hell am I doing this”

What does hollering and screaming have to do with crushing your fears?  Everything and nothing.

Just remember this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. “Do something everyday that scares you”. More on that later.

Let me first say that hollering is a lost art and it’s hilarious to watch adults and children get up on stage to belt out a Holler you can hear in the next county. What’s even funnier is to watch a mild mannered mother of 3 get up on stage and make a complete ass of her self. That would be me..

The Lost Art of Hollering

Believe it or not, before the advent of modern day communication like cell phones and email, people would HOLLER, more like SCREAM to communicate. they didn’t scream at each other but Hollered to call people and animals, faraway in the distance. Now a days this past time can mainly be seen as a side show contest at festivals in rural areas performed by local townsfolk. I was in Floyd Virginia visiting my brother-in-law at the Floyd Festival. And I immediately knew I had to enter the contest.. for reasons I will explain later.

Let The Contest Begin

How to overcome your fears: Do something scary. I screamed like a pig

First of all, that is not me above ok?  I’m just sayin! Sheesh

Despite the HOT, STICKY weather and MOSQUITO’s, everyone gathered around the outdoor stage was smiling and the air was filled with a cheerful anticipation for the start of the hollering contest.

One by one, each contestant was called on to the stage by the master of ceremonies where they explained the purpose of their call. Then almost ceremoniously, each contestant took a deep breath and cupped their hands around their mouth and yelled. NO NO, I mean they Hollered as loud as they could.

In the kiddy category, the kids all let out an ear drum bursting, blood curdling scream that any self respecting horror actress would be proud of.

”AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

Those Poor poor parents…

How to crush your fears by screaming like a pig

In the traditional category, one man did a pig call which I imagined must be how farmers long ago called their pigs home from the fields after a long day of grazing? Just a guess.

“HEEEEERE PIGY PIGY PIGY PIGyyy, HEEEEEERE PIGY PIGY PIGY”

How to crush your fears by screaming like a pig

In the Free style category, the category I was entered in, one man yodeled. it was a very good Yodel which made me think of Julie Andrews in the sound of music and that little Swiss guy on the Ricola commercials.

“Yodel-AY-ee OOOOOO, Yodel-ay-eeee, Yodel-ay-eEEEEEEE”

Fear And Loathing ( My turn )

“Our next contestant is Annie Andre” I gulped and smiled stoically as I walked towards the stage feeling like a shrinking violet.

“OMG, OMG, it’s not too late to turn back” I said to myself. But another voice said “keep walking Annie you SISSY, it’s only a silly screaming contest”.

Then I was front and center. I didn’t want to scream like I was in an ax murderer film like the little kids, and I didn’t want to Holler as if I was calling a farm animal either. That’s when it came to me. “It was perfect”

…….

Overcoming Shyness and Fear, One Holler At A Time

A year ago, I would NEVER, EVER, and I mean EEEEEVER be seen on stage yelling at the top of my lungs for any amount of fame or fortune let alone a pithy small town prize.

Come to think of it, I didn’t even know what the prizes if any were. It didn’t matter. I was resound to face my fear of being on stage in front of people. Even if it was only a hollering contest.

Freestyle Hollering

So there I stood on stage. I explained to the crowd what the purpose of my holler would be.

“This is how I call my husband Blake” I said. ( I don’t really call him like this ok!)

“Heeeere BLAKeY? BLA-KeY, BLAKeY BLAKeY, HeeeeRE BLAKeY BLAKeY BLAKeYYYYYYYYY?

My voice broke and cracked. I ran out of breath. I gave it my all. 

I looked down at the crowd gathered around the stage. Everyone was laughing, smiling and I think I even heard a few “Woo HOOOO’s. This wasn’t so bad.

Now don’t judge me but I actually think I felt like I could do anything. Remember that scene from the Titanic?  The one where Leonardo DiCaprio says “I’m the king of the world!”. I felt like that.

How to crush your fears by screaming like a pig. hollering contest made me feel like king of the world

As I stood there, I had a brief flashback to my childhood that saddened me a little. I missed out on so much as a child all because of one thing… FEAR. My fear was all in my head.

As a child, I had a fear of the unknown, being humiliated or looking silly. I wasn’t afraid of anything concrete,  like falling off my bike, riding a scary roller coaster or crashing my dirt bike. I was afraid of life, people and the unknown.

To say that I was shy as a kid would be an understatement.

Up until I was about 13 or 14 years old, I usually sat on the sidelines.

I never raised my hand in class.

I was always a wall flower at all 3 school dances I ever attended.

I always agreed with everyone and even walked a little hunched over because I was too scared to make eye contact.

I couldn’t even hold a conversation because I was too afraid of what someone would think of my opinions.

SNAP!  As fast as the memory came it was gone. I flashed back to the present and pushed the sad childhood memory away. I was already walking back to my seat next to my family. stunned, dazed and ecstatic.

I did it.

…….

What does a hollering contest have to do with crushing your fears and happiness?

do one thing everday that scares you eleanor roosevelt quote

Elearnor Roosevelt once said and I quote “Do one thing everyday that scares”

Now, I know what you are thinking. “What does a hollering contest have to do with crushing your fears?

Instead of sitting their, I swallowed my fear of standing up in front of people and I believe it or not, it felt good. It felt good to participate in life in something as trivial as hollering like a pig and it felt good to NOT let fear dictate my actions.

Doing scary things has a compound effect. Once you do something that scares you, it gives you the courage to do it again and again and again. With each new scary thing I do comes a bit of confidence that transcends into the rest of my life.

How you can be more confident and do more things with your life 

1-Pick something new you want to do or try. It doesn’t have to be crazy wild. Just anything small that you are scared to do. Or the next time someone asks you to do something, instead of saying no say “YES”. It could be as simple as going dancing or singing Karaoke or talking to a complete stranger.

2- Don’t back down or chicken out. Just do it no matter what.

