I don’t know what it is about this week but I’ve realised I am turning 28 this year! I mean it’s three months away so not sure why this is dawning on me now, but it has and here I am sat and my desk wondering where the years have gone. I’m always scared of “getting old”, having not “ticked those boxes”. I’m still not sure I can adult, and I am meant to be a fully fledged grown up right? But as the years go by I seem to realise how much I’ve learnt and age, well that’s just a number right. I mean lets be honest here, I still think I am 23 at heart, even if my creaking knee and back know that I am 27 and can no longer crash on a friends sofa (I NEED A BED).
There are things I wish I could do again but with the knowledge I have now. This is such a cliché but it’s so true. I would love to do my travelling all over again with the knowledge I’ve learnt now. Though I am glad I wasn’t on Instagram, I feel like it would have taken away from it trying to get that perfect pic. And yes I hate that I am that person now!
But 27 years, I’ve learnt a lot, from not leaving your 18 month old at the top of some brick stairs (thanks parents), to how little you can pay for good food (michelin star isn’t the only good food out there)! But here you go, here are the three top things I’ve learnt in my young life. And sometimes still need to remind myself of…
To Wonder and NOT to Plan
I love a good plan, I really do, but not everything has to be planned to a tee. If you decided you don’t like where you are leave. This can be used for the hotel you are staying in, to the country you are in to the office job you hate. Don’t get me wrong you have bills to pay so don’t just quit on the spot but changing it up and trying something new that’s not “in the plan” isn’t a bad thing. It’s scary to think of starting again but you will find something new and better (hopefully). I’ve moved from London, to Edinburgh, to Dublin and loved every city and made some amazing memories. I’ve now got friends in different places and I wouldn’t change a thing. I hated each place when I first moved, it was scary and new, but within a few months I was hooked. It just takes time.
When we first started planning our travels I was convinced I knew the route we would take. After 3 weeks, a country had been dropped and two others added, and several city stops changed! It was fantastic, each day was quiet literally a new adventure. Boarders were closed, so new plan needed, heard about this elephant sanctuary, planned had to be changed, heard how cool a country was, just had to go. Plans change and how you deal with each one will grow you as a person.
You can always learn something new
Any normal person will realise growing up means you realise how little you really know. Remember being 16 and thinking you knew everything and how your parents couldn’t possibly get it, and you are an adult now. Well, guess what, you were so wrong, so very, very wrong. School and your teen years teaches you the basics, but it’s just that it’s the basics! I still struggle with taxes and all those adult things. But also, I am now happy to admit when I don’t know something, and that’s okay. You really aren’t expected to know it all. I don’t think you can ever know everything but take interest in others, what they are trying to teach you because you never know one day it might be help (even if it’s just in your local pub quiz).
By opening your mind and not knowing everything you find incredible places. I had never been to Estonia, and just about knew it was part of the EU (I had a 50:50 guess of getting it right). But I went there to visit a friend and I just started to learn so many things from what they had been though with USSR to foods they cooked. Even my friend who is Estonian learnt more. It’s really worth just listening to others and taking in what is around you. Never assume you know it all.
Don’t compare yourself to someone else – apples and oranges
I don’t know when this happened, but everyone seems to be getting younger. All those rugby players born in the mid 90s, those Olympic gold medallists with their baby faces and all those reality TV “stars”, just wow, and not in a good way. Friends are getting married, buying houses and there is me wondering how to pay for my next flights. I am happy with what I’ve managed, it might not be the norm, and others may still be doing it better than me. But I’ve lived in four countries (or three depending who you ask haha), visited 28 countries and got done a 6 month trip abroad. If 18-year-old me could see where I am today, I think she’d be pretty damn surprised and a little proud of what I’ve achieved. So remember everything you’ve done is for you not anyone else, and don’t let others tell you you aren’t achieving the correct things.
Do you have things you need to remind yourself of? Or some top tips you’ve learnt over the years?