Then, watch what happens and how it makes you feel.  Trust me, you’ll be a thrill seeker in no time.

Here is the formula which basically says (An Adventurous You = Fulfilled Life)

[YOU * (Novelty + Courage = Adventurous)] = [Life * (Success + Happiness + excitement= Fulfilment) ]

 

So tell me. What have you done to smash your fears? Leave your comments below and don’t forget to do something everyday that scares you.

Are you boring and how to be less boring

Why Am I So Boring? 10 Signs You are Boring The Hell Out Of Everyone And How To Be Less Boring

Are you boring and how to be less boring

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “why am I so boring?” or wondered “how to be less boring”, you’re not alone. Sometimes the best way to figure things out is to take a good look at yourself, your life or to seek the advice and examples of others. With that said, here is what years of experiments, trial and error have unearthed for me. I hope my discoveries help you identify some things in yourself so that you can get on with your life and start living your life to the fullest.

STOP!!!   DO NOT take offense just because you have a few of the traits I list in this article. I’ve had several people leave vile comments suggesting I am telling people to change or that this article describes people with Aspergers or describes depressed people. Those are all serious issues but these are my personal experiences of how I personally dealt with my insecurities. Some of the things I say may or may not resonate with you. If not that’s O.K. It’s a process. I put a lot of thought into this article and it is not easy sharing personal things of this nature. I believe in evolving and re-inventing myself. It is what has always worked for me. You are free to take my advice or leave it. But don’t be an ass-hole and leave a nasty comment just because you don’t like what I am saying because I am not talking about you. I am talking about me. Ok, you may continue reading, or Not. Choice is yours. 

What makes one person boring and another person NOT boring?

You’re not supposed to care what other people think but let’s face it…..Some of us (myself included) do care.  You don’t want to bore the hell out of other people or have a life so uninteresting that even YOU find your own life boring.

The problem is, you have no idea how to not be a boring person or how to be less boring.

So what’s the answer?

Now before you start reading, let me first clarify that I AM NOT AN EXPERT on the subject matter of being charismatic and truth be told, I AM NOT THE MOST EXCITING PERSON IN THE WORLD nor will I ever be.

I do however want to be more vibrant in social situations. Less of a wallflower if you will. Not so much because I care what others think of me, which I actually do but because I admire charismatic and lively people. I strive to continually evolve and improve myself and this is one way in which I have chosen to do it.

Why Am I So Boring?- My story of feeling like a boring person

I have struggled with the insecure worry that other people find me boring and uninteresting since I was a child.  Less so now but my childhood worries definitely marked me for life. I think worrying if I was DULL to others must have been what made me so damn shy. Shy to the point where It was debilitating. I would freeze or become silent because I was so afraid of what other people might think of me. I would sit silently in social situations not wanting to draw attention to me or make the wrong move. Later on in life, as a teenager, it just became normal for me to shrink into the background or act awkward in social settings.

I was the kid who ate lunch alone

I used to dread the bell to eat lunch because I had no friends to eat with. My only and best friends were  two neighbourhood girls. I am not saying I had no friends, because I did. But they didn’t actively seek me out like they did the other kids. I was always forgotten about if I wasn’t there. No one missed me, no one looked forward to seeing me. I was all too aware of just how uninteresting I was and it bothered me. .

I looked on with envy at the other kids who in my eyes were like social honey attracting all the other kids with their sweet and fascinating personalities.

It wasn’t until I was in my late teens and then a young adult when I tried to change and take action with the goal of trying to feel more secure about myself. I didn’t have a psychologist and didn’t ask friends or have self help books.

Trial and error: Things I have done to  help me feel less boring.

I suppose all those years of shrivelling into the background watching others paid off because what I tried to do was de-engineer the personalities of those whom I admired and I tried to emulate them.

This method of emulating others we admire has its advantages and disadvantage but it will only take you so far. Feeling like a bore is ultimately a problem of insecurity, security to just be myself which I lacked. I let my insecurity, shyness and fear of what others might think of me stop me from getting out there and living my life.

Even today, as a grown woman married with children, I still feel insecure. The difference is, I have learned to and strive to continually improve myself and evolve which helps fight that annoying voice in my head that has plagued me most of my life.

Whatever I have done or am doing must be working because people who know me today have a hard time believing that I am somewhat of an insecure person or I feel extremely shy and awkward in social settings or that I worry what others think of me- like if I am boring or not.

Mind you, I am still not the life of the party but,  my efforts in trying to be and do more have shaped me into who I am and it has given me the confidence to feel less boring.

I am happy about the life I have led and the life that I will lead going forward.

 Some things which I have accomplished

  • In social setting I know how to make small talk. I know what I should and shouldn’t talk about because some things just bore other people.
  • I feel a little accomplished: I had and have travel goals which I have achieved including travelling to over 25 countries, living in Asia as an adult as a single adult when I was 19 and more recently living in the south of France with my husband and children from 2011 to 2016 as of this writing.
  • I have tried new things: new foods and learned new skills that my mind told me I could never do or that I would hate but I ended up loving them after I tried them.
  • I am pretty good at my job and I enjoy it.
  • yada yada yada, blah blah blah.

The point I am trying to make is, if you suffer from feeling boring like I did, or you find your life is boring, it is going to take a lot of effort to change that.  You have to really put yourself out there, try to do everything you can and you can’t let fear stop you.  It might take years but you can do it. If you want to.

But enough about me. I won’t bore you anymore with my story. No pun intended. Here are the top 10 things I have discovered which have helped me feel and be less boring.

10 Signs You Are A Boring Person And How To Be A Less Boring Person?

Are you guilty of any of these?

If you are clinically depressed or have Asperger’s this is not an article for you. Please seek professional help and stop reading this article right now. Below are the issues which I have dealt with and the solutions that have helped me. Not all of these will help you but in the least I hope they give you some ideas for your particular situation.

1-You Talk Non Stop About Things That Only Interest You.

Are you a boring person: You talk about boring stuff all the time

Sign: In the early years, I noticed that some of the people I admired talked a lot so I tried it. Only instead of being interesting, I ended up having a one sided conversation about me.

No one likes to be on a one-sided conversation and nothing screams BOOOORING more than talking non stop about subjects that other people couldn’t care less about. Like your mothers collection of 300 gnomes or how much money you saved using coupons. Sure it can be interesting for about a minute or two but then you move on.

Solution: If you notice that you are doing all the talking and the other person has gone quiet try to engage the other person and ask them questions, listen to them and genuinely be interested in what they have to say.

Conversely, if you are trapped by this non stop talker, unless you want to be rude and walk away, there is not much you can do except excuse yourself from the conversation. Another tactic might be to change the topic to something different.  Good luck…

2- You Are A Total Downer

to be a boring person you should be totally depressing all the time

Sign: Let’s face it, no one wants to be a downer.

I’m not sure why but I tended to be overly serious as a child and it wasn’t unusual for me to see the glass half empty rather than half full.

Then I met someone who was like me and I could finally see myself more clearly through this other person. I was being a downer.

I once knew someone like this. I tried to make it work but I was exhausted by our relationship. I had to constantly lift her spirits. Whenever I met her, I was always sad, or sombre and rarely laughed.

Examples of depressing conversation killers

  • “I wish I was smarter”
  • “Life is so hard”
  • “why does everyone hate me”?
  • “I have no friends”.
  • whaa whaa whaa, oh woes me!!

Solution:  If you know a downer in your life, the best you can do is either be blunt with them and tell them how they are depressing you. If you are like me, you will try to be there for this friend for as long as humanly possibly  to support that person. In the end, if their negativity is effecting you than you might have to end the relationship or distance yourself from that person like I had to do.

If it’s you being the Debbie downer, consider changing your outlook on life and try to see the positive. It’s an active exercise that will take extreme effort but doing so will help lift your spirits. Trust me on this one.

What’s that old saying? If life gives you lemons than make lemonade?

3- You Are Really Uptight And Overly Serious

to be a boring person you should be really uptight all the time

Sign: Fun people like to laugh, tell jokes and let loose once in a while.

My definition of an uptight person is someone who is super RIGID and worried about PROTOCOL or doing things a certain way. They can’t take a  joke and are hard to get along with and tend to complain a lot.  God forbid if they ever let loose or do something that is out of character.

*I’m not talking about children or people with Aspergers or clinically depressed people. And by the way my son has Aspergers.  I’m talking about adults.

Solution: Let loose have some fun. Laugh at yourself once in a while. You’ll know you’re having fun when you laugh and don’t care who sees. If you know someone who is uptight and a buzz kill than try to lead by example. Sometimes your upbeat and fun attitude can be contagious.

4-You Complain About Everything

to be a boring person you should complain about everything

Sign: This type of person sees fault in everything and is not afraid to let you know.

There is no joy or fun in being around someone like this because you feel like you have to walk on egg shells around them.

Here are some great examples of what a complainer might say.

  • “The music is too loud” (it’s almost at the lowest setting)
  • “what’s that horrible smell? “ It’s butter, garlic and shallots in a white wine sauce.
  • “Stop walking on the grass, you are crushing it” (It’s a pique-nique area)
  • “You eat too much”
  • “you never eat” (the next day the same person said this to me)

Solution: I have no idea how to handle this type of venomous personality. In my experience, this person is out to make themselves look or feel good, by seeing the bad in others or putting others down. I usually try to be very careful around this person and I try reducing the amount of time I spend with them. If that is not possible than have a good outlet to recharge and re-boot.

5-You Never Try New Things or Travel To New Placesto be a boring person you should never travel Ever

Sign: Fun, non-boring people tend to do and see a lot of new things. They talk about those things and are so filled with joy because their life is so satisfying.

A boring person doesn’t do much outside of their necessary routine. Work, eat sleep. It’s hard to talk to someone who hasn’t had a lot of experience outside of their normal routine.

Solution: The solution is simple. Get out and do some stuff. Anything. 

 6- You Never Ever Smile

Boring people never smile

Sign: When I think about people who are fun in my life, I picture them smiling, laughing and just being jovial.

When I think of someone boring, I picture scowling faces and furrowed eyebrows.

Which one are you? All Smiles or all frowney?

Solution: Just smile. I learned a long time ago that the simple act of smiling can lift someone’s spirits.

Smiling is also contagious. I have smiled at scowly faced people on the street and to my surprise, they suddenly smile back.

I once had someone stop to “thank me” for smiling at them. Try it, it really works.

7- You Are Super Predictable and Never Spontaneous

You are a boring person if you are super predictable

I love seeing life through my children’s eyes because like most kids, they are naturally curious and seek out new experiences.  Well, it’s also fun to be around adults with these qualities. Not only does it make you less predictable, you can also become more spontaneous and less likely to do the same thing day in and day out.

Contrast that to someone who is ALWAYS predictable and nothing new ever happens to them.  No one will ask “Gee, I wonder what so and so person is up to”. They won’t have to because they will know that you always do the same thing every day. Now that I think about it, isn’t that what a rut looks and feels like? Who wants to be in a rut?

Examples of some ways you can be predictable are…..

  • Everything you do has to be planned to the “T”
  • You always take the practical safe route in life.
  • You say NO more than you say YES

Solution: If you are this type of boring and predictable person, do more things you would not normally do. Start right now. Go and find something new to do and just go do it. Say “YES” more. Stop planning everything. Now go.

8- You Work All The Time

Sign: When you make work your life’s purpose your almost guaranteed to be a boring person because. Who wants to hang out with someone who enjoys working more than they like laughing and having fun. I’m all for working hard. Hell, I work my ass off but if that is all I did, my family would probably disown me.

Solution: Spend more time outside of work. I’m not talking about vegging out in front of the T.V. like some tired overworked couch potato. I’m talking about living your life to the fullest and doing all those things you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t yet. Don’t let work define who you are.

9-You have No Hobbies

to be a boring person never do anything new

When you are around other people who are passionate about a subject, such as a hobby, it becomes part of who you are. It can give you purpose and make you feel more fulfilled about your life. Certain hobbies put you in contact with other people who share the same passion as  you such as sailing, golfing, knitting, mine-craft, cooking and even board games.

Solution: Get a hobby. Then meet other people who enjoy that same hobby. There are lots of clubs for various hobbies you can join. Just look online or in your local paper.

10-You are A Hermit

TO BE A BORING PERSON BECOME A HERMIT

A hermit’s life is not only very sad but it’s also uninteresting, monotonous and plain.

A hermit is a slave the four walls of their house. Never experiencing all that life has to offer.

Solution: Get out there and live your life.

FINAL WORD OF ADVICE..

TO BE LESS BORING IS EASY. JUST TRY SOMETHING NEW

It’s easy to be less boring.

It just involves a little change and an adventurous spirit.

Yes, you may have to go a little outside of your comfort zone to try new things, meet new people or see new places. But it’s worth it. give it a try.

One baby step at a time. You can start small and do something new everyday.

Before you know it, people will call you “THE FUN ONE”

Stop Being So Practical! No Risk No Reward: The Fine Art of Being Adventurously Practical

image

Today I did a little reflecting and I discovered something about my life. Being overly practical can stunt your growth.

I consider myself a pretty practical person. Not all the time, but enough. Every once in a while I say “screw it, you only live once”.

I have done some pretty amazing things in my life that make me feel like I have lived my life to the fullest. But, I was amazed at just how few things I’ve done.  I look back and wish I had done more of those things that make me feel happiest.

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago, that I decided that I want to do more than just live sometimes. I want to live the best life I can live as much as possible. I want more memories and more accomplishments..

But how the heck do I do that?

On the surface, It seems like a pretty easy task right? Just do more things that you want to. Done! Well it’s easier said than done.

In order to understand how to have a more memorable and rewarding life, I examined my life as far back as I can remember.  I grouped my life into 4 general categories based on how I remembered my life..

My life broken into 4 categories of memories

1- Memorable Years, 2- Amnesia Years, 3- Forgettable Years and 4- Tragedy Years.

1– Memorable years were the years where I had a clear memory of doing something that made me feel happy.  It could be big or small. it didn’t matter.

I want more memorable years because these are the years that I remember the best and have the fondest memories. I want to understand and duplicate the Joie de vivre I had from those years and apply if today for future memories.

2- Amnesia Years are the years where I can’t remember anything. Nope not a damn thing. Not so good.

3- Forgettable years are the years that I remember but didn’t do anything worth remembering or that didn’t give me a sense that I lived to my max potential. Not so good.

4-Tragedy years are the years where I remember something because of some tragic even. Unavoidable and part of life.

MEMORABLE:

In my life, and probably yours too, there are moments that I remember clearly. I can remember minute details, conversations, feelings or accomplishments. These memories make me feel warm and fuzzy inside and I relish those times.

Like the time my husband and I eloped and married in Edinburgh Scotland.  Or the time I took off work and spent the whole day in my PJ’s reading. Having bonfires with my kids and friends in Santa Cruz CA. Surfing lessons from my husband. The birth of my children. I could go on.. You get my drift. I remember all these things. No regrets. I smile thinking about them ALL.

AMNESIA

Then there are distinct gaps in my memory. HUGE gaps of time that I CANNOT REMEMBER! I’m talking months and whole years that I can’t remember.  Like a black out or amnesia.

I would tell you about them, but I can’t remember them. I just draw a blank when I think about certain times. It feel as though those years are wasted. Why didn’t I do something memorable?.

FORGETTABLE

Then there are those years that I remember but they are really just unmemorable. These memories are mostly associated with work or monotonous parts of my life.

An example would be, I worked for so and so company and made X amount of money and got this promotion. Or that was the year I commuted over an hour each way to work everyday for a couple of years,

YIKES! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had jobs that were interesting, challenging and stimulating but… I’m disappointed that there are whole years where all I remember is going to work everyday and my commute. BLAH!! 

TRAGEDY

And finally there are those years where something shocking or tragic happened.

The day my father was hit by a car and the day’s leading up to his death when we literally had to pull the plug. The next couple of years I spent raising my then 14 year old brother. 911, the day my dog died. The time I almost drowned scuba diving.  These memories are there and I accept them. They are memories that I can’t change or there was nothing I could have done to change them. I learn from them and they make me appreciate my life more.

I WANT MORE HAPPY MEMORIES

Looking back on my life, it’s the good memories that add value to my life. It’s so very fundamental and basic yet day in and day out I make choices that  will effect how memorable my day and my life will be.  Why did I let so many days, weeks, years pass before doing something that would create happy memories while other years I have vivid memories that make me feel like I really lived life to the fullest?

The secret to leading a memorable life is to be a little adventurous and less practical.

I’m not advocating throwing caution to the wind. Oh no. I am the queen of practicality.

Here me out. What does it mean to be practical?  In a nutshell, It means you choose or make a decision to do something or not do something based on how safe it is and how much risk is involved? Being practical has it’s place in this world.

  • When crossing a busy street, look both ways and WAIT for all the cars to pass
  • Use the restroom before you leave the house especially after large cups of coffee.
  • Don’t jump in a cage with a Lion

 

But in life, there is a fine art to being practical while still living the best damn life that’s worth living. You nee a little adventure to grow and live life to the fullest. It’s the classic risk vs reward situation.

Looking back at my life, the times that I can’t remember. The times that are the least memorable are the ones where I was being overly practical. I took no risks. I was content with my life and I became complacent and to be honest I think a little inertia set in. I just trotted along life not doing anything extraordinary. So Sad.

But the moments and times when I was adventurous and took risks are the times that I remember. And it’s those moments that make me the most happiest. It’s that feeling I want to re-create.

 

Helen Keller once said “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

Unfortunately, people are afraid of living that daring adventurous life because of the fear of the outcome or the fear of what they will lose if they take a risk. But rather than looking it as a win lose situation. Look it as an opportunity to grow. It’s when we grow and experience life that life is at it’s best. you have to push yourself outside of you comfort zone

Srinivas Rao  from the Skool Of Life said “as our tolerance for risk decreases so does our potential for a life without limits”

STOP BEING SO PRACTICAL AND GET A LITTLE ADVENTUROUS!

Life is meant to be an adventure. No one wishes their life to be mundane or routine day after day after day. It’s not even sustainable. At least I don’t think so.

There are so many choices that you can make to live an amazing life full of adventure. make yourself a bucket list and start knocking things off the list one by one.

They don’t have even be that crazy. You can take Charleston lessons with your spouse. Learn to cook something totally weird. Travel to a another country. Take Judo. Learn a language. You can still hold true your practical ways.  But ask yourself, is it really practical to let life slip right by you.

so as David Thoreau would say.

“GO SUCK THE MARROW OUT OF LIFE”

If you like this post please hit the share button on Facebook or tweet it on twitter.

And let me know what you think. Do you have any Amnesia Years?  Memorable years? Talk to me. Leave your comments below.

The American Dream

Is The American Dream Dead Or Alive and Why It’s not for everyone!

Is the American Dream dead or aliveKeep an open mind when you read this.  I know this may piss a few people off.

You’ve heard of “THE AMERICAN DREAM” right?

OF COURSE YOU HAVE: But what is the American dream and is the American Dream Dead?

What is the American Dream?

The American dream is a belief that in America, “You have the freedom to reach your goals, and if you work hard enough you can rise to fame and prosperity.” The classic rags to riches credo.

Immigrants have been flocking to America in hopes of achieving this dream for a long time.

There is nothing wrong with the American dream, nevertheless, it makes me want to scream bloody murder.  Not because it is bad or wrong.

The problem was that that the American dream which I sought was actually not my dream at all. It was someone elses dream which I thought I wanted. The big house, the big salary, the 2 car garage, 2 week vacation and all that comes with that life style.

I would like to think that I actually achieved that American dream and had it for a very long time.

But then something happened when I was living in this dream. I woke up and realized it was not a dream…It was actually a kind of nightmare. 

Here’s why.

My American Nightmare

A few years ago, I was your typical suburban wife living your typical suburban life. After years of climbing the corporate ladder, I achieved what I thought was  the “American Dream”. My husband and I had great jobs making not one but two, six figure incomes at a software company. We lived in a great area in Silicon Valley California. We took our yearly ski vacations, Hawaiian vacations, played golf and had lots of stuff. Life was good! Or so we convinced ourselves.

Underneath it all  I didn’t want to admit it, but I was burnt out from life. Burnt out from chasing after that carrot.

I woke up and realized my dream was actually a nightmare. An American Nightmare.

The Carrot On A Stick!

The American dream has been like an illusive carrot hanging in front of me that I keep chasing. Every time I think I catch it, it is yanked out of my hands and I have to start chasing it again.

I know I’m not alone. I’ve seen other people stressed out with barely any down time. The weekends were no better, they are spent doing chores, catching up on paperwork, shuttling the kids to their various activities.

Most people won’t, no they DON’T admit that they are burnt out by this continual cycle of work with very little personal freedom and time.

We are conditioned to think that we need to endure this for the greater prize that we will see later. WHEN WE RETIRE? No thank you.

You know it’s true. Why else are people so dissatisfied with their lives? Why else do so many people feel like they are in a rut? It’s because they are on this treadmill of life chasing a carrot. Who wouldn’t get fed up? But if you would have asked me then, I don’t think I would have ever admitted to wanting to live differently. I worked so hard to have and live the way we lived. I would have defended my values to the end.

The American Dream: What has it become?

Today, “The American Dream” has taken on a new meaning. It has become a very individual idea and depending on who you talk to, it can mean different things.

THE DREAM

In general, the idea of the American dream has become the pursuit  of material prosperity. People work more hours to get bigger and fancier homes, nicer cars, the latest gadgets. –  All in the name of “keeping up with the Joneses”.

The working poor have to work two sometimes three jobs just to ensure their family survival. And middle class families are kept busy working long hours, living beyond their means and racking up their credit card bill just to keep up appearances.  And for what?

THE COST

Is the American Dream dead or alive given how much it costs to maintain

Because you are chasing this illusive dream, the chase is endless. You are left with a massive loss. You have more things but you are left with a deficit. You have….

  • Less time to enjoy those riches.
  • Less time to do the things you love
  • Less time to spend with your family
  • Less time to experience life
  • Less time to live to the fullest

You don’t have to live that way

Despite popular belief, there are other ways to live. Some, myself included are looking toward a new American Dream with less focus on financial gain and more emphasis on living a simpler more fulfilling life.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have all the things my heart desires. And there are certain creature comforts I will always need like my metal coffee press and some really good lip balm. But I refuse to live the way I used to because it just wasn’t sustainable.

My dream has nothing to do with being American. It has everything to do with living my life to the fullest. Experiencing life. Creating lasting memories. Pursuing my passions. Creating a life that allows me to have time to enjoy the fruits of my labour now and not after I retire.

It’s as individual as I am.

This picture of my daughter Catherine sipping on a strawberry Milkshake in a diner on a road trip through Pennsylvania is much more memorable to me than any material things. I would rather have a hundred more memories like this one vs. all the material things I can spend my money on.

Is the American Dream dead or alive. is it worth it to you

If I had to do it all over again, I would have left Silicon Valley a lot sooner and sought to live in an area where the cost of living was more affordable. Where 50% of my salary didn’t just go to pay for my rent and another 20% went to child care. But that’s water under the bridge, and we’re not concerned with appearances any more.

So what is your dream? Do you agree with me?  Have you felt like you’ve been chasing a carrot? Leave your comments below.

Fail Fantastically: When Life Slaps you in the face, Smile And Slap It Back: DO IT!

“SLAP” That’s the sound of life slapping me and my husband in the face. AGAIN!!

We had no jobs, we were unemployed for over 2 years, and we just got notice that we need to find a new place to live. that’s just the tip of the ice berg.  I’ll explain in more detail in just a bit.

I should be huddled up in the corner holding my stinging red cheek crying like a baby. I should be worried that we can’t find jobs, and we live out of suitcases.

BUT I’M NOT! bawling my eyes out! In fact, I welcome a good slap in the face once in a while. LIke getting a cold glass of water to shake you awake.

Because every time life has lifted it’s mighty hand, I have learned how to better cope and become more resilient. In fact, it’s usually during these down trodden times that I actually make progress towards goals and dreams that have been on the back burner.

Life causes Inertia

I like to think of the blows that life delivers as wake-up calls, or check points. Without them, some of us (ME, maybe you too), would be caught in a terrible condition called Inertia, which I equate to being in Limbo.

INERTIA: in life is a state of being where you move neither forward or backward. You live almost without purpose.You can be unhappy or unfulfilled but things are not bad enough for you to want to take action to change things. So you stay in this constant state of dissatisfaction.

So Back to my story. It’s been a life altering 3 years that started a few years ago.  Prior to 2008, I was burnt out from trying to maintain my American Dream life.  But then something counter intuitive happened.  Dreams I never thought I would chase suddenly came to life. Made possible by a continued barrage of what seemed like bad luck.

Each set-back that life has doled out to me and my family has been used as a catalyst to improve our condition or achieve some positive outcome towards a greater goal. Goals that I thought I would have to wait for until retirement age like moving to France. (update we moved to France)

Below is a brief summary of each thing that has altered the very foundation of our lives and in it’s place the positive changes.

Face slapping timeline:


FACE SLAPPING EVENTS

 


POSITIVE OUTCOME

 

SLAP #1: Since late 2007: We (my husband and I) have each been laid off twice and unemployed for a total of 2 + years. Unemployment checks stopped coming bullet_go I start my own business making specialty sleeping masks from home. I’m working on a second business as of this writing.
SLAP #2: August 1st 2010: We left our friends, our lives and our home in California and moved across the country in search of jobs. bullet_go I’ve dreamt of moving from California to the east coast to be near my extended family. My husbands family is back east too. Our jobs kept us tied to our lives in California.
SLAP #3: August 1st 2010: We decide it’s prudent to cut our expenses by staying with my elderly aunt in Montreal while we do our job search. We pay her 1/7 what we were paying for rent in California (a good thing we did. ) bullet_go We cut back expenses by 80%. I have breathing room to work on my home business now that we have less bills. We also get to spend a lot of time and my kids get reacquainted with their family which we couldn’t do before when we lived across the country. It was too expensive.
SLAP#4:  September 1st 2010: Because my dad didn’t think to register my birth as a Canadian Citizen, I can’t put my boys in school in Canada so we homeschool 2 teenagers.  (so so hard) bullet_go Homeschooling has given me a better understanding of my boys needs. It also gave us the flexibility to come and go as we please rather than being tied down to the school year holidays. We get to visit sights, spend quality time together. BOND!
SLAP #5: March 2011: After 7 additional months of job searching while in Montreal, my husband decides to stop wasting his time looking for jobs all together. He spent several hours a day looking for jobs and drove to countless interviews, but no offers ever materialized. bullet_go My husband decides to pursue his own consulting business doing what he did in the corporate world.  He starts a software testing and QA consulting business.  In progress www.70Relay.com. He is for hire people. And he’s good at what he does.
SLAP #6: August 1st 2010 – Present: Meanwhile, we live out of suitcases because we put all our stuff in a storage unit just outside of Boston 4 hours away from Montreal. (where we thought we would be living when we moved, but couldn’t find any jobs) bullet_go We discover that Boston is not the place for us to live. (NO OFFENSE BOSTONIANS). We decide we want to live somewhere where we can afford to enrich our lives and also work on our business. Long term travel to France is on our radar. One year or more. But we need to get our ducks in line and paper work straightened out.  This was a retirement goal but we can do it now while our kids are still young. Yeah! vive la France.
SLAP #7: April 2011: We need to leave my aunts home in Montreal, but have no idea where we are going to go. We are in between homes, all our stuff is in storage. we are waiting till after august to figure out if we can go to France so renting a home is out of the question and vacation homes seem to be way too expensive. bullet_go We way our options and decide to visit my husbands sister for a few weeks, then his brother. And maybe even rent an R.V. and visit all the beaches up and down the east coast of the U.S. and Canada for part of the summer of 2011. ROAD TRIP and beach bon fires here we come. We’ll see

Before 2008, I never thought I could do any of the things that my family is doing or planning. My Inertia kept me on track with the idea American Life even though I was burnt out and wanted to change. If it weren’t for the life altering events, I don’t know when or if I would have done any of the things I’ve done so far.

Don’t wait until life slaps you in the face to do something

Don’t wait till life slaps you.  If you are living life without purpose other than to work, eat, sleep and own things. If you are tired of waking up everyday and coasting through life with nothing to show for it other than a hectic schedule then

STOP! Take action.

Climb mount Everest, Go to japan, learn to salsa, take up kick boxing, start a new career. Do more with your life than just barely living it.  Do something that is fulfilling so you can live a life with no regrets. You don’t have to take great risks, you can do it smartly but do something for god sakes.  Anything but stand still.

It’s worth the effort to try, even if you don’t succeed, at least you will have tried and don’t have to wonder ‘WHAT IF?”

Good luck. Leave your comments below and let me know what dreams you have been putting off, what fails have lead you to your successes…….

How we ended up living in France with our three kids

How We Ended Up Living In France with Our 3 Children

How we ended up living in France with our three kids

The path you take when you finally decide to move to France will be unique to you and your circumstances. Our decision to move was set in motion by the great recession and unemployment followed by a series of circumstances. Here is a brief look at the events leading up to the final decision that made our move to France possible.

Move to France: We never thought we would or could until…

Although living in France has always been a dream of ours, we never actually believed it was something we could achieve any time soon. Our lives, our mindset and the golden handcuffs of our jobs kept us chained to our perpetual lives. Lives that were good by most people’s standards maybe even great. But for two people like Blake and I who had itchy travel feet, life seemed a little mundane. Each day melted into the next and each day looked like the previous day.

We worked, played, ate, slept and took the kids to school. Rinse and repeat with the yearly 2 week to 4 weeks off for vacations.

We lost our jobs-The Catalyst!

laid_off gave us the balls and courage to take the next stepIn 2007 my husband and I both lost our jobs during the Great recession– the worst to hit since the great depression of 1929.

We didn’t know it at the time but everything changed that day and
getting laid off would be the catalyst that set us in motion towards moving to France. It would just take a while to get there.

Between 2008 and 2010, we bounced between unemployment and working at a couple of company’s which laid us off as well- something that was not all that uncommon in Silicon Valley. Only now, it was harder to find a new job and some of our friends couldn’t find work at all or took on whatever job they could find.

Being unemployed does something to you. Yes it scares you financially but it can also force you into a situation to do things you would never do if you had a full time job or do things you never knew you were capable of doing. At least, that is how it was for us.

Unemployed 

“We started to worry”. It’s not cheap living in the San Francisco bay area and the life we created required 2 high paying jobs to maintain that lifestyle. We knew we had to do something. Rather than stick around and deplete our savings, we decided this was our chance to make our exit, cut our losses and get a fresh start on the east coast. Something we always wanted to do to be closer to our families. The east coast also was appealing because the cost of living was much lower than the San Francisco Bay area. We thought in the least, our money would last longer in a less expensive area.

We left our home and our friends behind in California

In 2010, we had had enough and left California for good but by that time we had not planned on moving to France YET!

Instead we planned on bouncing between my family in Montreal and Blake’s sister in Maryland while we looked for work around the Boston area. Once we found work, we would rent a house and settle down.

Strategically speaking, Boston was in the perfect location. Not only was it in New England near the water, but it was also directly located between my family in Montreal and Blake’s family in the states. It seemed like the perfect place for two ex silicon valley workers like us to look for jobs, settle down and start new lives.

Or so we thought!

We changed our mind-set: lived like vagabonds outside of social norms and it changed us

For a year we carried on this way, living somewhat unconventionally as a semi nomadic family of five. We carried only what we needed with a few extra things for each of our three kids: small toys for Catherine, a skateboard, guitar, etc. We shuttled between our two homes family homes in Montreal and Maryland every few months in a big green Toyota Tundra Pick up truck.  The rest of our things or what was left of them were in a storage unit somewhere in Massachusetts. 

We were breaking the mould big time and It felt strange. Even though we were doing what we thought was right, I felt a little guilty living the way we were thanks to a North American upbringing where it’s implied that there are certain lifestyle conventions that we should all try to achieve. (Some people call it the American Dream). If you break from that mould then you are doing it wrong or hurting your children and family.  At least that’s the sense I got.

To make matters worse, it we were spinning our wheels looking for jobs that didn’t pan out, didn’t exist or didn’t pay enough.  Both Blake and I became disheartened, stressed out and in some ways a little desperate.

Something strange or interesting happens, depending on how you look at it, when you are backed into a corner , hit rock bottom or run out of choices.

We decided to do move to France or at least try

Our situation made us get creative and we started looking at options outside of our comfort zone. That’s when we entertained the idea of moving to France for a year. Both Blake and I had lived abroad before meeting one another however neither of us had any experience living abroad as a married couple let alone with three children in tow.

We had discussed it before however there were always road blocks. We had jobs, a house, lives and friends. But now, all those barriers were gone. Our stuff was conveniently in storage. We could go anytime now so why not? Money! That’s why. 

We worried about money and how we could afford it

We had already overcome the idea of living unconventionally but like any normal family, we had concerns about money and how to pay for our trip.  After brainstorming, we came up with some possible scenarios.   We knew that if we could somehow manage the money part than we would be one step closer to making our move to France a reality.

  1. Use what we have: Make our current rental income and savings go as far as possible.
  2. Freelance: Earn money by leveraging our skills and strengths by freelancing or consulting. This would give us the ability to earn money anywhere we land. 
  3. Find jobs in France. (almost impossible, we tried this and it never panned out because we are not EU citizens).
  4. Upgrade our skills: Believe it or not this blog is a way for me to keep my skills updated should I ever decide to return to the workforce. I write, I promote, I troubleshoot, I create all my own graphics. I do it all. You can hire me to help you if you like.

Obviously we overcame all our obstacles because as I write this we are living in France.

What’s my point in sharing this with you?

We all have our own set of circumstances, road blocks or whatever it is that is stopping us from making our dreams come true.  Sometimes it takes an unfortunate event to make us break from the mould.

Why wait? 

If you really want to do something don’t let your fears stop you. Don’t let other people tell you how you are supposed to live. If you think it is a good idea or the right thing to do than do it. It may take you a while but eventually you will get there and you will not regret it because anything worth doing takes work which makes the victories of your success so much sweeter.

So there you have it. What issues are you struggling with? What’s stopping you? 

15 ways you can afford a sabbatical year abroad

15 Creative Ways You Can Save Money Now So You Can Live Abroad Later! 1 Year Sabbatical Or Gap Year

15 ways you can afford a career break or spend a sabbatical year abroad to live in France.

My husband and I always dreamed of living in France but we didn’t have a job or company willing to sponsor our move and we didn’t think we could afford to do it on our own either. We were wrong. With some clever planning, a dash of courage and a pound of persistence, you can make that seemingly impossible dream of a career break or sabbatical year to live abroad a reality.Here are 15 clever, creative and simple ways you can save now for that year abroad later.

Here are 15 ways to make your 1 year sabbatical year dream a reality

Not only do you not need to be rich to take a 1 year sabbatical, you can use a one year career break or sabbatical from life to do something enriching including learning a new skill to advance your career for when you return.

1- Ask your employer if you can take a year off  (ask him for a sabbatical year).

Insurance can get expensive in the US if your footing the bill yourself. It might be a long shot but it’s worth asking your HR department if you can take leave of absence. If they agree, a lot of the stress of returning back home will be removed because you have your job waiting for you after your one year sabbatical. While you’re in HR’s office, see what your options are for health insurance abroad. Thy may have an option for you that will cover you while you are living abroad.

2- Can you do your current job part time and or remotely?

Technically, if you are working remotely, you are not really on a  sabbatical year. But if working remotely is your only option than take it. You can always work remotely from some beach.

Or first year living abroad in France, I did not work but now I do and I am fine with that. I actually like working remotely because I make my own hours and get to work in my pyjamas.

3- Cut back on your expenses and save

Before we ever started packing or applied for visas, our family of five cut thousands of dollars from our annual expenses by simply cutting  the fat out of our lives. We ate out less, we got rid of cable T.V., shopped at thrift stores and didn’t buy anything unless we absolutely needed it.

Yes it was hard especially if you are used to eating sushi once a week buying new shoes every month but if you really want to make that 1 year sabbatical a reality, than you need to do it especially if money is tight. It’s hard at first, but once you start seeing how much money you are saving it turns into a game and gets easier and easier.

4- Sell Your Unwanted Stuff

It’s amazing how much crap you can accumulate over the course of a lifetime especially if you have kids.

Instead of trashing it, try selling your unwanted stuff to fund your 1 year sabbatical abroad? My advice is to first do a big garage sale for the smaller less expensive things. Then sell your more valuable items one by one on eBay.com or craigslist. Don’t forget to announce your garage sale either. If you’re in Canada, try Kijiji.

5- Volunteer Abroad/ Trade For Lodging and Food

If you would rather volunteer or or work in exchange for lodging and food while abroad, there are volunteer programs over the world. You should know that most of these places you find online will charge you money to match you up with a volunteer program. And they arn’t cheap. I have seen some programs charge a few thousand dollars for less than 6 months.

Don’t be discouraged because there are some volunteer programs where you don’t have to pay but they are hard to find. Let me know if you find one.

6- Home Exchange

If you live in a highly desirable place like San Francisco, New York or another popular destination then you could try exchanging your house with someone who lives  abroad in an equally desirable location.   Check craigslist and do a search on Google using keywords house swap or house exchange. Here’s one that looked pretty good, it’s called Home exchange

7- Rent Your Home To Offset Costs.

Consider renting your home or subletting your apartment. Renting our your place is a good way to offset your costs while also ensuring you have a place to stay when you get back from your sabbatical. If you rent your home fully furnished, you can rent it for even more. Look at places like www.sabbaticalhomes.com.

8- Go Somewhere Where The Cost Of Living Is Lower

Going to Thailand for your one year sabbatical. If you are from the US or Canada, the cost of living will be much less and your money will last much longer than if you live someplace like Paris for a year. Popular cheap destinations are South East Asia  South America and Mexico.

9- Start your own consulting business

If you have some skill that you can do over the phone or video or over email than consider starting a consulting business that you run completely online.

I know lots of people who travel full time with kids for years on end because they work as consultants, web designers, copywriters etc. All jobs that can be done from anywhere in the world.

10- Teach English or Music over Skype

This falls under number 9 but I thought it was a good idea to call this one out because so many people just don’t know what business to do remotely.

If you speak English or play an instrument for example, you already have a skill that you can teach others. All you need is a computer, internet and skype and a simple 2 page website to start.

11- Become a virtual assistant and do administrative jobs remotely for various companies and people

The web is full of entrepreneurs and businesses looking for other people to do small odd jobs, administrative tasks or higher level duties like Data entry, freelance writing, designing logos etc. go and check out Elance or freelancer.com. They have thousands of jobs posted by people and companies looking your help. Some people make a living this way.

12- Sell your photography

If you have an eye for photography, and you love taking pictures you can sell your photos on stock photography sites like Istockphoto. People go there and pay you the rights to use your photo. There’s a lot of competition and it doesn’t pay much but if you love doing it then not get paid for your hobby.

13- Live simply while on sabbatical

Maybe you won’t be able to live it up in a posh area of Paris but there are lots of affordable places or things you can do on a sabbatical.

Some ideas are to buy a used RV and drive across the continent visiting famous landmarks. There are whole families doing this so why not you? If you have your heart set on France, consider living in a very rural area where you can rent a home for less than 500 euros a month.

14- Use your savings, retirement fund or sell stocks

Do this at your own discretion.  When and if you return back to your homeland, can you start over? You’ll have to do a lot of soul searching for this one I suspect.

15-Sell Your Home

I know several families who have sold their house to fund their travels. Only you can know whether or not this is the right option for you to take.  Were you planning to sell anyways?  Is the market up?

Conclusion

There are so many more ways you can pay and afford to take a sabbatical to travel. You will need to pick and choose the ones that best suit your situation, your comfort level and your goals.  Just remember, there will always be an excuse why you CAN’T take a sabbatical. The truth of the matter is, many of your obstacles are mainly fears. If you really want to make this happen than make it a priority and do it

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